POST-HEGEMONIC (DIS)ORDER AND REGIIONAL BALANCING STRATEGIES IN THE MIDDLE EAST
Following the so-called Arab Spring, the strategic situation in the Middle East has been one of disorder. A series of critical, complex and interrelated security failures have resulted in chaos and bloodshed unprecedented even for a region with Middle East's history and legacy. The demand for intervention has been high but the response has been very low. In such an unchartered and rapidly deteriorating regional security setting, this paper argues that the conspicuous absence of US hegemonic engagement has allowed for the return to overt regional balance of power strategies and proxy conflicts. Our hypothesis is that a regional balance of power and the resulting order (or disorder) heavily depends on the type of great power regional engagement. In such a context, the "hands off" or non-hegemonic approach that characterizes US strategy since the Arab Spring eruption has heavily contributed to a highly disorderly regional balance of power landscape. In the absence of US hegemonic involvement, revisionist threats emerge and local rivalries intensify.