The “desert storm” has passed, but the Middle East remains suspended in the vortex of turbulent changes engendered by global and regional pressures. Stemming from the region's historical geopolitical significance, global pressures in the form of Western involvement have stimulated rapid economic development, irreversible social changes and unstable political modernization, transforming the Middle East in uneven and unpredictable ways. Even while attempting to advance the prosperity of their peoples, Middle Eastern nations have sought to preserve their individual cultural identities in the face of relentless external pressures and the fundamental changes they have wrought. In the process, their social fabric and body politic have been riven with deep-seated tensions.

Note on the Author

Shaheen Mozaffar, Department of Political Science