World Regions After September 11: Rethinking the regions

World politics are often viewed in terms of discrete regions, each with its own characteristics and internal dynamics.

The World Today Published 1 August 2002 Updated 23 October 2020 4 minute READ

Tarak Barkawi

Mark Laffey

Lecturer in international relations, Department of Political Studies, SOAS

Some western policy-makers believe they can identify a threat to international security within a particular region by analysing its local politics and culture. But should they instead be looking at the two-way relationship between that region and their own part of the world, to find the root causes of a crisis like that spawned by September 11?

We live in a world of regional crises with global consequences. The question of Kashmir threatens nuclear war. Refugees from collapsing states in Africa reawaken far right anti-immigrant parties in Europe. Financial disaster in Argentina and East Asia reverberates around the world’s stock exchanges. War in Yugoslavia draws in and entangles the international community.

And regional conflicts in the Middle East lead to a global ‘war’ on terror. Regional crises drive world politics. Understanding such crises is a core concern of the international policy agenda.

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