Social Science Perspectives on the Changing Geography of the World Politics
Author: Mehdi Amineh
This anthology unites in one volume two studies of the Greater Middle East in global politics – each conceptual and empirical. First, it is a historical-comparative study of politics and societies in selected Greater Middle Eastern countries from Napoleon’s invasion of Ottoman Egypt in 1798 up until today. It addresses development and change in these societies as results of the complex interactions between external developments, the rise and expansion of European industrialized powers, and internal developments, the disintegration of Islamic Empires, their transformation into nation-states, and their efforts to industrialize and modernize. Second, it is an empirical case study of states and societies of the Greater Middle East in global politics, addressing themes such as nationalism, revolution, political Islam, democracy, globalization, regionalism, revolution, war, energy, and conflict and cooperation. The book is comprised of three parts and nineteen chapters. Contributors include: Mehdi Parvizi Amineh, Simon Bromley, Robert M. Cutler, Louisa Dris-Aït-Hamadouche, S.N. Eisenstadt, Femke Hoogeveen, Henk Houweling, B.M. Jain, Mehran Kamrava, Roger Kangas, Fred H. Lawson, Prithvi Ram Mudiam, Nilgun Onder, Wilbur Perlot, Richard Pomfret, Kurt W. Radtke, Mirzohid Rahimov, Eva Patricia Rakel, and Yahia H. Zoubir.
Editors: Mehdi Amineh and Guang YANG
Since the conclusion of the 1985 trade and cooperation agreement between the European Community and China, a new political dynamic has been set in motion between two emerging entities: industrializing China and integrating Europe. It is reflected in, among others, European Commission policy strategy papers and, probably more importantly, in numerous sectoral dialogues and agreements. Europe has become China’s largest export destination. For the E.U., China has become its second largest trading partner and its most important source of imports.
The book edited by Mehdi Parvizi Amineh and Yang Guang studies the fueling of this Eurasian production and trading system. This is the policy area of energy supplies and energy security. Cooperation on the basis of complementarity is rather easy. Cooperation in the competition for access to, and share in, non-renewable stocks of oil and gas is more challenging. This book studies a series of bilateral energy relations (Part One) in a global-level, geo-political framework. Policy outcomes in bilateral relations are impacted by multi-lateral networks. Part Two surveys the quest for renewable energy, which is the core of supply security. China has created the largest solar panel production facility. It is capable of producing light-weight magnets used in, among others, wind-power generators and hybrid car engines. This year China is expected to overtake the U.S. as the largest producer of wind turbines. China’s step-by-step reduction of the gap in wealth and power with countries that overran it in the past has so far been remarkably peaceful. We know in both Europe and China all too well that trend-driven change in capability ratios between great powers does not by necessity harmonize well with leadership responses to it. By charting the domain of the energy competition, this book marks an important contribution to the rationalization of energy policy as an area of competitive cooperation.
— Henk Houweling, Instructor at the Europe Institute of the University of Macao

Contributors are Mehdi Parvizi Amineh, Robert M. Cutler, Chen Mo, Eva Patricia Rakel, Daniel Scholten, Philip Sen, Raquel Shaoul, Frank Umbach, Eduard B. Vermeer, Shi Dan, and Yang Guang.

Abstract

Since the Industrial Revolution in the late eighteenth century in England, all traditional cultures at one point in history have been challenged by modernity. This happened first in Europe and later in the rest of the world as a result of the late nineteenth century expansion of European capitalism and civilization. When confronted with modernity, individual traditional cultures conflict with the increasing plurality of lifestyles and values. There are two ways to solve this conflict: either remain in the past or innovate. In the first case, tradition prevails. In the second case, the challenges of modernity are embraced by adapting to the new circumstances. This will eventually lead to the renewal of one's own culture. Since the late nineteenth century, the challenges of modernity have resulted in a variety of often contradictory Islamic political ideologies and practices. In contrast to the cultural-essentialist and a-historical assumptions of some scholars, such as Samuel Huntington, who see the phenomenon of political Islam as a characteristic of an inevitable "clash of civilizations"—according to which conflicts and threats to world peace and security in the twenty-first century will be carried out along "civilizational fault lines"—this article argues that the actual fault-lines are socio-economic, not geo-cultural, and that conflicts in today's world do not take place between cultures but within them. Those societies that are more successful in adapting to the challenges of modernity show a relatively stronger capacity to cope with the growing complexity of political and cultural pluralism.

In: Perspectives on Global Development and Technology
In: The Greater Middle East in Global Politics
In: World Religions and Multiculturalism
This anthology brings together studies of post-colonial, post-Cold War Central Eurasia. This part of the world is in transition from Soviet institutions to independent statehood, nation building, resistance against state expansion, cultural change and the release of market forces. The theoretical framework of the study is called ‘critical geo-politics.’ The objective of the work is to better comprehend the nature of the post-colonial ‘Great Game'. Part I studies US power projection activity in the region. America is extending its World War II trans-oceanic 'defense perimeter into the fossile fuel rich area between integrating Europe, recovering Russia and industrializing China. Part II details various aspects of state-nation building and soci-cultural and economic change in the region. Part III studies interactions between outsiders, neighbors and Central Asian Republics. Conflict and cooperation in the Caspian region is studied in part IV, with Aral Sea and Azerbijan as cases.

Revised edition of the book published under the same title in 2004 (ISBN 90 04 12809 3).
The Geopolitics of Energy Paths of China and the European Union
Secure Oil and Alternative Energy: The Geopolitics and Energy Paths of China and the European Union is the follow-on study to the well-received The Globalization of Energy: China and the European Union (Brill 2010). While intensive cooperation between China and the EU in the fields of energy use, environmental protection, and sustainability is highly needed, the question remains unanswered how this cooperation could be organized. Since the proven gas and oil reserves lay outside China and the EU, they are both facing geopolitical challenges to energy security in the foreseeable future. This volume puts the geopolitical implementation of China’s and the EU’s energy security into the context of (a) geo-economic systems in a global scale including the Central Eurasian, the Middle East and Africa hydrocarbon energy complex and (b) the emergence of a geo-economic energy network spreading from China to Western Europe. The edited volume consists of 14 high-quality papers on topics announced in the title of the volume: the geo-politics of energy-supply security, alternative sources of energy, energy transition and, at the global level, energy governance.
-Prof. Dr. Helwig Schmidt-Glintzer, Director, Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel, Forschungs-und Studienstätte für Europäische Kulturgeschichte, Germany