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The Great Game in West AsiaIran, Turkey and the South Caucasus$
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Mehran Kamrava

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190673604

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190673604.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 24 January 2022

West Asia Since 1900

West Asia Since 1900

Living Through the Wreck of Empires

(p.31) 2 West Asia Since 1900
The Great Game in West Asia

Anatol Lieven

Oxford University Press

The history of West Asia over the past century has been defined by the collapse of three great empires. Contemporary history of the region is being defined by the decay of a fourth, informal empire —the USA — and the appearance of a new local power, the Islamic State, which is radically hostile to the US hegemony, local regimes and the very existence of the states of the region. These ruins of empire have been preceded, accompanied, and, to a considerable extent, caused by the decay of the civilizational ideologies, which had legitimized imperial rule. While internal culture, social and economic factors have been crucial barriers to modernization, so too has been the dependence of would-be modernizing Middle Eastern states on the US imperial hegemon. This dependency has stripped these states of the nationalist legitimacy which elsewhere has been vital to the introduction of necessary but highly painful and contested reforms.

Keywords:   Imperial rule Asia, West Asian history, US West Asia, Middle Eastern modernization, US hegemon, Middle Eastern reform, Emergence of Islamic State, US Empire decline

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