I am not sure if I’ve much authority (academic) to pose any analysis of the issues in the title. But given my disciplinary background (International Relations), I feel like throwing out some of what is battling in my mind:
- Are we going back to a condition similar to what we experienced during the Cold War? Is Realism becoming, again, a strong explanatory theory in International Relations (IR) despite the challenges it has faced in the post- Cold War era? The centricity of State and geopolitical real politik is re-manifesting itself to levels that cannot be ignored. Why would Russia identify another state and an alliance of states as no. 1 security threat in the world where issues of terrorism and terrorists groups the likes of ISIS, for example, are scaring almost every single citizen of the world their heart out? Are we back to the Cold War era where enemies were states?
- Saudi Arabia vs. Iran…funny how the religious variable is being sidelined in most analysis…and the focus is on State, state-relations (many states are now withdrawing and/or downsizing their diplomatic relations with Iran), and other geo-political real politik issues. One appealing analysis mentioned Islamic Cold War, but even in there the main reference object was still state. Well, I think Saudi Arabia really panicked on the nuclear deal and the consequent possibility of Iran gaining importance to international politics thus taking some attention from its “lover(s)”. I guess and really feeling inside me that the killing of the Shia cleric was a strategic move to distort Iran’s move towards a better world for them…and it could have been an Israelite brain behind Saudi Arabia’s action.
Well, both of the above situations are complex. But am sad that we are back to the old ways of doing international relations. International Relations tried to expand its analysis following the end of the Cold War, but the discipline might be forced to get restrained again- thinking from a single lens- State and balance of power!