Democratic-Autocratic Military Interventions in the MENA Region
Libya, Syria and Iraq, and Yemen are in the middle of internationalized military conflicts, with several states and (transnational) non-state actors being involved as conflict parties. Even though the three cases are very different, they have one aspect in common: both democracies and autocracies have intervened – and they have done so at least partially “on the same side”. This means that these military actions are marked by some form of democratic-autocratic cooperation.
While democratic warfare is well-researched, the same does not hold true for authoritarian states, in particular when it comes to the legitimation of interventions. Importantly, the role of the counter-terrorism framework for the external use of force by authoritarian states has not been systematically explored yet. Finally, the current shifts in intervention arrangements may be indicative of a larger transformation of actors and forms of regional security, as well as intervention practices and norms more generally.
Among others, the project aims at answering the following questions:
- How do Arab autocracies legitimize their engagement in and the initiation of external military interventions vis-à-vis international, regional, and domestic audiences?
- How do mature democracies legitimize these interventions vis-à-vis international, regional and domestic audiences, in particular with respect to democratic-autocratic cooperation?
- How and why does democratic-autocratic cooperation take place in these military interventions? What role does the counter-terrorism framework / war on terror-narrative play in this form of cooperation?