Few regions of the world have attracted as much attention in recent decades as the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Clearly, this is a consequence of the importance of the region for world affairs and for comparative politics. Some of those who have written about the MENA have focused almost exclusively on the politics of individual countries in the region, while others have focused more broadly on region-wide political dynamics. This text adopts an entirely thematic approach to the politics of the region. Rather than opting for an in-depth analysis of the historic, political, social and economic particularities of individual countries, we have chosen to examine the region as whole, highlighting some of its shared issues, traits and challenges.
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