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Islam in the BalanceIdeational Threats in Arab Politics$
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Lawrence Rubin

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780804790796

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804790796.001.0001

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(p.1) 1 Introduction
Islam in the Balance

Lawrence Rubin

Stanford University Press

This chapter introduces the argument of the book, identifies the limitations of previous scholarship, describes the research design, and provides the road map for the rest of the book. The chapter discusses the main theme running through the book: transnational ideologies may present a greater and more immediate national security threat than shifts in the military balance of power. This argument has two main components. First, ideology, or ideational power, triggers threat perception and affects state policy because it can undermine domestic political stability and regime survival in another state. Second, states engage in ideational balancing in response to an ideological threat. The analytical framework for understanding strategic interaction in this realm of international politics is called an “ideational security dilemma.”

Keywords:   ideational balancing, ideational power, ideational security dilemma, Islamic State, Iranian-Saudi relations, Iranian-Egyptian relations. Religion, Middle East politics

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