Critical and Complementary Review of Buzan’s Regional Security Complex Theory in The Wake of Middle East Regional system

Document Type : Original Article


1 Phd of International Relations, Allameh Tabataba'i University, Tehran. Iran

2 Professor of International Relations, Allameh Tabataba'i University, Tehran. Iran

3 Professor of International Relations, Allameh Tabataba'i University, Tehran. Iran.


The theory of the Buzan’s regional security complex is one of the most important theories of regional system analysis. But the theory has some shortcomings in the analysis of regional systems such as the Middle East. This article seeks to illustrate and reform those shortcomings with a fundamental theoretical and explanatory approach. This can also provide common variables for scrutinizing the regions all over the world.  In this way, it is argued that it is need and necessary adding one more variable called "problematic" to the regional security complex theory. Also It is argued that, due to the specific characteristics of each region, it is necessary to consider the other particular variables of each region. Since this study focuses on the regional system of the Middle East as a case, it is also necessary to examine two other variables, the "individual" and the "structure of the international system".


  1. Ahmadipour, Zahra, Mousavi Shafaee, Seyed Masoud and pourdast, zahra (2019) Studying of Iran and Turkey rivalry in Syria crisis, Geopolitics Quarterly, Volume: 15, No 55, Autumn 2019, PP 90-121. [In Persian]
  2. Azar, Edward and Moon, Chang This (1988). National Security in the Third World. Translation of the publisher (1379). Tehran. Strategic Studies Institute. Qualitative content analysis
  3. Burcher, Michael and James, Patrick (1989). The severity and importance of the third world crisis in the Middle East and Africa. In: The crisis. Conflict and instability. Michael Brother and Jonathan Wilkenfeld. Translation of Ali Sabahdel (2003). (268-219). Tehran: Strategic Studies Research Center. [In Persian]
  4. Buzan, obvious. (1983) People of the State and Panic. Translation by Mojtaba Attarzadeh (1396). Tehran: Strategic Studies Research Center. [In Persian]
  5. Buzan, Barry and Weaver, Eli (2003). Regions and powers: the structure of international security. Translation of Rahman Ghahramanpour (2009) Tehran: Strategic Studies Research Center. [In Persian]
  6. Buzan, Berry (2004). The United States and Great Powers; Global Politics in the 21st Century. Translation by Abdul Majid Heidari (2010). Tehran: Strategic Studies Research Center. [In Persian]
  7. Dehghani Firouzabadi, Seyed Jalal (2010). Foreign policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Tehran: SAMT. [In Persian]
  8. Al Jazeera. (June 13. 2013). Bahrain Arrests ‘Iran-linked’ Cyber Group. Al Jazeera. Retrieved 15 Des 2017 from:   .
  9. Al-Khateeb, Luay. (2010). The GCC in 2020: Resources for the Future (Geneva: The Economist Intelligence Unit). Retrieved 18 Apr 2017 from:
  10. Http:// PP. 1-30.
  11. Al-Saadi, Salam. (2016). "Russia's Long Term aims in Syria". CARNEGIE ENDOWMENT FOR INTERNATIONAL PEACE. Retrieved (29 Apr 2017) from: Http://
  12. Cordesman, Anthony H. (2016). U.S. Wars in Iraq. Syria, Libya, and Yemen: What Are the End states? Center for Strategic and International Studies, PP. 1-12. Retrieved 17 Aug 2017 from: Https:// public/publication/160815 _us_wars.pdf.
  13. Cordesman, Anthony H. (2016). The Comparative Metrics of ISIS and "Failed State Wars" in Syria and Iraq. Center for Strategic and International Studies. Retrieved 17 Apr 2017 from: Https:// analysis/comparative-metrics-isis-and-failed-state-wars-syria-and-iraq-0.
  14. Deutsche Welle. (2015). German spy agency warns of Saudi intervention destabilizing Arab world. Deutsche Welle. Retrieved 21 April 2017 from:   Http://
  15. Goldgeiger. James. (1997). “Psychology and Security.” Security Studies. Vol. 6. No. 4. PP. 137-166.
  16. Görener. Aylin Ş. & Ucal. Meltem Ş. (2011). The Personality and Leadership Style of Rajab Tayeb Erdoğan: Implications for Turkish Foreign Policy. Turkish Studies. Vol. 12. NO. 3. PP. 357- 381.
  17. Gurcan, Metin. (2015). “Are Clashes Spreading to Western Turkey?” Al-Monitor. Retrieved 27 Jun 2017 from: com/pulse/ originals/2015/12/turkey-kurdish-militant-clashes-pkk-tak.html.
  18. Hafeznia, Mohammad Reza, Ghorbaninejad, Rebaz, Ahmadipour, Zahra and   Ghavam Abdolali (2014) Tension and Conflict Theories between Countries: Review, Critique and Presenting a Theoretical Model, Geopolitics Quarterly, Volume: 9, No 4, Winter 2014, PP 1-35.
  19. Huggler, Justin. (2015). Saudi Arabia 'destabilizing Arab world'. German intelligence warns. The Telegraph. Retrieved 05 Des 2017 from: html
  20. Kozak, Christopher (2015). “An Army in All Corners”: Assad’s Campaign Strategy in Syria. Middle East Security Report 26 (Washington. DC: Institute for the Study of War). Retrieved 17 Mar 2017 from: gn -strategy-syria.PP.1-56.
  21. Laub, Zachary and Masters, Jonathan (2013). Syria's Crisis and the Global Response. Council on Foreign Relations. Retrieved 24 July 2017 from:
  22. Lynch. Marc. (2016). Failed States and Ungoverned Spaces. ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Scienc. Volume: 668. Issue: 1. PP. 24-35.
  23. Natali. Denise. (2016). The Middle East. From: Hooker. R.D. Jr. (Edited by) Charting a Course: Strategic Choices for a New Administration. National Defense University Press Washington. D.C. 249-265.
  24. Rosenau, James (1971). The Scientific Study of Foreign Policy. New York: The Free Press.
  25. Salhani, Claude. (2013). Bahrain Places Hezbollah on Terror List. Oil price. Retrieved 15 Des 2017 from: /Middle-East/Bahrain-Places-Hezbollah-on-Terrorist-List.html.
  26. Salimi, Hossein, Dehghani Firoozabadi, Seyed Jalal and Pouresmaili, Najmieh (2017). Theoretical Analysis of the Relations between Regional System and Foreign Policy, Geopolitics Quarterly, Volume: 13, No 47, Summer 2017, PP 1-24.
  27. Simon, Herbert. (1985). “Human Nature in Politics: The Dialogue of Psychology with Political Science.” American Political Science Review. Vol. 79. PP. 293– 304.
  28. Zogby, James Zogby, Elizabeth and Zogby, Sarah Hope (2015). Middle East 2015: Current and Future Challenges Washington. DC: Zogby Research Services. LLC. Retrieved 28 Apr 2017 from: https://www.static1