Security networks, deep states, and the democratic deficit in the Middle East

Oren Barak*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


This article argues that part of the reason why some Middle Eastern states remain democratically challenged is the emergence, operation, and political influence of “security networks” and “deep states” — informal actors in the area of national security. The article explains what these actors are, situates them in a broad theoretical and comparative perspective, assesses their impact on democratic development, and provides examples from Turkey, Lebanon, Israel, and Egypt.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)447-465
Number of pages19
JournalMiddle East Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Oren Barak is the Maurice B. Hexter Chair in International Relations–Middle East Studies and Associate Professor of Political Science and International Relations at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His most recent book is State Expansion and Conflict: In and Between Israel/Palestine and Lebanon (Cambridge University Press, 2017). Barak thanks the anonymous reviewers for their useful comments on earlier drafts of this article. Research for this article was made possible by a grant from the Levi Eshkol Institute for Social, Economic and Political Research in Israel at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Publisher Copyright:
© Middle East Institute.


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