NON STATE ACTORS/MIDDLE EAST – Non-state actors in the Middle East: towards a new typology (Vitaly Naumkin, Vasily Kuznetsov, RIAC)

The latest developments in world politics have invariably shown the growing role of non-state actors (NSAs) in international affairs. Although this factor has drawn increased attention in both academic discourse and applied research, problems related to NSA typology remain unclarified. The present paper analyzes existing approaches to the categorization of various NSAs operating in the global political arena and proves that the available classifications of NSAs fail to represent present-day political realities, particularly in the Middle East. Proceeding from Phillip Taylor’s renowned classification of NSAs, the authors offer a new approach to differentiating NSAs acting in the Middle East, and suggest using such criteria as their relation to the state in terms of functions, state orientation, objectives, and system of management. For reasons of space, the present paper does not discuss the funding of NSAs’ operations and the extent to which they resort to violence in their activities.