Destabilizing Forces and Resilience in the Current World Crisis: Comparisons of Global Opinion Data and a Middle East Analysis


Arno Tausch – Visiting Professor of Political Studies and Governance, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa
Colonel (Retired) Jacques Neriah, PhD – Former Head of Assessment, Israel’s Directorate of Military Intelligence, Senior Researcher, Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs; Senior Security Commentator on i24news TV channels

Series: Religion and Society
BISAC: REL037000

“Tausch and Neriah provide an astute analysis of the international instability that has developed in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the importance of the West’s ability to demonstrate resilience in the face of new challenges.” – Russell A. Berman, Walter A. Haas Professor in the Humanities, Stanford University, CA, USA

“How is the Western world going to defend democracy, individual freedoms, pluralistic values and the rule of law if in some Western nations more than 50% of the population is not prepared to fight for their own country? This is a very uncomfortable question but it needs to be asked. Thankfully, the study by Tausch and Neriah not only provides a much-needed strategic perspective on the current and arising trends regarding the destabilizing forces and resilience in this crisis, but also dares to ask such pressing questions.” – Dr. Ferdinand J. Haberl (Deputy Director of the Documentation Centre Political Islam, Austria), author of Jihadi Intelligence and Counterintelligence – Ideological Foundations and Operational Methods (Springer 2023), project lead and co-author of the recent KIRAS study, The Muslim Community of Vienna – Between Religion and the Rule of Law (KIRAS, 2022)

“In times of increasing openly military conflicts and global challenges posed by climate change, resilience will take on new importance for the survival of a state. This book illustrates the problem in an impressive way – well worth reading!“ – Hon. Prof. Dr. Gunther Hauser, Austrian Defense Academy, Vienna

“Also ideas become a material force as soon as they are adopted by the masses. The present study is important in this respect as it informs about ideas – and persistently wrong ideas – concerning especially the Arab world. Only correct ideas will then guarantee global peace – an important contribution in this sense.” – Prof. Dr. habil. Peter Herrmann; Research Fellow at the Human Rights Center; Law School at the Central South University, Changsha, PRC; Affiliated (among others): Max Planck Institute for Social Law (Germany); Member of the European Academy of Science and Arts

“Important data and perspectives; vital reading for the analysis of Western and Middle East security.” – Colonel (GS) Markus Reisner, Austrian Armed Forces

“When our embarrassments and fears lie, we often listen to them anyway. They thwart our gratitude, acceptance, and compassion—our goodness. They insist, “War could never happen again on the European continent.” But it did! Arno Tausch and Jacques Neriah study the destabilizing forces and resilience in the current global crisis, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022, as a combination of global comparisons and a Middle East survey. We find courage from this excellently researched and written volume to strengthen our faith despite the unstable world.” – Glen Segell (University of Cambridge), author of Development, Globalization, Global Values and Security: Essays in Honor of Arno Tausch (Springer 2023), and A Defence Structure for the 21st Century (Institute of Security Policy, 2023)

“Authoritative, meticulously researched and incisive, this volume by Tausch and Neriah is a must read for those who seek to understand the turbulence of today’s current world.” – Prof Hussein Solomon, Centre for Gender and Africa Studies, University of the Free State, South Africa; Author of Directions in International Terrorism, 2021, Palgrave Macmillan; African Security in the Anthropocene, 2023, Springer

The present study of destabilizing forces and resilience in the current global crisis, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022, is a combination of global comparisons and a study of the Middle East. The non-Muslim countries that voted for the resolution on Ukraine in the General Assembly represented only 31% of the world’s population, while the Muslim countries that voted for the resolution on Ukraine represented 12.38% of the world’s population. With the current shifts in global energy supplies, the Gulf countries have increased their share of Western energy supplies, making the interdependencies in global politics and global energy greater than ever before. A realistic study of the destabilizing forces and resilience in the current global crisis must therefore be based on a combination of global comparisons and a Middle East survey.

Our analysis of resilience in the Middle East is based on the methodology of international politics and intelligence studies, which is widely used in the literature. Our assessment of global resilience is based on open data from the World Values Survey and the European Values Survey, the first comprehensive, empirical and multivariate study of global resilience, covering more than 5 billion global inhabitants, representing about 66% of the world’s population, in 88 countries and territories, collected between 2017 and 2022. These high-quality, representative social science survey data, based on excellent sampling techniques and large samples, were analyzed in our research using IBM SPSS Version 29 multivariate statistical software.

For the first time in the global literature, we analyze, among others, very recent data on the willingness to fight for the country in the context of a multivariate factor analytic model that uses a great number of dimensions from our multivariate data to contextualize global willingness to fight for the country.

Our study also compares the performance of Russia and Ukraine according to the sub-components of our parametric factor analytical index of resilience, and also shows how the differences in performance between the two countries are structured. Russia has an advantage in the subcomponent trust, in the subcomponent absence of xenophobia and racism, in the subcomponent satisfaction and happiness of the population, in the subcomponent willingness to fight for one’s country, and in the subcomponent acceptance of egalitarian needs by the higher social classes, while Ukraine has a clear advantage in the subcomponent acceptance of gender justice, in the subcomponent no demoralization, and in the subcomponent respect for human life. We undertake a similarly structured comparison for resilience in the People’s Republic of China and the United States. There, China is ahead on the trust sub-component, on the acceptance of redistribution by the upper classes, on the Calvinist work ethic, on the willingness to defend, on the respect for human life, on the support for social liberal democracy, on the absence of demoralization and on the happiness of the population. Quite a clear advantage over the United States!

Our analysis also holds dire predictions for the ability of the Western world to maintain the level of support it has hitherto given to the Ukraine. We also calculated the partial correlation of global support for Vladimir Putin, holding constant the Human Development Index in 2018 and the square of the Human Development Index, also in 2018. The highest positive statistical relationship with support for Putin is with an economy’s dependence on CO2 emissions.

Keywords: resilience, world values survey, Ukraine, Russia, Middle East, global comparisons, opinion surveys

Table of Contents

List of Tables

List of Figures


Executive Summary
The Importance of The Arab Countries in the Western Coalition on the Ukraine Conflict
The Middle East at a Crossroad
The Empirical Studies on Global Resilience, Based on the World Values Survey
The Methodology of Our Study
The Depressing Results
The Factor Analytical Results
The Factor Analytical Results About Different Countries, Political Orientations and Denominational Groups
The Dynamics of Value Change and Resilience
The Political Sociology of the Global Putin Support/Rejection
Ridiculous Nationalism (Popper)?

For the First Time in Global Literature
Outlining Our Study

Chapter 1. Background Developments at the Global Level
The Debates on Resilience Gather in Pace
The Cambridge Study on the Opinions of Ukraine: 97% of the Global Population
The United Nations General Assembly Vote of 22 February 2023
All Countries of the World Are Resilient, but Are Some More Resilient than Others?

Chapter 2. Assessing the Developing Security Threats Facing Israel in a Changing Middle East
From Independence Till October 1973 Yom Kippur War
A New Deal: Sadat’s Egypt Signs Peace Treaty with Israel
The First Lebanon War: The Changing Threat
The Rise of Hezbollah as the Burgeoning New Threat To Israel
Israel in the Face of New Security Threats
The Security Challenges Facing Israel
Is American Influence in the Middle East Waning?
The Ignored Water-Related Threats
Egypt’s Pivotal Role
The ISIS /Daesh Threat
The Reappearance of Russia as a Superpower in the Middle East
The Decline of U.S. Influence
What Are the Prospects Ahead?

Chapter 3. The Analysis of Global Values
The World Values Survey Analysis on National Resilience

Chapter 4. Methodology and Data
The World Values Survey Data
Promax Factor Analysis
Parametric Indicators
Error Margins
Dimensions and Variables from the World Values Survey
Cross-National Data

Chapter 5. Global Survey Results About the Main Threats to Resilience in the Current Global Crisis
The Shocking Reality Number 1 of this Study: In the West, Willingness to Fight for the Country is Dismally Low
The Shocking Reality Number 2 of this Study: In the West, Trust in the Armed Forces is Also Often Dismally Low
The Shocking Reality Number 3 of this Study: In the West, Acceptance of Political Violence is Often Very High
Terror Support
A Parametric Index of the Lack of Resilience (Parametric Index, Based on Three Variables)
The Lack of Resilience (Parametric Index, Based on Three Variables) in the MENA Region
Partial Correlations with the Willingness to Fight for the Country
Partial Correlations with the Support for Political Violence

Chapter 6. The Results of the Global Factor Analysis

Chapter 7. Defining and Analysing Resilience in a Larger Analytical Perspective
Best Performers
Worst Performers
Additional Long Term Security Conclusions

Chapter 8. Perspectives and General Conclusion
Appendix Table 1. Factor Analysis – Country Factor Scores
Appendix Table 2. Factor Analysis – Country Indicator Scores, Based on Country
Factor Scores
Appendix Table 3. Factor Analysis – Country Scores of the Overall Resilience Factor, Based Factor Analysis
Appendix Table 4. Willingness to Fight for the Country in China, Iran, Taiwan (PRoC), Ukraine and Russia
Appendix Figure 1. Country Factor Scores for Distrust
Appendix Figure 2. Country Factor Scores for Secularism
Appendix Figure 3. Country Factor Scores for Socio-Liberal Democracy
Appendix Figure 4. Country Factor Scores for Demoralization
Appendix Figure 5. Country Factor Scores for Feminism
Appendix Figure 6. Country Factor Scores for Unhappiness
Appendix Figure 7. Country Factor Scores for Disrespect of Life
Appendix Figure 8. Country Factor scores for Xenophobia and Racism
Appendix Figure 9. Country Factor Scores for Social Isolation
Appendix Figure 10. Country Factor Scores for Rejecting the Calvinist Ethics
Appendix Figure 11. Country Factor Scores for Rejecting the Market Economy
Appendix Figure 12. Country Factor Scores for Upper-Class Rejection of Egalitarianism
Appendix Figure 13. Unwilling to Fight for the Country
Appendix Figure 14. Younger Generations



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