188 Items

University students hold Lebanese flags as they chant slogans against the government, in Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019.

AP Photo/Bilal Hussein

Analysis & Opinions

The Lebanese Intifada: Observations and Reflections on Revolutionary Times

| Nov. 10, 2019

On Thursday 17 October 2019, thousands of exasperated Lebanese citizens took to the streets of Beirut in protest. The spark was the government’s latest plan to impose taxes on the popular and free based application, WhatsApp. Yet the protests were in fact the consequence of a series of ongoing and related crises: a fiscal crisis of insufficient revenues; a debt crisis; a foreign currency shortage crisis; a developmental crisis of stagnating growth compounded by rising unemployment and cost of living. One can certainly add to this list an infrastructural crisis—most popularized by the 2015 garbage protests, but part and parcel of people’s everyday lives as experienced in the problematic provisioning of electricity, water, and more. Such crises are largely homegrown, in that they are the result of decades-long mismanagement of public funds, rampant corruption, and political polarization. They are however exacerbated by regional and international players.

Protesters gather during the clashes between Iraqi security forces and anti-government demonstrators, in downtown Baghdad, Iraq, Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019.

AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed

Analysis & Opinions - The Washington Post

Iraqi protesters demand constitutional change. Can they make it happen?

| Nov. 07, 2019

Iraq is experiencing a pivotal moment. Protesters, mostly youths, have again taken to the streets in Baghdad and several southern provinces. They initially demanded jobs and an end to corruption. Now they are calling for the resignation of key government figures, the dissolution of parliament and provincial councils, electoral reforms, and a rewrite of the constitution.

 In this April 4, 2018 file photo, a U.S-backed Syrian Manbij Military Council soldier passes a U.S. position near the tense front line with Turkish-backed fighters, in Manbij, north Syria.

AP Photo/Hussein Malla

Analysis & Opinions - The Washington Post

The International Community Must Stop Turkey’s Ethnic Cleansing Plans in Northern Syria

| Oct. 11, 2019

For years, Turkey’s government allowed Islamic State fighters to cross its territory into Syria. But, before Monday, there were no Islamic State fighter elements along Turkey’s border with Syria because Kurds, Arabs and Christians expelled them with help from the U.S. military. Today, these U.S. allies are running for their lives.

A fighter from the Syrian Democratic Forces, SDF, stands inside a post where U.S. troops were based, in Tel Abyad town, at the Syrian-Turkish border, Syria, Monday, Oct. 7, 2019. 

AP Photo/Ahmad Baderkhan

Analysis & Opinions - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Impacts of U.S. Troop Withdrawal from Syria

Following President Trump’s decision to withdraw troops from northern Syria, Belfer Center experts discussed the impact on America, our allies and adversaries, and the region.

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Journal Article - Journal of Conflict Resolution

Sovereignty Rupture as a Central Concept in Quantitative Measures of Civil War

| May 27, 2019

Empirical studies of the causes or consequences of civil war often use measures that do not correspond to theory and results are sensitive to small changes in the coding of civil wars. Civil war is an instance of “sovereignty rupture” and is inherently a polity-level phenomenon, but that understanding of civil war is not reflected in data in which civil war is coded as a dyadic conflict—the state fighting a domestic challenger. We demonstrate the consequences of conceptual ambiguity about which conflicts to code as civil war and when to code the start and end of a civil war. Using a new data set of civil wars from 1945 to 2016 that is consistent with the concept of sovereignty rupture, we replicate several studies and find that their results are often overturned or weakened when we use our data. We advocate for greater deliberateness in data selection in civil war studies, focusing on the fit between the question of interest and the concept of civil war that is underlying a given data set.

AP Photo/Mohammed Zaatari

AP Photo/Mohammed Zaatari

News

Event Podcast: "Resilience Drivers in the Healthcare System in Times of Conflict: The Case of Lebanon"

Apr. 29, 2019

Audio recording of an April 29, seminar with Dr. Randa S. Hamadeh, Director, Primary Healthcare and Social Health department, Ministry of Public Health, Lebanon.

Co-sponsored by the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.