1179 Items

Adobe Stock Photo of the Middle East

Adobe Stock Photo

Paper - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

The Gulf Moment and the Making of the Khaleeji State

| Apr. 05, 2024

The paper argues for putting aside the old rentier state paradigm that has long dominated Gulf literature, considering the emergence of both the Gulf Moment and the United Arab Emirates Momentum (henceforth UAE Momentum). Instead, it offers a novel analytical concept of the Khaleeji state, incorporating both the exceptionalist and normalist approaches to Gulf studies. The Khaleeji state is also a way to comprehend the unfolding of the Gulf Moment. The term Gulf Moment indicates the profound influence that the Arab Gulf States (AGS) maintain over the rest of the Arab world at the turn of the twenty-first century. The UAE momentum is currently the main engine of the Gulf Moment.

Tunisian designated Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi, right, delivers his speech at the parliament before a confidence vote in Tunis, Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2020.

(AP Photo/Riadh Dridi)

Journal Article - Comparative Political Studies

Who Supports Gender Quotas in Transitioning and Authoritarian States in the Middle East and North Africa?

| Mar. 12, 2024

What are the drivers of citizens’ support for electoral gender quotas in transitioning and authoritarian states? Despite extensive research examining public support for women in politics in democracies, we know little about how the public perceives them in less democratic settings. To address this shortcoming, we use original survey data from authoritarian Morocco and transitioning Tunisia – two Arab countries hailed for their progressive gender policies. We argue that in these countries where citizens lack political information, they instead rely on their assessment of the government’s performance to form attitudes toward gender quotas. Furthermore, electoral legitimacy plays an important role in shaping citizens’ support for quotas, which are closely linked to how elections and legislatures operate. The findings offer strong support for our theoretical expectations and uncover important gender differences.

People protest against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government in Tel Aviv, Israel, Saturday, March 2, 2024.

(AP Photo/Leo Correa)

Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Affairs

The Day After—in Israel

| Mar. 08, 2024

For the moment, Israel’s priorities are to secure the release of the remaining hostages, eliminate Hamas’s military capabilities, and ensure the safe return of hundreds of thousands of Israeli citizens to their communities in both the north and south of the country. But Israel must also take more far-reaching steps to avoid another October 7. To that aim, the state must ramp up defense spending and reinforce its borders. Diplomacy with the Palestinians must be part of the picture, but any mutual arrangement for governing Palestinian areas will have to include strong provisions to prevent the emergence of a remilitarized Palestinian territory. Any progress on longer-term objectives, such as a two-state solution—which is currently perceived as unfeasible and even detached from reality by most Israelis—will require both the support of the United States and normalization of relations with Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries.

A conversation between Harvard Kennedy School Professor Tarek Masoud and Dalal Saeb Iriqat, a columnist and Palestinian academic. The event, held Thursday, was part of a series of dialogues on the Middle East hosted by Masoud.


Newspaper Article - The Boston Globe

After Backlash, Harvard Professor Holds Tense Conversation on Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

| Mar. 07, 2024

Tarek Masoud, who questioned Iriqat’s views of Oct. 7 and how a two-state solution could be achieved during the event, said in an interview later on Thursday that he was “reasonably confident and hopeful” the discussion was an opportunity for learning, and added he appreciated that Iriqat “did not deny the atrocities of Oct. 7.” Understanding the Palestinian perspective is critical for moving toward peace and a two-state solution, Masoud said. Masoud and Iriqat agreed to discuss her controversial social media posts during the dialogue. Iriqat said that she did not intend to justify the violence on Oct. 7, which included kidnappings of children and elderly, beheadings, and massacres of civilians, but meant to place the attack in the context of a decades-long conflict. She was intensely critical of Israel throughout the conversation, saying the “settler-colonial project started 76 years ago.”

PM Yitzhak Rabin and U.S. Ambassador to Israel Edward Djerejian prepare to shake hands at the beginning of their first meeting held at Rabin’s Tel Aviv office on Jan. 14, 1994. Djerejian and Rabin were expected to discuss the planned summit in Geneva between U.S. President Bill Clinton and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

(AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

Analysis & Opinions - Harvard Kennedy School PolicyCast

Two peoples. Two states. Why U.S. diplomacy in Israel and Palestine needs vision, partners, and a backbone

| Feb. 29, 2024

Former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Ed Djerejian says Israeli Prime Minister Yitzak Rabin once told him, “There is no military solution to this conflict, only a political one.” Rabin was assassinated a few years later, and today bullets are flying, bombs are falling, and 1,200 Israelis are dead after the Hamas terrorist attacks of October 7 and nearly 30,000 Gazans have been killed in the Israeli response. Yet Djerejain still believes that a breakthrough is possible even in the current moment, as horrible as it is. Djerejian, a senior fellow at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Relations, says the crisis has shaken the regional status quo to the point where—if the United States pursues diplomacy that includes principled pragmatism, coalition-building, and good old-fashioned backbone—a breakthrough may finally be possible. But in a recent paper he argues that any breakthrough will have to be built around a two-state solution, which he says is the only path to peace and stability not only in Israel and Palestine, but the wider Middle East. Djerejian’s career as a diplomat spanned eight U.S. presidential administrations beginning with John F. Kennedy’s, and he also served as U.S. Ambassador to Syria and Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs.  

People take photographs near a John Harvard statue, left, Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2024, on the campus of Harvard University, in Cambridge, Mass.

(AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Analysis & Opinions - Wall Street Journal

Students Aren’t the Obstacle to Open Debate at Harvard

| Feb. 22, 2024

Professors hear a great deal these days about how hard it is to get our students to listen to, much less to engage with, opinions they dislike. The problem, we are told, is that students are either “snowflakes” with fragile psyches or “authoritarians” who care more about their pet causes than about democratic values such as tolerance, compromise and respect for opposing points of view. Students at Harvard, where I teach, returned from winter break in January to an institution that appeared determined to tackle this problem head-on. An email from the undergraduate dean reminded them that “The purpose of a Harvard education is not to shield you from ideas you dislike or to silence people you disagree with; it is to enable you to confront challenging ideas, interrogate your own beliefs, make up your mind and learn to think for yourself."

In April 2013, Prime Minister Salam Fayyad attends Palestinian government cabinet meeting in the West Bank city of Ramallah. He urges for new elections and says it's the only way to heal a bitter rift between the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed

Analysis & Opinions - The New York Times

Building the Palestinian State

| Feb. 09, 2024

“If only we had a partner for peace.”

That’s been the refrain in the Israel-Palestinian conflict for as long as I’ve followed it. But the truth is you don’t need just a partner; you need two partners able to deliver at the same time.

Please listen here for an interview with MEI Senior Fellow, Dr. Salam Fayyad, on 'The Ezra Klein Show' podcast with the New York Times.