Reports & Papers

26 Items

An Egyptian youth carries a lit flare


Discussion Paper - International Security Program, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

The Muslim Brotherhood Movement in the Arab Winter

| September 2017

Although it may seem that the Muslim Brotherhood has weakened since the onset of the "Arab Winter" in 2013 and onward, organizations with their origins in the Brotherhood still have access to power in countries as diverse as Somalia, Bahrain, Morocco, and Yemen, and might regain power in other countries as well. Most Brotherhood-affiliated movements are committed to some form of democracy, unlike many of their rivals in the Middle East. Even the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia have sought allies among Brotherhood affiliates, despite banning a majority of affiliated organizations.  A critical dialogue can promote Brotherhood thinking that supports political consensus, ease the transition to a more stable Middle East, and support a positive direction in political Islam.

Report - Hate Speech International

Continuity and Change: The Evolution and Resilience of Al-Shabab's Media Insurgency, 2006–2016

| November 2016

A new report from Hate Speech International examines the history and evolution of al-Shabab's media operations capabilities and narrative messaging. The report gives particular attention to their strategic use and position within the insurgents' broader strategy of territorial control, survival, and rule in light of shifts on the ground inside Somalia and, since 2012, increasingly in neighboring countries such as Kenya.

Report - Middle East Initiative, Belfer Center

The Crisis of the Arab State

August 11, 2015

During the spring 2015 semester, Professor Michael C. Hudson assembled eight leading Middle East scholars under the auspices of the Middle East Initiative at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs to participate in a study group titled Rethinking the Arab State: the Collapse of Legitimacy in Arab Politics. Over the course of the semester these experts used a variety of interdisciplinary approaches to  analyze the crisis of legitimacy of the Arab state in the wake of the 2011 uprisings.

Young men hand out flyers in support of the Muslim Brotherhood outside a polling station in Cairo, Egypt.

Getty Images

Paper - Project on Middle East Political Science

Why Do Islamists Provide Services, and What Do Those Services Do?

| Oct. 09, 2014

"The scholarly literature has long argued that one of the reasons that parties like the Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt are able to earn the loyalties of voters is through their provision of health, welfare, and educational services that the cash-strapped states of the Arab world are increasingly unable (or unwilling) to provide. However, in recent years, the provision of social services by Islamist parties has gone from being an explanation of Islamist success to something to be explained in itself."

Discussion Paper

Iran and Weapons of Mass Destruction: The Military Dynamics of Nonproliferation

| March 2013

Ambiguity in Iran's weapon acquisition dynamics exacerbates mistrust, which is the core reason for the present standoff at the negotiating table. This paper elucidates the Iranian military's capability and intention by delving into the main componential elements of weapon acquisition.

Discussion Paper - International Security Program, Belfer Center

Perceptions and Narratives of Security: The Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps and the Iran-Iraq War

| May 2012

This paper explores the importance of the Iran-Iraq War for the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) by analyzing how the Guards have used the war to present their positions on Iran's national security.


Muslims in America

| October 2011

The perception of Muslims living in the United States has deteriorated dramatically since the terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001. U.S.-Muslims, a group that had already faced discrimination prior to the attacks, became even more visible to the public.Non-Muslim Americans began questioning American Muslim loyalties to the United States as well as their commitment to being “good” citizens. Such doubt extended to the political arena as well, prompting intrusive inquiries into Muslim-affiliated civic and political organizations and their members. Even non-Muslims with Muslim affiliations or Muslim-sounding names or appearances have been subject to public scrutiny.

Shia youths from the Pakistani Kurram tribal area stage a mock scene during a rally demanding peace in their region, near the Presidential House, in Islamabad, Pakistan, Apr. 25, 2011.

AP Photo

Paper - Combating Terrorism Center

Shiism and Sectarian Conflict in Pakistan: Identity Politics, Iranian Influence, and Tit-for-Tat Violence

| September 2010

"Western analysts can no longer afford to ignore the growing potential for sectarian violence in Pakistan, for uncontrolled sectarian violence can destabilize Pakistan and the region at large. Internally, sectarian groups prefer to conduct their attacks in the Punjab, the center of gravity of the country's military and political elite. Attacks against Pakistan's Shia are also bound to have regional implications, since they can further stoke tensions between Pakistan and its neighbor Iran, a Shia-majority state."

Report - Institute for Social Policy and Understanding

Tackling Muslim Radicalization: Lessons from Scotland

| June 2010

THE 9/11 ATTACK upon the United States awakened Washington to the danger of violent Muslim radicalization on its soil. In the long term, the only way to defeat radical Islamists is to reduce the motivation for Muslims to radicalize in the first place. The report explains the cutting-edge solution currently operating in Scotland.