Middle East & North Africa

582 Items

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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.

Saudi Arabia’s Moment in the Sun

AP/Donna Fenn Heintzen

Analysis & Opinions - Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Saudi Arabia’s Moment in the Sun

| May 07, 2019

As part of a high profile tour of China in February, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS) has overseen a range of multi-billion dollar pledges and MOUs with Beijing. This partly reflects Riyadh’s desire to diversify sources for investments and technology following the mass withdrawal of major Western business leaders from the Future Investment Initiative in October 2018, after the murder of Saudi Journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Embassy in Istanbul. Yet cooperation with China on renewable energy, if successful, would realize a significant first step towards Saudi Arabia’s lofty ambitions for solar and wind power.

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.

A funeral ceremony in Kobani, Syria

Wikicommons

Journal Article - E-International Relations (E-IR)

Societal (In)Security in the Middle East: Radicalism as a Reaction?

| Apr. 24, 2019

Societal insecurity, stemming from historical and functional realities has emboldened the identity-based gap of states vs. societies in the Arab region. The division of the Ottoman Empire into new states without much attention to identity lines, created a historical identity challenge in those states. On the other hand, Arab ruling elites’ efforts to enforce state-centred identities failed to prevent the challenge of conflicting identities. Later on, their functional inefficiencies emboldened the identity dichotomy.

As a result of threats perceived by Arab societies against their collective identity as well as separate challenges facing each state, the state-society gap continues to challenge state identities. Collectively perceived threats create and strengthen collective frameworks intended to address those threats. And among other frameworks come radical and terrorist organisations.

Windfall, by Meghan O'Sullivan

Simon & Schuster

Analysis & Opinions - LinkedIn

Energy Abundance and the Environment: An Interview with Meghan L. O’Sullivan, Part 2

    Author:
  • Scott Nyquist
| Apr. 03, 2019

The subtitle tells the story. In the early 2000s, many pundits and politicians talked up “peak oil”, “energy scarcity,” and all that. In a geological heartbeat later—about a decade—the world had entered an era of “energy abundance,” largely due to innovations that allowed producers to crack into shale formations to release massive new sources of oil and gas. The United States has gone furthest and fastest in fracking and is setting records for oil and gas production. For the US, says O’Sullivan, this has been an economic, strategic, and environmental game-changer. For the rest of the world, the effects are more differentiated but hardly less profound.

Windfall, by Meghan O'Sullivan

Simon & Schuster

Analysis & Opinions - LinkedIn

What energy abundance means for geopolitics: An interview with Meghan L. O’Sullivan, part 1 by Scott Nyquist

    Author:
  • Scott Nyquist
| Mar. 26, 2019

The subtitle tells the story. In the early 2000s, many pundits and politicians talked up “peak oil,” “energy scarcity,” and all that. In a geological heartbeat later—about a decade—the world had entered an era of “energy abundance,” largely due to innovations that allowed producers to crack into shale formations to release massive new sources of oil and gas. The United States has gone furthest and fastest in fracking and is setting records for oil and gas production. For the US, says O’Sullivan, this has been an economic, strategic, and environmental game-changer. For the rest of the world, the effects are more differentiated but hardly less profound.

Syrian army soldier stands at a check-point

AP/Sergei Grits

Analysis & Opinions - Haaretz

The Assad Regime Won Syria's Civil War. Can It Survive an Israeli Attack?

| Mar. 10, 2019

Chuck Freilich writes that the Syrian conflict has triggered Israel's primal fear: the threat of an entrenched Iranian presence on its borders. If a resurgent, unreliable Russia doesn't step in, then Assad and his army will be Israel's first targets.

The US-China Trade War and its Implications for Saudi Arabia

AP/NASA TV

Analysis & Opinions - Global Policy

The US-China Trade War and its Implications for Saudi Arabia

| Feb. 12, 2019

As American and Chinese trade representatives continue to discuss the two countries’ ongoing trade war, the architects of Middle East’s ambitious renewable energy policies are watching closely for opportunities to expand their burgeoning green industries. Regional leaders from across industry, government, and academia have recently gathered at the World Future Energy Summit and the Jubail Energy Management Conference, and the trade war has been high on the agenda.