Middle East & North Africa

603 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.

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.

Grand Bazaar, Tehran, Iran

Wikicommons

Analysis & Opinions - The Brookings Institution

Iran’s Economy 40 Years after the Islamic Revolution

| Mar. 14, 2019

Unlike the socialist revolutions of the last century, the Islamic Revolution of Iran did not identify itself with the working class or the peasantry, and did not bring a well-defined economic strategy to reorganize the economy. Apart from eliminating the interest rate from the banking system, which was achieved in name only, the revolution put forward few specific economic policies that could be called an Islamic economic development strategy. To be sure, its populist and pro-poor rhetoric was quite distinct from the Pahlavi regime it replaced, but its actual policies could be found in the toolboxes of most developing countries and international organizations.

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.

Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, meets with his counterpart Turkish Army Gen. Yasar Güler, chief of the Turkish General Staff, at the Turkish General Staff building in Ankara, Turkey, Jan. 8, 2019.

Dominque A. Pineiro/ US Department of Defense

Analysis & Opinions - BBC News

Turkey and the US Clash Over Syria

| Jan. 08, 2019

Turkey and the US have been at loggerheads over Syria in the wake of President Trump's decision to pull US troops out of the country. The Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said that the US national security adviser, John Bolton, had made a serious mistake in suggesting the withdrawal was conditional on Ankara agreeing to security guarantees for US-backed Kurdish fighters.