Middle East & North Africa

490 Items

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.

Analysis & Opinions - The Washington Post

Immigrants Help Keep Americans Safe

| Apr. 01, 2019

By and large, only immigrants can deliver true native language ability and deep cultural understanding. Those with such skills have been in high demand in recent decades. Many have left normal American lives to answer the call. They often have deployed to the world’s most dangerous war zones to serve as contractors alongside U.S. troops and intelligence officers. And a number of them have been killed or wounded.

Security personnel surround Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro during an incident as he was giving a speech in Caracas on Saturday.

(Xinhua/AP)

Analysis & Opinions - The Washington Post

Drone Attacks Are Essentially Terrorism by Joystick

| Aug. 05, 2018

A failed assassination attempt against Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro on Saturday was mounted with explosive-armed drones, according to news reports. Nine days earlier, and on the other side of the world, terrorists claimed to have sent an armed drone to attack the international airport in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates. No one was killed in either case, and the circumstances of both remain murky. But a new and dangerous era in non-state-sponsored terrorism clearly has begun, and no one is adequately prepared to counter it.

 People walk past by an election poster of Turkey's president and ruling Justice and Development Party leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan, left, and Muharrem Ince, presidential candidate of the main opposition Republican People's Party, in Istanbul, Tuesday, June 19, 2018.

AP Photo/Emrah Gurel

Analysis & Opinions - Brookings Institution

Unfair play: Central government spending under Turkey’s AK Party

| June 20, 2018

On June 24, Turkey will go to early presidential and parliamentary polls. The snap elections come amidst significant macroeconomic turmoil. As fears persist over the strength of Turkey’s economy, what can be said about how the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has managed public resources since its arrival into power in 2002? Do patterns of government spending reflect development or economic needs or do political priorities largely dictate how budgets are allocated?

A day after the elections, people walk past a billboard with the image of Turkey's president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in Istanbul, Monday, June 25, 2018.

AP Photo/Emrah Gurel

Analysis & Opinions - Economic Research Forum

Local winners and losers in Erdoğan’s Turkey

| June 19, 2018

Throughout the 2000s, Turkey was portrayed as a model of social and economic success for other countries in the MENA region. Ahead of the country’s early presidential and parliamentary polls, this column reports research evidence on how the ruling Justice and Development Party has managed public resources and fostered local economic development since it took power in 2002. The government has played a substantial role in influencing local economic performance on a discretionary basis.

- Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center Newsletter

Symposium Aims to Reduce Sectarianism in Muslim World

| Summer 2018

The Belfer Center’s Iran Project presented the First Annual Symposium on Islam and Sectarian De-escalation at Harvard Kennedy School on April 14-15. The symposium was organized by Iran Project director Payam Mohseni and co-sponsored by Harvard’s Center for Middle East Studies, the Asia Center, the South Asia Institute, and the Alwaleed Islamic Studies Program. 

Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani

Tasnim News

Analysis & Opinions - The National Interest

Geopolitical Fight Club: Why Iraq Must Square off with Saudi Arabia

| Mar. 26, 2018

High mistrust of Saudi Arabia by Iraqi Shi’as is hampering any meaningful outreach Saudi is undertaking toward Iraq and any policy of balancing Iraq and Iran will not succeed unless serious steps toward sectarian de-escalation is taken in the region. In order to bridge the gap, there needs to be broad religious dialogue to discuss the role of Shia’s and Sunnis in the region and forge a common space for the inclusion of both denominations. Major Grand Ayatollahs—the highest authorities in the Shi’a world—have taken positive steps of forbidding the ritual cursing of certain companions of the Prophet Muhammad and the early caliphs considered reverential to the Sunni community. In this endeavor the role of Ayatollah Sistani in Najaf will be crucial as he has a track record of promoting better relations between Shi’as and Sunnis and is an authoritative moderating figure who can reign in hardline elements in Iraq who might be opposed to a détente.

Sir John Sawers with Sec. Ash Carter and Amb. Nicholas Burns

Benn Craig/ Belfer Center

Analysis & Opinions

Conversations in Diplomacy: Sir John Sawers

| Mar. 01, 2018

In this installment of “Conversations in Diplomacy," the Future of Diplomacy Project's Faculty Director Nicholas Burns is joined by Sir John Sawers, the former Chief of the Secret Intelligence Service, MI6, for a conversation on tackling global security challenges in the digital age and the changing nature of intelligence agencies.