About the Middle East Program

The Middle East Program combines the intellectual grounding of its scholars with the power of its convening space to produce actionable ideas for policymakers around the world. Our Program offers a breath and depth of programming on the prevailing economic, political, and social norms in the MENA region. We pay special attention to the role of women, the aspirations of the younger generation; and democratic and autocratic tendencies in governance. MORE

The Latest from the Middle East Program


Iran’s Nuclear Chess: Calculating America’s Moves

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July 21, 2014 // 12:00pm1:15pm
The P5+1 and Iran have been negotiating since last January under a six-month deadline to convert an interim nuclear accord into a final agreement. Please join us for this meeting, scheduled one day after that deadline, to address the outcome of the negotiations—whether successful in yielding an agreement, extended to allow further negotiations, or at a point of breakdown. What are the implications for U.S. policy toward Iran moving forward? The meeting will feature discussion of the new Middle East Program monograph by Robert Litwak, vice president for scholars and director of international security studies at the Wilson Center. more

MENA Women's News Brief

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Jul 01, 2014
The Middle East Program will send out the latest developments on women’s issues in the Middle East and North Africa region on a bi-monthly basis. more

How to Keep ISIS Terror from U.S. Shores

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Jul 01, 2014
"Iraq was never the U.S.'s to win. That point -- along with lowered expectations and focused goals -- must be the basis of any new approach to the region," writes Aaron David Miller. more

Iraq Needs to Stop Trying to Make 'Inclusive' Happen

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Jul 01, 2014
“Overcoming sectarian divisions won’t solve Iraq’s crisis. Embracing them will,” writes Marina Ottaway. more

In the Mainstream: Religious Extremism in the Middle East and North Africa

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July 11, 2014 // 9:00am11:00am
Religious extremism is becoming more mainstream across Muslim majority countries in the Middle East, Asia and Africa. While violent groups such as Boko Haram and ISIS draw media attention, extremist groups and organizations recruit in communities and operate trans-nationally, using a variety of non-violent tactics too. The targeting and promotion of extremely intolerant views of women that restrict female access to schools, the workplace, and public spaces is a central feature of these movements. These movements are extremely well-funded by regional actors. They promote a clear vision and set of values, claiming the mantle of ethics and morality in the face of corrupt or predatory states. As purveyors of key social services in poor and disenfranchised communities, they have extensive reach and influence. more

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