Middle East and North Africa Publications

We Bomb ISIL: Then What?

Sep 30, 2014
Military action in Iraq and Syria is moving ahead without a political strategy to accompany it. Although the administration argues that defeating ISIL requires the formation of inclusive governments, neither Iraq nor Syria has such government. The absence of a real political strategy will undermine any military success. more

A New Chapter in the Tangled U.S.-Saudi Relationship

Sep 24, 2014
After three years of constant discord, relations between the United States and Saudi Arabia have taken a definite turn for the better as they team up to lead a coalition of Arab and Western nations in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. But the two old partners have different goals and immediate concerns that could come to test once again their long-time tangled relationship. more

Rouhani and the Potential Failure of Nuclear Talks

Sep 17, 2014
In the quick move to resolve the nuclear issue, Rouhani’s calculation was that navigating Iran’s highly contentious domestic environment will become easier with the resolution of Iran’s external issues first. Without a nuclear agreement in hand, his platform of “moderation and prudence” will become more difficult to pursue and implement, but not impossible. more

Barbarians: ISIS’s Mortal Threat to Women

Aug 20, 2014
For this issue of Viewpoints, the Middle East Program reached out to a number of its regular contributors and invited them to share with us their thoughts and concerns on the treatment of women and girls by ISIS. more

Turkey after Erdogan’s Non-Victory

Aug 12, 2014
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan unquestionably won the presidential poll, the first ever direct election of a president by the populace in Turkey. His score of 51.7 percent represents a first round victory, but it is likely to have disappointed the Prime Minister and his close supporters. In fact, less than 24 hours after the conclusion of the contest, the political jockeying that has started reveals Erdogan’s hand may not be as strong as his die-hard supporters claim. Turkey may be entering a period of political turbulence for which there is no precedent. more

Iran’s Nuclear Chess: Calculating America’s Moves

Jul 18, 2014
The new Middle East Program monograph "Iran's Nuclear Chess: Calculating America's Moves" by Robert Litwak, vice president for scholars and director of international security studies at the Wilson Center, addresses the nuclear negotiations between the P5+1 and Iran and the implications for U.S. policy toward Iran. more

The Jordanian Regime and the Muslim Brotherhood: A Tug of War

Jul 15, 2014
The momentum of the Arab Spring has weakened, at least temporarily, in Jordan. This has returned the relationship between Jordan’s Muslim Brotherhood and the Jordanian regime to its historic position of limited engagement rather than full cooperation. Having survived the initial wave of Arab Spring unrest by relying on its traditional political formula, the regime is now confident that it can maintain stability without making major compromises on political or institutional reforms. more

Lebanon without a President: Can Lebanon Weather the Neighborhood Storm?

Jun 19, 2014
The Lebanese Parliament failed to elect a president for the sixth time since the term of President Michel Sleiman expired on May 25, 2014. Due to the lack of Christian consensus, Lebanese sectarian divisions, and regional discord, an early resolution to the vacant presidency is difficult. Despite the void in the presidency, several internal and regional factors, unique to Lebanon, are likely to ensure stability. more

Rouhani: Mixed Bag One Year Later

Jun 10, 2014
Iran’s new president, Hassan Rouhani, is marking the end of his first year in office. He has made a resolution of the nuclear issue and the lifting of sanctions against Iran the center-piece of a broader strategy. He hopes a breakthrough here will open the door for a revival of the Iranian economy, the reintegration of Iran into the international community, a recognition of Iran’s major role in the region and perhaps the loosening up of domestic restrictions on politics and basic freedoms. But he faces formidable opposition from an entrenched ruling elite. more

Egypt: The Closing of the Political Space

Jun 09, 2014
The election of Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to the presidency brings Egypt one step closer to the full implementation of the transitional road map. The last step, the holding of parliamentary elections, is also on schedule. Yet Egypt is not getting closer to democracy. The lopsided result of the presidential elections, with 96.91 of the votes going to al-Sisi, is not a sign of healthy pluralism. The draft of the new parliamentary election law will further hamper pluralism and it will promote fragmentation by reserving about 70 percent of parliamentary seats for independent candidates. more

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Dialogue

The Future of Higher Education

Mar 26, 2014Apr 02, 2014

Jeff Abernathy and Richard Morrill discuss how colleges and universities are dealing with rapidly rising costs and how the United States can still compete for students in a globalized environment.