Middle East and North Africa Publications

Democratic Transitions and the Problem of Power (Spring 2014)

Apr 17, 2014
Ottaway writes that three years after the beginning of the Arab uprisings, Tunisia and Egypt are moving in different directions. Tunisia is moving in a democratic direction because well-established political and civil society organizations counterbalance each other, forcing compromise. In Egypt, politics pitted the Muslim Brotherhood against the military and other state institution, inevitably leading to the triumph of the state. A new process of democratization is unlikely to start without other uprisings. more

Iran, the Next Five Years: Change or More of the Same? (Spring 2014)

Apr 03, 2014
On March 26, 2014, the Middle East Program convened the second of three meetings on Iran under President Hassan Rouhani, this time exploring possible trends and developments in the next five years under the Rouhani presidency. This publication brings together the papers presented at our second meeting in the current series. more

Iranian Nuclear Talks Plow Ahead

Mar 26, 2014
Despite a spiraling crisis in Ukraine and discontent in Israel and Saudi Arabia, the Iranian nuclear talks have hit their stride. At a meeting in March in Vienna, Iran and six major powers talked through the nitty-gritty of intractable issues, even if both sides made clear that it was too early to expect any breakthroughs. more

MENA Women: Opportunities and Obstacles in 2014

Mar 06, 2014
On the occasion of International Women’s Day 2014, the Middle East Program at the Wilson Center invited a cross-section of women activists, politicians, academics, and entrepreneurs to give us their views on the situation for women in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). This publication, “MENA Women: Opportunities and Obstacles in 2014” includes pieces from 44 women from 22 countries including Egypt, Yemen, Lebanon, and other countries in the MENA region, plus the United States, Austria, Indonesia, and Sudan, who shared with us their concerns and hopes for women. more

Iraq: Tackling Corruption and Sectarianism is More Critical than the Outcome of Elections

Mar 05, 2014
Iraqis are heading to the polls at the end of April. More important than the results of these elections are fundamental issues confronting the country such as the economy's utter reliance on oil, the prevalence of corruption in every sector, and the deepening sectarianism that is impacting political and economic decisions. more

Reflections on Iran’s Tumultuous Revolution: 35 Years Later

Feb 11, 2014
Iran marked the 35th anniversary of its Islamic Revolution on February 11. Shaul Bakhash, who witnessed the revolution first-hand, reflects on the revolution’s tumultuous birth and its legacy and how it differed from the still-born revolution in Egypt during the Arab Spring. more

Egypt’s Referendum: The Constitution is not the Issue

Jan 17, 2014
The Egyptian referendum was not about the content of the constitution, but about the popularity of the military. Thus, it is not the first step toward democracy in Egypt. The United States has nothing to gain by embracing this regime. It should not condemn it, preach to it, or try to change it, because it would not work. But it should not go to the opposite extreme of praising it for leading the country to democracy. Rather, it should keep its neutrality and its distance. more

The Hague Tribunal and the Hariri Assassination

Jan 14, 2014
On January 16 in The Hague, the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) will open the trial of the suspects in the assassination of former Prime Minister of Lebanon Rafiq Hariri and 21 others who died with him. This trial can be important for Lebanon, for the region, and for the United Nations' tribunals because it carries the hope of ending a culture of impunity in Lebanon and in introducing a new culture that chooses the courts and the rule of law over revenge, retribution, and violence in the Middle East. The outcome of the trial has stark implications for the future of Lebanon and for international justice. more

Can the Iran Nuclear Issue be Resolved?

Jan 06, 2014
Following the interim P5+1 deal with Iran, the world has never been this close to resolving the Iranian nuclear issue. There is no doubt that a de-escalation in Western relations with Tehran will help usher in a more cooperative and less threatening Iran whose domestic political dynamics would positively influence the region as a whole. more

A Dream Constitution

Dec 17, 2013
One year ago, Egypt was marred by a democratically-elected, autocratic, theocratic president and a deeply flawed constitution. Looking back at the past six months, the fact that Egypt was given a second lease on life and a chance to rewrite the constitution seems like a fairy tale. Is our new constitution a dream constitution? More importantly, could it be a dream that will not come true? 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.