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Middle East Program Publications

The Middle East Program publishes occasional reports, papers, policy briefs, and annual reviews written by scholars and staff, in addition to books written by Wilson fellows. Our publications take deep dives into key issues and policy debates in the Middle East and North Africa, providing essential context and data for researchers and policy makers alike.

MEP's Latest Collaborations

  • Read On the Horizon 2023 | Middle East

    Experts at the Middle East Program outline key trends and actors to follow in the region in 2023. The most pressing issue to US foreign policy is Iran's nuclear weapons capability. 

    Three more things to watch: In November 2023, COP28 will convene in Abu Dhabi, representing an unprecedented year of climate discussions in a region that is fatefully linked to the climate crisis. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has sent shockwaves throughout the energy markets and has resulted in realignments of supply and demand, elevating the role of Middle East energy producers, especially Saudi Arabia and Qatar. And, the fall 2022 death of Mahsa Amini in police custody in Tehran has provoked mass protests and even calls for regime change across Iran.

  • Read Criminalization of Gender-Based Violence: A Legal Obligation

    Moushira Khattab, recently named the First Female President of Egypt’s Human Rights Council, contributed a chapter to the Wilson Center's publication titled, Pathways to Justice: Gender-Based Violence and the Rule of Law that calls on Egypt to formally criminalize violence against women and girls. This publication aims to focus on the intersection of GBV and the rule of law by examining how legal frameworks, judicial system responses, and public policy contribute to the ways in which gender-based violence is—and is not—addressed around the world.

  • Read Building a Better Lebanon

    Lebanon is reeling from a compound balance-sheet crisis that the World Bank has described as the country’s worst since the 1850s. This once-in-a-century disaster was precipitated by the final breakdown of an economy akin to a Ponzi scheme, in which political elites enriched themselves with financial inflows to the country’s banking system while neglecting national development priorities.

    In this report, the co-authors explore the best way out of this crisis. Against a general backdrop of weak institutional capacity and growing instability, the authors argue that any reform program for Lebanon should be simple, transparent, and most importantly managed by a credible government of reform. Advocating a combination of measures, they highlight immediate steps needed to stop the financial hemorrhaging of the Lebanese banking system before embarking on a gradual journey toward structural transformation and reform. In the heat of the present crisis, Lebanon must maneuver toward a productive economy away from the dominant financial sector through initiatives supporting business capacity, entrepreneurs, and skills development. If these steps are taken immediately, and throughout the coming political cycle, Lebanon may yet be rescued and put on a path to recovery. 

  • Read Venezuela’s Authoritarian Allies: The Ties That Bind?


    This new book explores the international dimensions of regime survival in Venezuela and examines the ways that international allies of Nicolás Maduro’s authoritarian government have assisted it in surviving a calamitous period of economic decline, punishing US economic sanctions, and internal pressures for political change.

    Edited by Cynthia J. Arnson, the book aims to fill an important gap in the understanding of the international dimensions of the Venezuelan crisis. It details how a range of international allies—Russia, China, Cuba, India, Turkey, and Iran—have aligned with Caracas for a variety of economic, political, ideological, and geostrategic reasons. Understanding the diversity of these interests and motivations is key to determining how, if at all, the relationships might be modified.

  • Read Russia in the Middle East: National Security Challenges for the United States and Israel in the Biden Era

    As a new administration takes shape, with heightened US-Russian tensions on a global level and conflict as a distinct possibility, Russia’s role in the Middle East is a strategic challenge and an urgent concern both to Israel and the United States in such sensitive arenas as Syria and Iran and in the cyber and technological domains.