Middle East and North Africa

Establishing Political Legitimacy in Afghanistan

Thirty thousand new U.S. troops are on their way to Afghanistan. However, even with the arrival of these military reinforcements, the troubled country continues to be convulsed by violence and conflict. According to Thomas J. Barfield, part of the problem is that current efforts to restore stability in Afghanistan have lost sight of historical parallels—and particularly those dealing with legitimacy.

Obama and the Islamic World

During a presentation hosted by the Asia Program and the Middle East Project on December 7, Wilson Center Japan Scholar Satoshi Ikeuchi explored principles and philosophies in the Obama administration's discourse on Islam. He examined public speeches and remarks by Obama and officials in the administration to assess the administration's deliberate efforts in engaging Muslim nations.

Islamism: What Is to Be Said and Done?

"Word choice can make or break the success of what we say," according to Donald K. Emmerson of Stanford University, the featured speaker at a November 30 event organized by the Asia Program and co-sponsored by the Middle East Program. The meanings and usages of "Islamism" and its variants, "Islamist" and "Islamists," are the subject of an ongoing intellectual debate.

Land Grab: The Race for the World's Farmland

The world is experiencing a grain rush. With increasing frequency, wealthy, food-importing, and water-scarce countries—particularly the Arab Gulf states and the rich countries of East Asia—are investing in farmland overseas to meet food security needs. Similarly, the private sector is pursuing farmland deals abroad, with many investors perceiving land as a safe investment in an otherwise shaky financial climate.

Return of the Foxbats: New Light on the Climax of Soviet Military Intervention in the Middle East, 1969-1972

Following the defeat of its Arab clients by Israel in the June 1967 Six Day War, the Soviet Union attempted to salvage and enhance its influence in the Middle East with an unprecedented deployment of Soviet troops and equipment--including MiG-25 aircraft--to Egypt.

From Lisbon to Lisbon: Afghanistan and Russia as Test Cases for the new EU Foreign Policy

Two new positions introduced by the Lisbon Treaty will significantly affect EU's ability to conduct foreign policy: the permanent Presidency of the European Union and the appointment of a High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

Will Buds from the Arab Spring Continue to Blossom?

Sometimes spring comes prematurely, and the tender buds that were promising to blossom can be frozen and destroyed by a resilient winter. Will this be the case for the Arab Spring?

Ripples of the Arab Spring: Revolt and the Role of Women

Pro-democracy rebellions have erupted across the Middle East since December 2010 in what has become known as the Arab Spring. Revolutions—first in Tunisia, then in Egypt—resulted in the ouster of long-time dictators. Civil unrest and protests have raged on from Yemen to Bahrain, from Libya to Syria, and beyond.

Internships with the Middle East Program

***Please note that due to the volume of applications received each term we cannot reply to each one. We will contact only those we wish to interview for a position.