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  • Author: Geoffrey Aronson
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: This section covers items—reprinted articles, statistics, and maps—pertaining to Israeli settlement activities in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights. Unless otherwise stated, the items have been written by Geoffrey Aronson for this section or drawn from material written by him for Report on Israeli Settlement in the Occupied Territories (hereinafter Settlement Report ), a Washington-based bimonthly newsletter published by the Foundation for Middle East Peace. JPS is grateful to the foundation for permission to draw on its material.
  • Political Geography: Washington, Middle East, Israel
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: With the approach of the annual UN General Assembly (UNGA) session and the Palestinians not yet completely de- cided on whether to go ahead with a bid for full membership in the world body, the U.S. in late August 2011 stepped up efforts to avert the move. These included pressure on the Palestinians to accept a proposal by the Middle East Quartet (the U.S., EU, Russia, and the UN) to revive Israeli-Palestinian peace talk in lieu of their statehood bid. U.S. envoys pre- sented several formulas, but the Pales- tinians found them insufficient and not serious, and said that even if a viable proposal were presented, the statehood bid would proceed (see Quarterly Update in this issue for details). The U.S. urged its Quartet partners to issue a statement on reviving talks nonetheless, believing it would give the U.S. leverage to argue that an alternative to the statehood bid still existed through negotiations, and that until all negotiating prospects were exhausted unilateral Palestinian steps should be opposed.
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, United Nations
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: The UN Committee on the Admission of New Members, comprising representatives of the fifteen serving members of the UN Security Council (UNSC), considered the Palestinian application at a number of meetings between 28 September and 8 November, the date it completed its final report. In addition to the five permanent members (the U.S., France, Great Britain, Russia, and China), the rotating members during this period were Bosnia, Brazil, Colombia, Gabon, Germany, India, Lebanon, Nigeria, Portugal, and South Africa. The report was formally accepted by the UNSC on 11 November.
  • Political Geography: Britain, Africa, China, New York, Bosnia, Middle East, India, France, Brazil, Colombia, Palestine, Germany, United Nations, Nigeria, Portugal
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: This confidential memo to Secy. of State Condoleezza Rice and the State Department's Near East Affairs Bureau was published by WikiLeaks on 30 August 2011, sparking controversy in Jordan for revealing the tensions between Jordanians of East Bank and Palestinian origin and the extent to which many Palestinian and Jordanian figures assume that the right of return has become unattainable. Titled "The Right of Return: What It Means in Jordan," the analysis was written by then-ambassador David Hale, currently the Obama administration's special envoy to the Middle East peace process. It summarizes the views of various Jordanians (East Bankers and Palestinians) regarding the Palestinian refugee population in the kingdom, and their concerns regarding Israeli-Palestinian final status. It has been described as "the best single short treatment of the topic in any language, drawing out the many tensions and nuances around the issue." The text was taken from the WikiLeaks website at www.wikileaks.org.
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Palestine
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: This section lists articles and reviews of books relevant to Palestine and the Arab-Israeli conflict. Entries are classified under the following headings: Reference and General; History (through 1948) and Geography; Palestinian Politics and Society; Jerusalem; Israeli Politics, Society, and Zionism; Arab and Middle Eastern Politics; International Relations; Law; Military; Economy, Society, and Education; Literature, Arts, and Culture; Book Reviews; and Reports Received.
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arabia
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: In November 2011, the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) alerted us to an erroneous citation in an article by Ilan Pappé published in the autumn 2006 issue of the Journal of Palestine Studies under the title "The 1948 Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine." In that article, Dr. Pappé combined sections from several chapters of the manuscript that was soon to become his The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine , published in 2006 by One World Press of Oxford, England.
  • Political Geography: America, Middle East, Palestine, Arabia, England
  • Author: Simon Henderson
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: al Nakhlah
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: While Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has garnered significant media attention, its role in the Middle East raises legal issues that are not currently being explored. With AQAP having presences in Saudi Arabia and Yemen, questions arise as to which legal frameworks can be utilized: international humanitarian law, human rights law, or criminal law. This paper will discuss some of these issues, with a particular focus on international humanitarian law.
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Yemen, Arabia, Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Rizwan Ladha
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: al Nakhlah
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: In November 2011, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) released a much-anticipated report on the Iranian nuclear program, highlighting the fact that Iran has made significant progress on research and development toward a possible nuclear weapons program. Nonetheless, the report concluded that Iran's leaders had yet to make the decision to actively pursue the bomb.
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Yukiko Miyagi
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: Japan's vital interests, both its energy security and US alliance, are at stake in the Middle East. Change in Japan's Middle East policy is charted over three periods, from a stance independent of the United States to one increasingly aligned with US policy. This is explained in terms of four variables: level of US hegemony, threats in East Asia, energy vulnerabilities in the Middle East, and normative change inside Japan. Japan's policy in Middle East/North Africa reflects its general move toward a more militarily enhanced version of mercantile realism.
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, Middle East, East Asia
  • Author: Hyon Joo Yoo
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: Since the 1990s, Japan and the Republic of Korea have chosen dissimilar policy options with respect to the US-led missile defense (MD) systems in East Asia. What explains the two countries' dissimilar MD strategies? Inspired by neoclassical realism, this study introduces a framework of domestic hurdles that combines Randall Schweller's cohesion model and Jeffry Taliaferro's resource extraction model. It sheds light on the degree of elite cohesion and social and economic impediments as key causal determinants that impede balancing against external threats. Although the influence of systemic variables that suppose optimal policy options, such as balancing, domestic hurdles impede or delay such options. This study will provide useful contributions to international relations by offering comparative and theoretical analyses on different paths that Tokyo and Seoul have chosen for their MD policies.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: Japan, Middle East, South Korea
  • Author: Christopher W. Hughes
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: Makoto Iokibe is, without question, the leading academic and public intellectual of his generation working on issues of Japan's diplomacy both historically and in the contemporary period. Iokibe has done great service for the Japanese academy in his authoritative studies of United States–Japan relations, and in his contribution to public life through performing key roles on prime ministerial advisory commissions and as president of the National Defense Academy. Iokibe is also known for helping to nurture a generation of highly talented Japanese researchers in the fields of diplomatic history and contemporary international relations.
  • Political Geography: Japan, Middle East
  • Author: Shogo Suzuki
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: At a time when American power is seen by many pundits to be in decline, one of the most important and pressing security issues that continue to capture the attention of the policy and scholarly communities is the rise of China and the threat it may pose to the global order. The People's Republic of China (PRC) is the last remaining communist great power, and its different system of governance makes it the 'odd one out' in the post-Cold War international community, with seemingly different values which are often antithetical to the West. This, coupled with its rapidly growing economic, political, and military power, is what makes China a source of anxiety. As China is not a democracy, is it more prone to belligerent behavior? Furthermore, how long is it going to be satisfied with the status quo, where Western liberal democracies have long been in a position to set the 'rules of the game'? Is Beijing going to use its newly found power to challenge Western dominance?
  • Political Geography: China, Middle East
  • Author: Daniel Byman
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Political Science Quarterly
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: DANIEL BYMAN discusses the diplomatic and security implications of the Arab Spring. He finds that new alignments have begun in the Arab world and that the regionʼs stability is being shaken. He argues that these changes affect an array of declared U.S. interests.
  • Topic: Security, Regime Change
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: George Michael
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Nonproliferation Review
  • Institution: James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies
  • Abstract: In his book Ron Rosenbaum warns that the predictable yet potentially catastrophic bipolar nuclear world of the Cold War era has given way to a chaotic state of nuclear multipolarity. Although deterrence seems to have worked during the Cold War, Rosenbaum fears that a concatenation of events involving regional nuclear states has the potential to escalate into a global conflagration. Previously, proliferation had been mainly vertical, in the sense that the nuclear powers added more and more weapons to their stockpiles. Today, as Rosenbaum notes, the pattern has been reversed as the major nuclear powers have drastically reduced their arsenals, but more countries aspire to acquire nuclear weapons. Most worrisome for Rosenbaum is the Middle East, a region beset with a myriad of religious and sectarian conflicts.
  • Topic: Cold War
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Pirooz Izadi
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: Relations between Iran and France have undergone many ups and downs during the past three decades. However, these relations have been on a downward spiral during the past several years. It seems that factors such as recent developments in the Middle East, Iran's nuclear dossier and the two countries' divergent approaches to foreign policy are responsible for this new situation. This article tries to answer the question of why relations between the two countries have reached their lowest point. The author uses the concepts developed in the framework of neo-realist theories emphasizing the necessity of preventing the rise of regional hegemonic powers to argue that France's concerns about Iran's increasing influence in the region, their conflict of interests at the regional level, and Iran's efforts to acquire nuclear technology - which contributes to the enhancement of its influence and can escalate their conflict to the international level - constitute the most important reasons for the unfriendly relations between the two countries.
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, France
  • Author: Rashid I. Khalidi
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: THIS ISSUE OF the Journal of Palestine Studies goes to press between May 15 and June 7 2012, the sixty-fourth anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba and the forty-fifth anniversary of the occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, East Jerusalem, the Sinai Peninsula, and the Golan Heights. The lives of every Palestinian, and of many others, have been indelibly marked by these two seminal sets of events, which changed the course of the history of Palestine and the entire Middle East. These two markers of loss have defined many of the concerns of the Journal over its more than forty years of publication. During this time, it has been part of a broad effort to redefine the understanding of the meaning and valence of these two milestones.
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Palestine, Sinai Peninsula
  • Author: Geoffrey Aronson
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: This section covers items-reprinted articles, statistics, and maps-pertaining to Israeli settlement activities in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights. Unless otherwise stated, the items have been written by Geoffrey Aronson for this section or drawn from material written by him for Report on Israeli Settlement in the Occupied Territories (hereinafter Settlement Report), a Washington-based bimonthly newsletter published by the Foundation for Middle East Peace. JPS is grateful to the foundation for permission to draw on its material.
  • Political Geography: Washington, Middle East, Israel, Egypt
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: It has been ten years since the four most powerful players in the Middle East peace process-the United States, the European Union, Russia, and the United Nations-came together under the diplomatic umbrella known as the Quartet. Formed in response to the outbreak of the second intifada in late 2000 and the collapse of peace negotiations a few months later, the Quartet appeared ideally suited for dealing with the seemingly intractable con!ict between Israelis and Palestinians. Its small but powerful membership allowed it to act swiftly and decisively, while its informal structure gave it the !exibility needed to navigate crises and adapt to changing developments on the ground.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Washington, Middle East, United Nations
  • Author: Norbert Scholz
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: This section lists articles and reviews of books relevant to Palestine and the Arab-Israeli conflict. Entries are classified under the following headings: Reference and General; History (through 1948) and Geography; Palestinian Politics and Society; Jerusalem; Israeli Politics, Society, and Zionism; Arab and Middle Eastern Politics; International Relations; Law; Military; Economy, Society, and Education; Literature, Arts, and Culture; Book Reviews; and Reports Received.
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arabia
  • Author: Ephraim Inbar
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Despite all the optimism accompanying the uprisings of 2011, the Arab Middle East remains a stagnant region in deep socio—political crisis with little chance for positive change anytime soon. The current regimes may stay in power or get replaced by new dictatorships, moderate or radical. Either way, in the near future, weak states will continue to grapple with domestic problems and the direction of their foreign policies. For good reason, this situation has Israeli leaders worried about the implications for their country's national security. The changing regional balance of power favors Turkey and Iran, both of whom encourage radical elements in the region, not Israel, while the seeming decline in U.S. clout has negatively affected both the Arab—Israeli peace process and Israel's deterrent power.
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Turkey, Middle East, Israel, Arabia
  • Author: Jon B. Alterman, Haim Malka
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The security architecture that the United States helped establish after the Cold War in the Eastern Mediterranean is crumbling. That architecture emphasized two triangular partnerships: U.S.—Turkey—Israel and U.S.—Egypt— Israel. Each had its origin in the Cold War and gained new emphasis afterwards as a cornerstone of U.S. efforts to promote Middle Eastern stability. Yet the evolution of internal politics in Turkey over the last decade, combined with more recent shifts in Egypt, have brought to the fore civilian politicians who are openly critical of such partnerships and who have sidelined the partnerships' military proponents. The demise of these two triangles has profound implications for Israeli security, as well as for the U.S. military and diplomatic role in the Eastern Mediterranean. The changing geometry of U.S. relationships in the Eastern Mediterranean is part of a set of broader trends that make it more difficult for the United States to shape outcomes and set agendas in the region. This change in particular is likely to force the United States to emphasize bilateral relationships and ad hoc direct action in the future, placing a greater demand on ongoing U.S. management than has been the case in the past.
  • Political Geography: United States, Turkey, Middle East, Israel, Egypt
  • Author: Ömer Taşpınar
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: For most of the 20th century, Turkey chose not to get involved in Middle Eastern affairs. During the past decade, however, in a remarkable departure from this Kemalist tradition (based on the ideology of the republic's founder, Mustafa Kemal Atatu¨rk), Ankara has become a very active and important player in the region. Under the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government since 2002, Turkey has established closer ties with Syria, Iran, and Iraq, assumed a leadership position in the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), attended Arab League conferences, and contributed to UN forces in Lebanon. It has also mediated in the Syrian—Israeli conflict as well as the nuclear standoff with Iran. Ankara's diplomatic engagements with Iran and Hamas have led to differences with the United States and Israel, leaving many wondering if Turkey has been turning away from itsWestern orientation or if it was just a long overdue shift East to complete Turkey's full circle of relations.
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Middle East, Israel, United Nations, Lebanon, Syria
  • Author: Benjamin Miller
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: This article addresses the following two questions: First, how does the United States (US) manage regional war and peace, especially in the Middle East (ME)? It will show that the strategies the US has adopted in conflict management in the ME over the last several decades have shown considerable variations, both in the goals of its involvement – between trying to shape the regional balance of power and to reorder the domestic regimes in the regional states, and in the means of involvement – between a unilateral and a multilateral strategy. Second, it seeks to explain these variations in the US regional patterns of involvement.
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East
  • Author: Reva Bhalla
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Journal of International Security Affairs
  • Institution: Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs
  • Abstract: More than a year has passed since the fall of the region's most stalwart Arab leader unleashed a current of dissent throughout the Arab world. That unrest, which spread from the Maghreb to the Arabian Peninsula, was simplistically treated in the media as an organic expression of liberal democracy that seemingly had the power to knock off Arab authoritarians one by one. Today, however, the initial euphoria over the so-called “Arab Spring” has predictably given way to disillusionment. After sacrificing the Ben Ali regime, Tunisia's army and security establishment stand ready to intervene should the country's Islamist-filled legislature overstep its boundaries in challenging the relics of the ancien régime. In Egypt, many forget (or fail to realize altogether) that the military establishment exploited the demonstrations to destroy Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's dynastic succession plan. Even as it seeks more creative maneuvers to rule behind what is expected to be an enfeebled parliament, the Egyptian military elite will remain the ultimate arbiter of the state for the foreseeable future. In Libya, after a rare NATO-led military intervention played the instrumental role of driving Gaddafi and his family from power, the once-celebrated rebel forces are again being viewed as a ragtag assortment of militias vying for the spoils of war in the absence of a legitimate, much less democratic, political authority. In Yemen, Ali Abdullah Saleh has given up his presidential title for now under a Saudi-mediated power-sharing agreement with his rivals. Still, there is little to hide the fact that Saleh's regime, now led by his close family members, remains entrenched in the security, political and economic spheres of the state. Meanwhile, embattled Arab leaders are thankful for the distraction Syria has created as the latest flashpoint in the Middle East. Just as the Assad regime has proven unable to stamp out its domestic opposition, so too have Syria's still fractious, outgunned and outnumbered opposition forces been unable to overwhelm a largely united Alawite-dominated security and intelligence apparatus. Barring a foreign military intervention—something that no military power, particularly the United States, seems keen on—the Syrian regime can endure for some time to come, even as it becomes all the more dependent on Iran for its survival. The mainstream narrative regarding the Arab unrest has by and large failed to anticipate these developments. There is little predictive value in starting with an assumption that all demonstrations will lead to revolutions, and all revolutions to liberal democracies. Geopolitical context must also be applied. In particular, there are three underlying trends that began developing well before the start of the Arab unrest—and which can help to explain what has happened over the past year, and what to expect going forward.
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Yemen, Arabia, Syria, Egypt, Arabian Peninsula
  • Author: J. Peter Pham
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Journal of International Security Affairs
  • Institution: Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs
  • Abstract: Amid the upheaval that swept across the Middle East and North Africa since the dramatic December 2010 suicide of Mohamed Bouazizi, a 26-year-old Tunisian street vendor, ignited long pent-up frustration with the regimes across the region, Morocco has stood out as an exception. Not only has the kingdom avoided both revolutionary tumult and violent repression, but while their neighbors were still struggling to come to terms with the so-called “Arab Spring,” Moroccans adopted a new constitution and elected a new government (albeit one led for the first time in the country's history by an Islamist party). The question now is whether this extraordinarily peaceful transformation is sustainable, and, if it is, what the implications might be for the region as a whole. Given the material reasons its people might have for grievance, Morocco was—at least superficially—a likelier candidate for revolutionary upheaval than its North African neighbors. In fact, on certain indices, Moroccans were indeed worse off than the citizens of any other country in the Maghreb. At the beginning of 2011, GDP per capita (purchasing power parity) in the kingdom was, respectively, just under half of what it was in Tunisia, three-fourths of what it was in Egypt, one-third of what it was in Libya, and two-thirds of what it was in Algeria. While the literacy rate in Morocco has been improving substantially in recent years, it still hovers at just above 50 percent, with women making up an overwhelming majority of those unable to read or write. Overall, the average Moroccan woman can expect to have six fewer years of schooling than her Tunisian sister and two years less than her Egyptian sister. Additionally, Morocco has a higher infant mortality rate and a lower life expectancy than any of the other four North African states.1 So why didn't Moroccans revolt against a system that has so clearly left them behind their neighbors? It was not that they were unaware of the protests: satellite dishes are ubiquitous even in the poorest areas, virtually every Moroccan adult has a mobile phone, and the country has one of the most technologically advanced Internet services, both cable and wireless, in Africa. Rather, other factors were at play.
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Spain, North Africa, Morocco
  • Author: Lawrence J. Haas
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Journal of International Security Affairs
  • Institution: Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs
  • Abstract: The growing turmoil of the “Arab Spring”—the populist awakening that spread like a brushfire across the Middle East and North Africa after a desperate fruit peddler in Tunisia set himself afire in December of 2010—can shake the optimism of even the most enthusiastic human rights promoter. As of this writing, populist uprisings have toppled dictators in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and Yemen. But Egypt's government remains in a leadership tug-of-war between its military and Islamist parties, while in Libya rebel militias control the streets and the government's interim leaders still must establish their legitimacy, write a new constitution, and hold elections. Autocrats in Syria and Bahrain continue the brutal crackdowns on their respective populations, with the slaughter in Syria in particular reaching unspeakable levels. That experts wonder whether the “Arab Spring” is more accurately an “Arab Winter” or “Islamist Spring” reflects the uncertainty surrounding the region's future. For the United States, the Greater Middle East has long presented a host of tricky challenges. It is home to most of the world's oil, on which the U.S. and global economies are so dependent; a dangerous theocracy in Iran that seeks nuclear weapons, is expanding the range of its ballistic missiles, and has killed U.S. troops directly and indirectly in Afghanistan and Iraq; the world's most active state sponsors of terrorism in Iran and Syria; and a vital U.S. ally in Israel that is surrounded by states and terrorist groups seeking its destruction and is facing cooler relations with post-Mubarak Egypt and increasingly Islamist Turkey. In the short term, the United States must protect its vital interests by navigating the economic, military, and diplomatic landmines that these challenges present. Longer term, the challenge is quite different: to promote freedom and democracy across the region (just as the United States has promoted freedom and democracy in every other region in recent decades). That's because a freer, more democratic Greater Middle East would benefit America in myriad ways. Liberal democracies do not tend to sponsor terrorism, so a freer, more democratic region would lessen the threats to the United States and its allies. Meanwhile, new free-market economies would provide new trade and investment opportunities for U.S. businesses, generating more prosperity back home. For Washington, the question is how to get from here to there—how to support democratic forces over the long term without compromising U.S. interests in the short term. That is no easy task. The answer, however, lies not in reducing our efforts to promote freedom and democracy as a result of regional turmoil and retreating to the relative safety of “stability.” Instead, it hinges on understanding that change is coming to this volatile region whether we like it or not—and that a deft combination of savvy diplomacy, targeted economic and technical assistance, and (when necessary) military power can nudge it in the right direction.
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, North Africa, Tunisia
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Journal of International Security Affairs
  • Institution: Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs
  • Abstract: A Robert C. “Bud” McFarlane is Founder and Chief Executive Officer of McFarlane Associates, an international consultancy focused on energy and political risk. In a public policy career spanning more than half a century, he served as a Marine lieutenant colonel, a State Department diplomat, and—most prominently—as National Security Advisor to President Ronald Reagan from 1983 to 1985. In February 2012, he spoke with Journal editor Ilan Berman about the ongoing international stand-off with Iran, the state of our struggle against radical Islam, and the challenges facing the U.S. in the Greater Middle East.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Katerina dalacoura
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Uluslararasi Iliskiler
  • Institution: Uluslararasi Iliskiler
  • Abstract: The shock of the 9/11 attacks had complex and profound effects on US policy in the Middle East. One result was the decision of George W. Bush's administration to place the discourse of democracy promotion at centre stage in its policy towards the region. This decision was based on the notion that the spread of democracy would serve as antidote to the emergence of Islamist terrorism and enhance Western security. This paper challenges the assumption that the causes of Islamist terrorism can be solely or primarily reduced to the political factors of exclusion and repression. The paper then argues that, if authoritarianism is not the cause of Islamist terrorism, we must look elsewhere for an explanation. Economic and social causes are not the main issue at play here either. Far from seeing them as irrational actors driven by religious or millenarian motives, Islamist terrorists – similarly to most other terrorist organisations, with some exceptions - are rational and calculating in their choice of tactics. Promoting democracy as an antidote to terrorism must be replaced by alternative policies. If we accept that Islamist movements adopt terrorist tactics for instrumental or strategic reasons, effective counter-terrorism will start from the understanding that Islamist terrorists are rational actors, who will always make cost-benefit analyses with regards to the use of terrorist tactics.
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East
  • Author: İhsan Dağı
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Another hot summer in the Middle East... Tens of thousands of Syrians continue to flee the violence inflicted upon them by Bashar Assad's regime by seeking refuge in Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon. Now desperate, the regime is using its airplanes to punish the opposition in Aleppo and other cities of Syria, and is threatening to use its chemical weapons.
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Ziya Öniş
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Turkey redefined its geographical security environment over the last decade by deepening its engagement with neighboring regions, especially with the Middle East. The Arab spring, however, challenged not only the authoritarian regimes in the region but also Turkish foreign policy strategy. This strategy was based on cooperation with the existing regimes and did not prioritize the democracy promotion dimension of the issue. The upheavals in the Arab world, therefore, created a dilemma between ethics and self-interest in Turkish foreign policy. Amid the flux of geopolitical shifts in one of the world's most unstable regions, Turkish foreign policy-making elites are attempting to reformulate their strategies to overcome this inherent dilemma. The central argument of the present paper is that Turkey could make a bigger and more constructive impact in the region by trying to take a more detached stand and through controlled activism. Thus, Turkey could take action through the formation of coalitions and in close alignments with the United States and Europe rather than basing its policies on a self-attributed unilateral pro-activism.
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Züleyha Çolak
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Controversies over the realities of life in the harem have long been in need of a treatment that challenges the stereotypically narrow perception of the concept and provides the opportunity to see the harem's multi-layered structure from a critical perspective. This collection of readings on the harem as a cultural and social institution provides such an approach. As stated by the editor, the emphasis of the book is “on the concept/institution/image of the harem as shaped and represented within the societies of the Middle East and North Africa, while . . . [contributing writers] also attend to its representational and political uses by visitors to and observers of these societies.”
  • Political Geography: Africa, Middle East
  • Author: Hillel Frisch
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Political Science Quarterly
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: As Fatah and Hamas continuously fail to come to an agreement over the issues between them, it is quite clear that the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), which is responsible for catapulting the Palestinian issue into international prominence, has ceased to exist. Not only does it not maintain an Internet site, its popular body, the Palestinian National Council (PNC), which is meant to convene every two years, has not met officially since 1996, and since 1991, according to Hamas and other Palestinian factions opposed to Muhammad Abbas, its titular head. There is a need to understand the implications of the demise of the PLO, an institution that once loomed large in Middle Eastern and world politics.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Palestine
  • Author: Elena Mastors
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Political Science Quarterly
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: Democracy will save the Middle East. This perspective was promulgated for eight years by the administration of George W. Bush, and because of it, the United States became embroiled in two long-term conflicts in the Middle East and South Asia, spent billions of dollars on the war on terrorism, restructured the intelligence and homeland security communities, and passed legislation at home that many believe negatively impacted our civil liberties. Because of this, we want to believe that it was worth the lives lost and the flagrant spending that had a significant impact on our economic situation today. In her scholarly book, Islamist Terrorism and Democracy in the Middle East,Katerina Dalacoura asks whether "a convincing case can be made that Islamist terrorism in the Middle East has political causes stemming from non-democratic or authoritarian structures" (p. 23). The author presents a convincing argument that political causes are not the strongest explanation for Islamist terrorism.
  • Political Geography: United States, South Asia, Middle East
  • Author: Çağdas Üngör
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: The Center for Foreign Policy and Peace Research
  • Abstract: A young socialist regime with few diplomatic ties in the 1950s and 1960s, the People's Republic of China (PRC) made significant attempts to reach foreign audiences through the use of mass media. Shortwave broadcasting was a particularly significant means of disseminating the PRC's worldview abroad. Radio Peking's Turkish language section, which was established in 1957 along with Arabic and Persian broadcasts, signaled China s desire to reach countries in the Middle East. Predating official Sino-Turkish ties and providing a direct cultural link between China and Turkey at a time when few such channels existed, Radio Peking s Turkish language broadcasts should be regarded as a significant aspect of Sino-Turkish relations during the Cold War years. Based on recently available Chinese language sources, as well as interviews with retired staff, this article examines Radio Peking s Turkish language section with regard to its organization, program content and audience from 1957 to 1976. It is significant that the PRC regime continued its Turkish language broadcasts amidst various challenges, such as administrative instability, lack of trained personnel, poor technical equipment and unsatisfactory audience numbers.
  • Political Geography: China, Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Mark Almond
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: The Center for Foreign Policy and Peace Research
  • Abstract: In 1971 it was apparently "too early" for Zhou Enlai to give Henry Kissinger his assessment of the significance of the French Revolution. It is certainly too soon to sum up the importance of the events in the Arab world since January 2011. However, it seems reasonable to attempt an interim assessment of how the "Arab Spring" fits into the pattern of major revolutions and waves of upheaval since 1789. Such a review of similarities and contrasts between current events and past developments should provide some historical foundations for comparative analysis of the comparative revolutionary wave in the Middle East.
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Onur Gökçe
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: The Center for Foreign Policy and Peace Research
  • Abstract: This article examines Turkish-Israeli relations from 1948 to 2012 in light of domestic and international events hat have impacted the two countries throughout the years. The article examines each country's threat perceptions, which emanate from developments in the Middle East. The author points out commonalities and confrontations between the two countries, and discusses how the latter can be avoided. The article explores how to improve relations in view of the rapid changes occurring in the region, and discusses how the two countries are positioning themselves in the current restructuring of the Middle East and emerging new power balances, some of which are created by these two major regional players themselves.
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Carlo Masala, Ivo Hlaváček
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: The Center for Foreign Policy and Peace Research
  • Abstract: "Extended deterrence," or "active deterrence," as it is sometimes called, threatens a nuclear-strategic response in case of a nuclear attack on the territory or troop of one's allies. This paper aims to explore the possibilities of extended deterrence in the Middle East in light of an Iranian nuclear military capability. Two preliminary remarks are necessary in order to frame the line of reasoning on the issue.
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Ann Florini
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ethics International Affairs Journal
  • Institution: Carnegie Council
  • Abstract: Imagine that you could wave a magic wand and provide everyone in the world with easy access to clean and affordable energy. In one stroke you would make the world a far cleaner, richer, fairer, and safer place. Suddenly, a billion and a half of the world's poorest people could discover what it is like to turn on an electric light in the evening. The looming threat posed by climate change would largely disappear. From the South China Sea to the Middle East to the Arctic, geopolitical tensions over energy resources would fade away. Human health would benefit, too, as vaccines and perishable foods could be refrigerated the world over. And many of the world's most corrupt government officials could no longer enrich themselves by bleeding their countries dry of revenues from fossil fuel sales.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: China, Middle East
  • Author: Lee Marsden
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: US foreign policy in the first decade of the twenty-first century has been dominated by religion in a way that would not have seemed possible for most of the second half of the twentieth. Al-Qaeda's attack on the United States in September 2001, the subsequent US invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, the upsurge in Islamist militancy and the populist overthrow of despotic US allies in the Middle East all focus attention on the importance of religious actors. For much of this period academic interest has centred on radical Islam and the attempts by western governments, and the United States in particular, to contain Islamism through embarking on the global 'war on terror' in its various manifestations, and supporting pro-western despots in the Middle East. While there has also been much interest in the emergence of elements of the Christian right as foreign policy actors, until recently insufficient attention has been paid to the increasing role played by religious organizations in the delivery of US foreign policy objectives. American faith-based International Relations (IR) scholars and political scientists have successfully agitated for an increased religious dimension to foreign policy, in particular in the areas of diplomacy and overseas assistance and development. While such an emphasis is designed to further US foreign policy interests, this article argues that such a policy can be counter productive where these religious actors pursue sectarian rather than secular objectives. Using faith-based initiatives supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) as a case-study, the article highlights the potential dangers of faith-based foreign policy approaches.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: Travis Sharp
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The United States has entered a period of strategic change. After spending more than a decade fighting a global counterterrorism campaign and two ground wars, it now faces shifting security challenges. The United States has killed Osama bin Laden and decimated the core leadership of Al-Qaeda and like-minded groups in Pakistan, but regional Al-Qaeda affiliates in Yemen and the Horn of Africa have taken the lead in planning and attempting terrorist attacks. American troops have left Iraq and are leaving Afghanistan, but 15,000–30,000 may remain in Afghanistan after 2014 to train Afghan forces and strike terrorist cells. Iran continues to pursue the ability to produce nuclear weapons rapidly should its supreme leader decide to do so, further destabilizing a Middle East region shaken by the Arab Spring. China continues to invest heavily in military modernization, raising sharp concerns among its neighbours. North Korea may continue to lash out militarily as its new leader Kim Jong Un seeks to demonstrate control. Last but certainly not least, the global economy remains fragile, the American economic recovery has stagnated, and US policy-makers have responded to rapidly growing American debt by reducing government spending in numerous areas, including defence. The size of these budget cuts may increase substantially in the months ahead.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Africa, United States, China, Iraq, Middle East, North Korea, Yemen
  • Author: Evelyn Goh
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: As the focus of U.S. military attention shifts away from the Middle East and Central Asia, Washington's geopolitical weathervane appears now to point firmly towards East Asia. Given the Obama administration's recent high-profile political 'pivot back' to the region, and against the context of the upcoming Presidential campaign, the two books under review here shed helpful light on American concerns and raise urgent questions about U.S. strategy in Asia. In the noisy cottage industry of strident publications about the rise of China and the future of U.S. power, these books stand out for their considered arguments and scholarly research. Both authors are professors at Princeton, and both served in the George W. Bush administration – Aaron Friedberg as deputy assistant for National Security Affairs in the Office of the Vice President Dick Cheney in 2003 – 5, and Thomas Christensen as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs in 2006 – 8.
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Asia
  • Author: Liviu Horovitz, Roland Popp
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: A scheduled conference to promote a zone free of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East has renewed hopes for nuclear disarmament in this unstable region, if only innovative diplomacy could take advantage of the current shifts. However, a realistic assessment suggests that optimism is unwarranted. Fundamental strategic considerations related to Iran's nuclear program, Israel's atomic options, and the region's ingrate security architecture remain nearly insurmountable hurdles. Therefore, policymakers should focus first on attaining a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
  • Topic: Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Emiliano Alessandri
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The transatlantic tensions of the Bush years are behind us but the future of transatlantic relations remains uncertain at the closing of the Obama term. Policy alignment has been found on a host of issues but 'existential' questions have resurfaced, casting shadows on Western unity and relevance in the coming years. So far the crisis has failed to focus attention on the need for a common vision for the 21st century. Key strategic issues, from the future of the European order to transatlantic engagement in the Middle East, should figure prominently on the next transatlantic agenda, shifting the debate from the notion of a 'Pacific century' to how the West can address ongoing power transitions.
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Middle East
  • Author: Geoffrey Aronson
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: This section covers items-reprinted articles, statistics, and maps-pertaining to Israeli settlement activities in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights. Unless otherwise stated, the items have been written by Geoffrey Aronson for this section or drawn from material written by him for Report on Israeli Settlement in the Occupied Territories (hereinafter Settlement Report), a Washington-based bimonthly newsletter published by the Foundation for Middle East Peace. JPS is grateful to the foundation for permission to draw on its material.
  • Political Geography: Washington, Middle East, Gaza
  • Author: Sikander Kiani, Michael Brannagan
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Politics, Non State Actors
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Middle East, India, Belgium
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The Journal sits down with former Senator Chuck Hagel to listen to his perspective on a number of the current pressing issues of U.S. foreign policy: the 2012 presidential elections, engagement in the Middle East, and the ongoing debate regarding the obligation of the United States to protect civilians across the globe.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East
  • Author: Dr. Adam Lankford
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: The history of warfare is marked by national armed forces, paramilitary fighters, and rebels across various eras and cultures who have committed sexual assault with impunity. Social norms have changed dramatically since ancient times, but it can be shocking to realize that even some well respected leaders of the past once approved of such crimes. For instance, Moses apparently gave orders to his warriors to “kill every male among them, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. But all the women that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.”1 This may not have been an overt sanction of sexual assault, but it certainly implies that the enemy's virgins should be kept as sexual companions. Furthermore, as Susan Brownmiller describes, “Among the ancient Greeks, rape was socially acceptable behavior well within the rules of warfare, an act without stigma for warriors who viewed the women they conquered as legitimate booty, useful as wives, concubines, slave labor or battle-camp trophy.”2 Joshua S. Goldstein similarly points out that “The most common pattern in warfare in the ancient Middle East and Greece was to literally feminize a conquered population by executing the male captives, raping the women, then taking women and children as slaves. The pattern…recurs even today.”3 In the last century, sexual assault has accompanied armed conflicts in countries all around the world, including Bosnia, China, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Rwanda, and Sudan.
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Sudan, Bosnia, Middle East, France, Germany, Italy, Rwanda
  • Author: Colin H. Kahl, Kenneth N. Waltz
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: U.S. and Israeli officials have declared that a nuclear-armed Iran is a uniquely terrifying prospect, even an existential threat. In fact, by creating a more durable balance of military power in the Middle East, a nuclear Iran would yield.
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Farshad Roomi
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: Democratic governments tend to cooperate with each other positively. By establishing a framework, democracy controls politicians' behavior, preventing them from pursuing imbalanced and improper policies. Popular revolutions in the Middle East have overthrown a number of authoritarian regimes allied with the United States. With the independent democratic governments being formed, we see Iran's regional and transregional rivals and adversaries challenged. Making efforts to promote democracy in the Middle East can serve as an important factor in strengthening Iran's influence in the region. Therefore, given that the rule of the game in the Middle East is one of zero-sum, the Islamic republic of Iran should reinforce its national security level and enlarge its national security realm by explicitly supporting and articulating the demands of the regional nations. Also, the presence of the Shi'a in government is closely related to the promotion of democratic trends, support for the democracy-seeking wave in the Middle East.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Khalilollah Sardarnia
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: The prevailing outlook among analysts before the advent of the recent social movements in North Africa and a number of Arab Middle Eastern countries indicated that the region will continue to resist the wave of democratization. The fall of several authoritarian regimes and continuity of social movements has generated serious doubts in this outlook, leading to the appearance of promising horizons for democratization. This paper argues that these social movements originate from the exacerbating legitimacy crisis of authoritarian governments and rising political, social and economic dissatisfaction of the general public, including the youth and the modern middle class. This work seeks to answer the question: what are the major sociological origins and precipitating factors influencing the advent of social movements in the Middle East and North Africa? In response, it can be argued that the advent of social movements in a number of Middle East and North African countries is rooted in the legitimacy crisis, as well as rising political, social and economic dissatisfaction of the general public, the youth and the modern middle class in recent decades. The web-based social networks and cell phones acted as precipitating factors in the massive mobilization and integration of mass protests and those of the modern middle class and the fall of a number of authoritarian regimes. These movements are notably characterized by being comprehensive, Islamic, democratic, anti-despotic, independence-seeking, and highly reliant on new information and communications technologies. The web-based social networks served as a precipitating factor in massive mobilization of the aforementioned strata within the context of an exacerbated legitimacy crisis and the gap between the state and the society rather than as a structural deep-rooted factor.
  • Topic: Democratization, Economics, Government, Islam, Social Movement
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia, North Africa
  • Author: Hossein Pour-Ahmadi, Sajad Mohseni
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: Developments relating to the Islamic Awakening in the Middle East, especially in 2011, influenced and intensified, more than ever, the efforts made by the Obama Administration to securitize nuclear activities of the Islamic Republic of Iran. In fact, these activities have always been one of the major preoccupations for the foreign policy the USA. Obama followed up seriously on what George Bush did, especially during his second term. The approach of both US presidents, predicated on considering the Iranian nuclear energy programme as a threat against the US and its interests, has its root in the security-oriented approach, and its adverse consequences, towards the Iran. Therefore, a major part of Iran's foreign policy has been influenced by nuclear activities. This paper proposes to consider the process of securitizing Iran's nuclear file, especially under Obama's administration, on the basis of the conceptual pattern provided by the Copenhagen School and from speech act and action perspectives. This paper seeks also to answer the question as to what methods Obama has used to securitize Iran's nuclear file. It presupposes that the attempts to isolate Iran have been made through speech act and actions.
  • Topic: Security, Development, Islam
  • Political Geography: America, Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Bulend Aydin Ertekin
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations
  • Institution: Prof. Bulent Aras
  • Abstract: According to the common idea, "the economic power determines the political power." By this general principle, when we look at the powerful states, we see that these states (countries) have, at the same time, the powerful political effect on the other actors. In this paper, some trade and economic data of Turkey are shown in order to localize its place in the World rankings. By this purpose, this paper argues the fact that Turkey which, being one of the countries belonging G-20, has tried since 1991 to play a big role in its bilateral relations in Caucasia, Central Asia and Middle East (CCAME). However, when the data of international business of Turkey and those of each one of the countries of Central Asia treated in the contents of research are studied, it is seen very clearly that the influence of Turkey in Central Asia is not very dominant or does not create a dominating effect over the economic plan in spite of the existence of the diplomatic effects, visa facilities and the visits based upon the cultural level and mutually testified. Without any doubt, although nobody can deny the existence and the probability of the gradual growth of Turkey's relations in CCAME's countries, Turkey, whose face is turned mainly towards the occident and the large majority of trade made within the European countries,tries to be an influential actor in the determined areas. Naturally, in spite of the celebration of Nawruz with the Turkic World, acting as a Muslim country in Middle East, and accepting the norms of European Union as a European democratic and laicized country in Europe, Turkey presents several identities and makes it a multi-colored actor who can be used in favor of Turkey's interests.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Globalization
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Mustafa Yetim, Cengiz Dinc
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations
  • Institution: Prof. Bulent Aras
  • Abstract: Turkey's foreign policy toward the Middle East has gone through a radical change over the decades. Earlier periods were marked by almost a complete neglect. However, since Özal, Turkey's interest toward the region has constantly increased. Especially in the last few years of the AKP government, in line with the new foreign policy vision, the Middle East has started to occupy a central place in Turkish foreign policy. In this article, underlying factors of this changing policy and newly envisioned regional role for Turkey will be analyzed. Turkey now pursues a pro-active and multidimensional foreign policy; and the Middle East seems to be the most suitable area for Turkey to implement a successful foreign policy based upon its new parameters.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Muhammad Azam, Sagheer Ahmad Khan
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations
  • Institution: Prof. Bulent Aras
  • Abstract: Advanced democracies, including the United States, have been championing democratic promotion around the world. In the past, American policy towards the Arab Middle East, however, had been mainly based on just paying lip-service to democracy sans concrete measures for promoting a democratic culture in the region. The events of 9/11 marked a watershed in the history of US foreign policy towards the region. Facing calls for a democratic Arab World from home and abroad in the wake of 9/11 the US government raised the ante for pushing democracy in the Arab Middle East. The rhetoric and emphasis laid on 'democracy in the Arab World' by the American leadership over the years after 9/11 was unprecedented. This study deals with the visible shift in US foreign policy vis-à-vis democracy in the region, focusing on the six GCC states, namely Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. In addition to American approach and strategy, practical measures taken in the areas of politics, economy, education, media, civil society, and human rights is also furnished. An effort is made to understand and highlight the methods and tools employed by the foreign democracy promoters, both at the levels of state and society. However, a large part of the study appertains to the activities conducted at the grass-roots level. The study is comparative in its nature, based on empirical analysis.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Middle East, Kuwait, Arabia, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman
  • Author: Mohammed Ayoob
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This essay is an attempt to revisit Samuel Huntington's controversial thesis about a clash of civilizations. Though the author has been an early critique of Huntington, he finds substantial evidence that corroborates Huntington's central thesis when he analyzes the American policy toward the Middle East through the prism of the clash of civilizations paradigm. He suggests that the pattern of double standards that are witnessed in American foreign policy toward the Middle East is an integral part of a world where supposedly immutable differences based on civilizations form the primary source of conflict. In order to support his argument the author draws on examples from several cases, such as the American policies toward the Israel-Palestine issue, America's position on Iran's nuclear enrichment program, American reaction to the Israeli raid on the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara, as well as Turkey's longstanding candidacy for membership in the European Union. In all, he finds startling double standards that fit Huntington's paradigm, for as he pointed out double standards are an integral part of a mindset that sees conflict in terms of clashing civilizations.
  • Political Geography: America, Europe, Iran, Turkey, Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Halim Rane
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The political and economic success of Turkey's Justice and Development Party (AKP) has generated extensive discussion about the extent to which Turkey provides a model for other Muslim, especially Arab, countries. The notion of a Turkish model has received intense focus since the uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region began in 2010. Amid the excitement, more cautious voices have highlighted fundamental differences in historical and political experiences and relations with Islam between Turkey and the Arab countries. Considering these factors, this article contends that rather than Turkey's AKP, a more accurate comparison and potentially viable model for the emerging Arab democracies can be found among the Islamic-oriented political parties of South East Asia, which advocate an approach to Islam based on the maqasid, or higher objectives. This article examines the appeal of the maqasid approach in respect to its utility for maintaining Islamic legitimacy and transitioning from ideology-oriented to policy-oriented parties and thereby responding to the needs and aspirations of broad constituencies. This article discusses the function of the maqasid for Islamic political parties in the MENA region as it undergoes political liberalization in the aftermath of the Arab uprisings.
  • Topic: Disaster Relief, Politics
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Arabia, North Africa, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Ahmet T. Kuru
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: One may argue three law-like generalizations in political science: “no bourgeois, no democracy,” “democracies do not go to war with each other,” and “natural resources are a curse.” Although each of these highly contested arguments is important, the last one has the broadest impact—the negative effects of oil, natural gas, and mineral production go beyond authoritarianism and have economic, military, and societal consequences. Recently, some important publications have challenged the “resource curse” argument, creating doubts about these negative effects. In this regard, Michael Ross's book is an extremely timely work. It not only responds to these critiques but also provides a consistent set of explanations about oil and its effects on authoritarianism, patriarchy, inter-state and civil wars, and economic underdevelopment. Ross has already written path-breaking articles on these issues and this magnum opus brings together his previous contributions with updated data, revised arguments, and fresh perspectives. Unlike his earlier publications, Ross's analysis focuses on oil and natural gas, sometimes referring to both as only “oil,” and consistently leaves mineral production aside. His data show how the importance of oil will persist, if not increase, in the near future: “the global market for oil and other liquid fuels will rise from 86.1 million barrels a day in 2007 to 110 million barrel a day in 2035; the market for natural gas will rise from 108 to 156 trillion cubic feet” (p. 251).
  • Topic: Civil War, Development, Economics, Oil
  • Political Geography: Middle East, North Africa
  • Author: Christopher Hobbs, Matthew Moran
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The past year has seen a steady rise in tensions with regard to Iran's nuclear programme. Iran's economy is being crippled by far-ranging sanctions and the threat of an Israeli attack on Iranian nuclear facilities looms large on the horizon. Yet the country's nuclear programme marches on, stoking fears that Iran may indeed be seeking to cross the nuclear weapons threshold. In this context, it is timely to consider how key regional players would respond to a nuclear-armed Iran. Many argue that an Iranian bomb would prompt a proliferation cascade in the Middle East. However, a closer examination of the drivers for key regional players shows that this is not necessarily the case. There is a range of non-proliferation tools that could be applied by the West and others to offset this risk.
  • Topic: Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Joshua W. Walker
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: A review of The Arab Awakening: America and the Transformation of the Middle East by Kenneth M. Pollack and others.
  • Political Geography: America, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Alexander Lee
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: In Gridlock, Pardis Mahdavi explores the social issues of labor migration in Dubai-a topic less visible than those that make up the daily headlines on the Middle East. The book is a mix of Mahdavi's personal experiences in the Emirate and a scholarly discourse on trafficking policy and its associated political pressures. Peppered throughout with the stories of labor migrants from a variety of backgrounds and working in a diversity of sectors, the book aims for both breadth and academic depth. The former goal works ultimately to the detriment of the latter, as Mahdavi retreads the same ground several times. Nevertheless, the book serves as an important look at a key international issue from a perspective that policy makers may be ignoring. Current U.S. policy regarding the issue of trafficking centers on the State Department's Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report-the government's "principal diplomatic tool to engage foreign governments on human trafficking." Mahdavi's central thesis relates to her opinions on the use of this report which, at the time of her writing, was primarily used as a diplomatic tool for leveraging political bargaining power against countries such as Dubai with a "known" record of poor human rights. She believes that the TIP report holds a great deal of potential to expand beyond a bargaining tool and can instead be used for enacting true reform in trafficking and migration policy. For this to come about, however, Mahdavi believes that governments need a broader understanding of trafficking beyond their current focus on female sex workers. The accounts of labor migrants in her book serve as a survey of other types of trafficked persons. Though Gridlock's organization may feel more like a collection of essays than a singular, focused work, Mahdavi explores this complex, multifaceted issue from a unique perspective. The breadth of her research appears broader than the views of most policy makers involved in this issue and presents a compelling case for policy reform, with direct social consequences for a multitude of labor migrants from around the globe.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Victoria Webster
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: Informality and Illegality in the Exploitation of Gold and Timber in Antioquia Jorge Giraldo Ramírez and Juan Carlos Muñoz Mora (Medellín: Centro de Análisis Político Universidad Eafit and Proantioquia, 2012), 197 pages. In Informality and Illegality authors Jorge Giraldo Ramírez and Carlos Muñoz Mora, both professors in Antioquia, Colombia, analyze how the gold and timber sectors have become a source of financing for armed groups. Rather than simply rehashing the old resource-curse debate, this slim, but dense, Spanish-language book performs a microlevel analysis of Antioquia's extractive supply chains and impressively identifies the precise mechanisms that incentivize illegal armed actors to enter the market. According to the authors, the confluence of informal extractive markets with high levels of socio-economic inequality and the absence of a well-functioning state incentivizes nonstate actors to assume the state's role and engage in criminal activity. This "criminal ecology" is a self-perpetuating system that is characterized by ineffective state intervention, weak regulation and penalization, and high levels of political and economic leverage by nonstate actors. Ramírez and Mora's findings are impressive, even if their data seems suspect: they find positive correlations between gold mining and the presence of illegal armed groups, informal land tenure, increased violence, and weak institutions. The authors' concluding discussion of contemporary policy recommendations, currently being debated in a variety of forums, including the country's mining code reform and ongoing institutional restructuring process- though appropriate-is too theoretical to be of much use. Moreover, given the dominant role multinational corporations (MNCs) play in Colombia's legal, security, and political spheres, their limited analysis of the relationship of MNCs with Antioquia's supply chain ignores a large part of the policy debate. Though repetitive and dry, Ramirez and Mora's work is a unique take on a polarizing debate. Their framework of the complex relationship between a traditionally informal economy, illegal crime, and the international demand for a scarce resource (gold), while specific to Antioquia, is widely applicable to any number of countries and contexts.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Colombia
  • Author: Thomas Cargill
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The World Today
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The next big thing: Once known only for hunger and war, Africa's moment has arrived
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Europe, Middle East
  • Author: Jane Kinninmont
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The World Today
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Jane Kinninmont demolishes the theory of monarchical exceptionalism
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Libya, Egypt, Tunisia
  • Author: Christina Y. Lin
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Middle East Review of International Affairs
  • Institution: Global Research in International Affairs Center, Interdisciplinary Center
  • Abstract: Since the Arab Spring, China has been quietly asserting its influence and fortifying its foothold in the Middle East, while the United States pivots to the Asia Pacific after a decade of war. It is aligning with states that have problematic relations with the West and are also geo-strategically placed on the littoral of the “Four Seas”--the Caspian Sea, Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea, and Arabian Sea/Persian Gulf. Paradoxically, the U.S. eastward pivot is matched by the resurgent Middle Kingdom's westward pivot across its new Silk Road, and threatens to outflank the citadel of American geo-strategies in the region.
  • Political Geography: United States, China, America, Middle East, Asia
  • Author: Daniel Tavana, Duncan Pickard
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Harvard Journal of Middle Eastern Politics and Policy
  • Institution: Harvard Kennedy School
  • Abstract: Storytelling, in its various forms, is intrinsic to solidifying, and at times creating, collective identities. Whether it is the story of a family passed down from father to son or that of a nation fighting for its independence, the sense of sharing a collective past, present, or future brings people together. One of the greatest collections of these stories is One Thousand and One Nights, the preeminent fable passed down through generations in the Arab world, with tales woven from various Arab cities along with those of Persia and South Asia. Many modern stories are rooted in One Thousand and One Nights or take inspiration from it. While there is much debate around the history and origins of One Thousand and One Nights, it is important to note the strong connection of the lauded tales to a historical sense of identity that has endured for hundreds of years. It helps to highlight the role of storytelling in forging the identities of many peoples in the Middle East region and especially amongst Arabs who consider oration and poetry to be amongst the most distinguished of skills.
  • Topic: History
  • Political Geography: South Asia, Middle East, Persia
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Sakarya University, Institute of Social Sciences
  • Abstract: 2005'ten beri yayınlanmakta olan Ortadoğu Yıllığı bu sayısıyla birlikte sekizinci kez okuyucularıyla buluşmuş oldu. Son dönemde içeride demokrasisini sağlamlaştıran ve bunun getirmiş olduğu istikrar ortamı sayesinde belirgin bir şekilde ekonomik, siyasi ve askeri kapasitesini artıran Türkiye'nin Ortadoğu'daki bölgesel güç konumuna uygun politikalar izleyebilmesi için bu bölgenin daha iyi tanınması giderek daha önemli hale gelmektedir. Hem siyasi karar vericiler hem de araştırmacılar ve akademik dünya için Ortadoğu bölgesindeki ülkelerin siyasal, ekonomik ve toplumsal yapılarının detaylı bir şekilde bilinmesi ve bu yapılara dair yaşanan süreçlerin sağlıklı bir şekilde analiz edilebilmesini kolaylaştırmayı amaçlayan Ortadoğu Yıllığı “doğru bilgi ve sağlıklı analiz” sloganıyla yola çıkmıştı. Bu yolda kararlı bir şekilde ilerlemenin ve bir kesinti olmadan sekizinci sayıya ulaşmanın mutluluğunu yaşıyoruz.
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Ecuador
  • Author: Kemal İnat
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Sakarya University, Institute of Social Sciences
  • Abstract: Turkish foreign policy toward the Middle East has confronted with more and novel security challenges in 2012. The problematic issues related to Arab revolutions of 2011 have already had negative repercussions for Ankara. As a result of diverging policy choices toward the Arab revolutions, these conflicting issues caused more strained relations between Turkey and its neighbors in the region. Regional actors divided over how to respond to political deadlocks in the Middle East. While Turkey, Egypt and Saudi Arabia have sided together, Iran, Syria and the central government of Iraq have made their policies jointly. This very division between the regional actors has increased the security risks within the Middle East. These two camps have particularly conflicting policy agendas and as a result, they have become part of a “proxy war” in Syria which constitutes the biggest security threat to the whole region. Despite the deteriorating situation in Syria and its own tense political environment domestically, Turkey, has continued to strengthen its economic relations with the Middle Eastern capitals except Damascus. It was partly a result of this policy that Turkey's export toward the Middle East increased significantly.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Economics, Environment, Government
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Middle East, Arabia, Syria, Egypt, Damascus, Ankara
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Sakarya University, Institute of Social Sciences
  • Abstract: The year 2012 was a critical year for Israel because of the political change in Egypt. Israeli relations with Turkey were also affected as the tension experienced in the region on social change shaken trust among neighbors. Tel Aviv holds that the uprisings in the Arab world signal continuous collapse of authoritarian regimes and thus inevitably pave the way for the rise of Islamic movements. Since the beginning of the uprisings in the Middle East, Israeli decision-makers remained on alert. Israel was directed to find new actors to resolve its loneliness in the region. These actors later appeared as Greece, Cyprus, Azerbaijan and Armenia. Their common feature is that all of these countries' relations with Turkey are somehow problematic. For Israel developing relationships with these countries also means cornering Turkey. On the other hand, there were also differences of opinion between the U.S. and Israel emerged in 2012 that should be noted. Indeed, 2012 saw that the seemingly unshakable alliance between the U.S. and Israel could in fact be in trouble following the two's differing responses to Iran's nuclear power ambitions. The latter issue showed that profound differences of opinion may well surface in the near future.
  • Political Geography: Iran, Turkey, Middle East, Greece, Azerbaijan, Egypt, Cyprus
  • Author: Muammer İskenderoğlu
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Sakarya University, Institute of Social Sciences
  • Abstract: Çatışma tarih boyunca insan ve toplum hayatının kaçınılmaz unsurlarından biri olmuştur ve olmaya da devam edecektir. Toplumsal çatışmalara çok çeşitli nedenler kaynaklık edebilir. Bu çatışmalarda çoğu zaman gerçek neden gizlenebilir, bunun yerine başka bir neden gerçek nedenmiş gibi sunulabilir. Dinsel ve mezhepsel çatışma tabirine tarihin değişik dönemlerinde rastlamak mümkündür. Bu çatışmalarda gerçek nedenin din ve mezhep mi olduğu, yoksa din ve mezhebin gerçek nedenleri gizleme ve çatışan tarafları çatışmaya daha kolay ikna etme aracı olarak mı kullanıldığı ile ilgili, tarihsel vakalar üzerinden uzunca tahliller yapılabilir. Dinsel ve mezhepsel çatışma tabirine rezervimiz olmakla beraber, bu yazımızda klasik tabirle ulemanın, modern tabirle gerek resmi dini kurumların temsilcileri olarak, gerek sivil toplumun kanaat önderleri olarak karşımıza çıkan din adamları veya bilginlerinin toplumsal çatışmalardaki rollerini ve takındıkları tavırları değerlendireceğiz. Her ne kadar ulemanın tarihsel süreç boyunca çatışmalar karşısında takındıkları tavır açısından yekvücut olduğu söylenemezse de, büyük bir kesimin tavrının 'yangına körükle gitmek' deyiminde tam ifadesini bulduğu söylenebilir. Ulemanın bu tavrının altında yatan temel neden nedir? Bu yazımızda öncelikle bu soruya kısa bir cevap sunacağız. Ardından da günümüzde Ortadoğu'daki çatışmalarda yangına körükle giden ulemanın tavırlarını anlamamıza yardımcı olması açısından, İslam tarihinden birkaç örnek vakıa hatırlatacağız. Son olarak da günümüzdeki şahit olduğumuz vakıalar göz önünde bulundurulduğunda, ulemanın bu tarihi vakıalardan ders çıkarıp çıkarmadıklarına cevap arayacağız.
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Hans Mouritzen (ed), Nanna Hvidt (ed)
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The Permanent Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs analyses Danish foreign-policy priorities in 2011. The troublesome situation for the global econ-omy, including an uncertain outlook for the future, was the most impor-tant backdrop for Danish foreign policy in that year. Low growth prospects, combined with high levels of public debt, had wide foreign-policy implica-tions, amongst other things for the agenda of the EU and as a result also for the preparations for the Danish EU Presidency in the first half of 2012. This article therefore takes its point of departure in the state of the global economy, the state of the European economies and the challenges that this presented to the EU. It then goes on to discuss the emerging world powers, the Arab Spring, the world's conflict areas, security policy, Denmark's north-ern neighbours and various global issues, such as development cooperation, green growth and human rights. Finally, some reflections are offered on the core tasks of the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs at a time when there is increased pressure on Denmark's public finances and the world influence of Denmark's traditional partners and allies is waning.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Europe, Middle East, Asia, Arab Countries, Denmark, North Africa
  • Author: Evelyne Schmid
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Over the past several decades, dozens of countries have established truth commissions and other bodies to investigate mass atrocities or systematic human rights abuse. Lessons learned from past truth-finding processes are invaluable to help address the legacies of human rights violations in countries transitioning to democratic regimes in the Middle East and North Africa and elsewhere. Truth commissions aim to uncover and acknowledge abuses from the past by recognizing the suffering of victims and making recommendations to prevent a recurrence of violence in the future. When convening authorities establish a truth commission, they need to select a process to choose the commission's membership, decide on the subject matter and a deadline for the work it will do as well as its legal powers, its duration and the extent to which its work is public. USIP has established a Truth Commissions Digital Collection (http://www.usip.org/publications/truth-commission-digital-collection) that provides summaries and vital statistics of 41 past commissions from 35 countries, along with copies of most of their legal charters and final reports. Each commission has a dedicated page along with information on subsequent developments, such as reforms, prosecutions and reparations to victims. The Truth Commissions Digital Collection is a resource for researchers and implementers seeking to learn and apply lessons from the past to make current “truth processes” more effective.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Genocide, Human Rights, Human Welfare, Torture
  • Political Geography: Africa, Middle East
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: One year into the Syrian uprising, the level of death and destruction is reaching new heights. Yet, outside actors – whether regime allies or opponents – remain wedded to behaviour that risks making an appalling situation worse. Growing international polarisation simultaneously gives the regime political space to maintain an approach – a mix of limited reforms and escala ting repression – that in the longer run is doomed to fail; guarantees the opposition' s full militarisation, which could trigger all - out civil war; and heightens odds of a regional proxy war that might well precipitate a dangerous conflagration. Kofi Annan' s appointment as joint UN/Arab League Special Envoy arguably offers a chance to rescue fading prospects for a negotiated transition. It must not be squandered. For that, Russia and others must understand that, short of rapidly reviving a credible political track, only an intensifying military one will remain, with dire consequences for all.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, Regime Change
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia, Syria
  • Author: John Bowlus
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Global Political Trends Center
  • Abstract: On December 26, 2011, in response to US, European, and potential Asian sanctions on Iranian oil exports, the government in Tehran issued a threat to “cut off the Strait of Hormuz.” The US Defense Department responded that any blockade of the strait would be met with force. On first read, it is easy to dismiss such saber rattling as another chapter in the new Cold War in the Middle East between Iran and its allies – including Syria, Hamas, and Hezbollah – and the US, Israel, and the Sunni Gulf States, mostly notably Saudi Arabia. Iran has since backed away from its threat, but the event still carries importance because it is unclear how both the US and Iran will continue to respond, particularly as the diplomatic and economic pressures grow more acute while Iran's controversial nuclear program advances. Could such a verbal threat by Iran to cut off the Strait of Hormuzignite a military conflagration in the region? The relationship between military conflict and oil supply disruptions is well established; however, policymakers and analysts tend to focus on the incidents in which military conflict causes disruptions in oil supplies and sharp increases in prices. The first and most obvious example of this dynamic was the Arab-Israeli War of 1973. The subsequent oil embargo by the Arab members of the Organization for Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) against the United States and the Netherlands for their support of Israel caused prices to soar as oil-consuming nations endured supply shortages. The Iranian Revolution from 1978 to 1979 was another event that curtailed Western nations' access to oil and caused prices to spike. When thinking about the relationship between military conflict and oil supply disruptions, however, policymakers and analysts should also recognize that the competition over oil – and even verbal threats to disrupt oil supplies by closing oil transit chokepoints – have either led directly to military conflict or have provided a useful cover under which countries have initiated military conflict. By examining past episodes when countries issued threats to close oil transit chokepoints, this Policy Brief helps illuminate the dangers associated with the current crisis over the Strait of Hormuz.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Economics, Sanctions
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Middle East, Asia, Arabia
  • Author: Philip K. Verleger
  • Publication Date: 02-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: The United States has initiated new sanctions against Iran aimed at preventing it from collecting revenue from exports of crude oil. The European Union has followed, embargoing all imports of Iranian crude from July 1, 2012 and preventing any firms from entering into new contracts to import Iranian oil after January 23, 2012. The new US and EU sanctions could be the most draconian in many years. If implemented fully, US sanctions would force trading partners to choose between the United States and Iran. EU sanctions would cut Iran off from an important market. These sanctions, while reducing Iranian income, could pose a very serious economic threat to countries that have significant trade with the United States and/or import significant quantities of oil from Iran.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Foreign Policy, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Oil, Sanctions
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Müjge Küçükkeleş
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Suspension of Syria's Arab League membership in November 2011 could be characterized as a turning point in Arab league's 66-year old history. By condemning the Syrian and Libyan regimes for disproportionate use of violence against their own people, the Arab League has somewhat found rightful the demand of Arab people. the League has signaled with these decisions that it would move away from ideas of Arab nationalism and Arab unity in pursuit of further integration with the international system. On the other hand, the authoritarian state systems of most of the member states of the League make it difficult to regard Arab League decisions as steps supporting democracy. The League's ''democratic stance'' is an outcome of the pressure of revolutions as much as of harmony of interests among the member states. Even though strengthening democracy in the region seems like an unrealistic desire of member states, these decisions push each member towards thinking about change and thus pave the way for democratic reform process. The study at hand consists of two parts. The first part addresses the League's policy proposals, decisions, and reactions regarding the Syrian crisis and concentrates on what these all policy measures mean for the League as a regional organization. The second part examines regional dynamics that play a crucial role in the current crisis by looking at different positions of regional and global actors on the Syrian crisis.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Regional Cooperation, Regime Change, Political Activism
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Libya, Arabia, Syria
  • Author: Nathan M. Jensen, Persephone Economou, Paul Antony Barbour, Daniel Villar
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: The events of the Arab Spring have dramatically increased the risk perceptions of foreign investors. In directly affected countries, these events led to disruptions in economic activity including plummeting tourism and foreign direct investment (FDI) flows, all of which negatively impacted economic growth. While the economic impact was uneven across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, for the region's developing countries the growth rate assumption underpinning survey analysis in the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency's (MIGA's) World Investment and Political Risk Report for 2011 was 1.7%. How much will these developments affect future FDI?
  • Topic: Political Violence, Regime Change, Foreign Aid, Fragile/Failed State, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia, North Africa
  • Author: Stephen J. Hadley, Steven A. Cook, Madeleine Albright
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Among the most important developments in international affairs of the past decade is the emergence of Turkey as a rising regional and global power. Turkey has long been an important country as a stalwart member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), an aspirant to European Union (EU) membership, and an important link between the West and the East. Yet the changes in Turkey over the past decade have been so dramatic—with far-reaching political and economic reforms, significant social reforms, and an active foreign policy—that the country is virtually unrecognizable to longtime Turkey watchers. Today Turkey is more democratic, prosperous, and politically influential than it was five, ten, and fifteen years ago.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Political Violence, Democratization, Economics, Human Rights, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Central Asia, Turkey, Middle East
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: As the 10 April deadline Kofi Annan (the UN and Arab League joint Special Envoy) set for implementation of his peace plan strikes , the conflict ' s dynamics have taken an ugly and worrying turn. Syrians from all walks of life appear dumbfounded by the horrific levels of violence and hatred generated by the crisis. Regime forces have subjected entire neighbourhoods to intense bombardment, purportedly to crush armed opposition groups yet with no regard for civilians. Within the largest cities, innocent lives have been lost due to massive bomb attacks in the vicinity of key security installations. Perhaps most sickening of all have been pictures displaying the massacre of whole families, including the shattered skulls of young children. The first anniversary of what began as a predominantly peaceful protest movement came and went with only scattered popular demonstrations. Instead, there was immeasurable bloodshed.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, Armed Struggle, Sectarian violence
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia, United Nations, Syria
  • Author: Yun Sun
  • Publication Date: 02-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: China's joint veto along with Russia of the UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) on Syria has provoked fierce international criticism. Labeled as “responsible for Syria's genocide,” Beijing's international image has struck a new low. China's decision to cast the unpopular vote was apparently well thought-out, as evidenced by its consistent diplomatic rhetoric and actions, both before and after the veto. However, in analyzing China's motivation, many analysts seemed to have missed an important point. That is, China's experience concerning Libya in 2011 had a direct impact on its actions regarding Syria this time around.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Insurgency, Popular Revolt
  • Political Geography: China, Middle East, Arabia, United Nations, Syria
  • Author: Hanna Ojanen, Barbara Zanchetta
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The increasing tension around the Iranian nuclear programme and the uncompromising positions of the protagonists have made the goal of creating a zone free of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East seem utopic. Yet, the current strategy of maintaining a low profile in the discussions on the zone, while keeping the focus exclusively on Iran, is not likely to lead to progress. Instead, combining the Iranian question with the zone and enlarging the content and scope of the negotiations even further by including Iran's neighbours could be a better strategy. Turkey could play a key role because of its unique relations with Iran, and because of its strong quest for a more prominent international position — if it can only strike the right balance between the role of lead actor and team player. Turkish-Iranian relations could notably inspire the consideration of accompanying pragmatic agreements on regional cooperation in other fields as a way forward for the upcoming Middle East disarmament negotiations in Finland.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, Power Politics
  • Political Geography: Iran, Turkey, Middle East, Finland
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The nuclear negotiations between Iran and the West have had their share of dashed expectations, but even by this peculiar standard, the recent diplomatic roller coaster stands out. Brimming with hope in Istanbul, negotiators crashed to earth in Baghdad, a few weeks later. That was not unexpected, given inflated hopes, mismatched expectations and – most hurtful – conviction on both sides that they had the upper hand. But if negotiations collapse now, it is hard to know what comes next. Washington and Brussels seem to count on sanctions taking their toll and forcing Iran to compromise. Tehran appears to bank on a re-elected President Obama displaying more flexibility and an economically incapacitated Europe balking at sanctions that could boomerang. Neither is likely; instead, with prospects for a deal fading, Israeli pressure for a military option may intensify. Rather than more brinkmanship, Iran and the P5+1 (UN Security Council permanent members and Germany) should agree on intensive, continuous, technicallevel negotiations to achieve a limited agreement on Iran's 20 per cent enrichment.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, Treaties and Agreements, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East
  • Author: Marina Ottaway, Paul Salem, Nathan J. Brown, Sinan Ülgen
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: After more than a year of Arab uprisings, the emerging political order in the Middle East is marked by considerable shifts within individual countries as well as at the regional level. Domestically and internationally, new actors are emerging in strong positions and others are fading in importance. Islamist parties are on the rise with many secular forces losing power. And across the region, economic concerns have risen to the fore. These domestic changes have implications for both regional and international actors. There are a number of more ambitious economic and political steps the West should take to respond to these power shifts and engage with these new players.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Democratization, Regime Change, Governance
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Abigael Baldoumas, Kelly Gilbride
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: The Yemeni people are facing a worsening humanitarian crisis with more than ten million–44 per cent of the population–facing food insecurity. With the onset of the hunger season, many families have exhausted their coping strategies and are being driven deeper into poverty. Donors remain deeply divided over their approaches to the region's poorest country, thus delaying responses and hindering funding. As the crisis builds, donors must take steps to address immediate humanitarian needs as well as making long term commitments to promote development. The Friends of Yemen ministerial meeting in Riyadh offers a critical opportunity for donors to be decisive, creative and generous if they are to break the cycle of hunger and poverty in Yemen. Yemen's future depends upon reducing people's vulnerability and building resilience for the long term, breaking the hunger cycle and empowering people to realize their potential. Failure to act now will put more lives at risk and further entrench poverty in the country.
  • Topic: Humanitarian Aid, Poverty, Food, Famine
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Yemen, Arabia
  • Author: Muhittin Ataman
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: When we consider Saudi Arabian large population, territories and natural resources, it is obvious that it will continue to preserve its geopolitical, geo-economic and geo-cultural importance in future. The assumption of King Abdullah as the ruler of the country provided an opportunity to restructure the country's foreign policy. The new king began to follow a more pragmatic, rational, interdependent, multilateral and multidimensional foreign policy. He pursues an active foreign policy required to be less dependent on a single state (the United States) and on a single product (oil).
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Oil, Political Economy, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Turkey, Middle East, Arabia, Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Daniel Seidemann
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre
  • Abstract: What are Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's real intentions vis-à-vis Israeli–Palestinian negotiations and the two-state solution? What does he really want? Speculation aside, a great deal can be gleaned about both Netanyahu's core beliefs and his intentions by examining his words and his actions with respect to Jerusalem. Jerusalem is universally recognised as a key permanent status issue, which, for any peace agreement, will require the reconciling of competing Israeli and Palestinian claims as well as recognition and protection of Jewish, Muslim and Christian equities. In the context of the current political stalemate, however, it has become much more than that. Today, Jerusalem is both the volcanic core of the conflict – the place where religion and nationalism meet and combine in a potentially volatile mix – and a microcosm of the conflict and the imbalance of power that characterises developments on the ground.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Treaties and Agreements, Territorial Disputes
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arabia
  • Author: Judy Barsalou
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre
  • Abstract: The dominance of neo-patriarchal, semi-authoritarian regimes with little interest in justice, accountability or other values associated with democratic governance has meant that, until recently, the Arab region has had limited experience with transitional justice (TJ). Several states have started down the TJ path since the emergence of the “Arab Spring”, but their progress is uneven. In Egypt, much depends on the nature and speed of the transition, whose outcomes remain uncertain. Whether and how Arab transitional states embrace TJ – especially how they manage the fates of their deposed rulers and essential institutional reforms – will indicate whether they intend to break with the past and build public institutions that inspire civic trust.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Regime Change
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia, Egypt
  • Author: Aitemad Muhanna
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre
  • Abstract: Women's participation in the Arab uprisings has been inspired by the expansion of an Islamist-based model of Arab women's activism and a gradual shrinking of secular liberal women's activism. The uprisings have provided outcomes that prove the possibility of combining Islam with democracy through the political success of Islamist parties in the post-uprisings era, like in Tunisia and Egypt. Although this new de facto political map of the region has largely frightened liberal women, the victory of moderate Islamist voices may also be promising, especially when they are in a position to provide a state governance model. The determining factor in combining Islam with democracy is the willingness of the two major players – Islamist parties and the international community – to ensure that the main debatable issues – religion, gender and human rights – are not discriminated against in the name of either religion or Western democracy. However, the actual practice and outcomes of moderate Islamist discourse remains under experimentation, and it is a space for Islamist and secular women's and human rights organisations to co-operate, monitor, negotiate and strategise, to ensure that gender issues are engaged in policy discussions and formulations as a substantial issue for real democratisation.
  • Topic: Democratization, Gender Issues, Islam
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia, Egypt, Tunisia
  • Author: Jean-Paul Marthoz
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre
  • Abstract: Online media, global TV and social networks played a significant role in the Arab Spring and will be important factors in determining the direction of these “revolutions”.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Science and Technology, Mass Media, Regime Change, Insurgency
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Youssef Courbage
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre
  • Abstract: Since December 2010, the speed, suddenness and scope of events in North Africa and the Middle East have taken everyone by surprise. They nevertheless had to happen. Given the universality of human nature – differences between a European and an Arab are ultimately of minor importance – the processes that began in Europe in the seventeenth century and spread throughout the world would have inevitably reached the Arab countries.
  • Topic: Demographics, Regime Change
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: David Gardner
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre
  • Abstract: The reign of Arab strongmen supported by the West is drawing to an end. Europe has the duty and the opportunity to get on the right side of history, and to assist in reform and reconstruction, if and when requested. The economic dimension is about more than aid and trade, and will turn importantly on ideas and debate. Policy should be driven by a blatant bias towards democracy and its defenders, the support of competitive politics and open societies, education and the building of institutions, law-based regimes and the empowerment of women – everything many Arabs still find attractive about Western society.
  • Topic: Post Colonialism, Regime Change, Insurgency
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Jad Chaaban
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre
  • Abstract: The Middle East and North African region is currently faced with one of the toughest socioeconomic challenges in its modern history: a "youth bulge" of almost 100 million young people, of which a quarter are unemployed. Between 40 and 50 million new jobs need to be created in the region's countries over the next decade, and this implies that governments in the region should embark on a labour-intensive and job-creating growth trajectory. Special attention should be given to reducing the unemployment and emigration of skilled youth, and to integrating young women into the labour market. Policies that tackle the institutional and structural impediments to meaningful job creation should be pursued, together with public interventions in social protection and housing programmes that would reduce youth's social exclusion in the region.
  • Topic: Demographics, Gender Issues, Islam, Labor Issues
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Yossi Alpher
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre
  • Abstract: Syria is geo-strategically, historically and politically the most central of Middle East countries, hence the over-riding importance of the conflict there. Yet any discussion of the regional implications of that conflict is necessarily highly speculative. Its points of departure are the instances of regional intervention and "overflow" from the situation already taking place. Turkey, with its open support for the armed Syrian opposition, is the leading candidate to establish "safe zones" or even "humanitarian corridors" that could conceivably lead to war. Ankara's growing rivalry with Iran is increasingly being acted out in Syria and is interacting with tensions between Sunni Muslims and Alawites/Shias not only in Syria, but in Lebanon and Iraq as well.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Regime Change, Bilateral Relations, Territorial Disputes
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Turkey, Middle East, Israel, Arabia, Syria
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Women played a key role in Yemen's 2011 popular uprising, but almost a year on they are still waiting for change. Four out of five women consulted by Oxfam in a series of focus group discussions say that their lives have worsened over the last 12 months. Although a transition towards democracy is under way, women's hopes for a better life are wearing thin. A quarter of women between the ages of 15 and 49 are acutely malnourished. Deepening humanitarian crisis and conflict are limiting women's role in shaping Yemen's future. Women have told Oxfam that they need better access to food, jobs, and physical safety. The Government of Yemen and the international community should adequately support the humanitarian response and help ensure women can play their part in building a peaceful and just society.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Government, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Yemen, Arabia
  • Author: Lara El-Jazairi, Fionna Smyth
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The Jordan Valley, located in the eastern part of the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), makes up 30 per cent of the West Bank (see Map 1 on page 7). Requisitions and expropriations of Palestinian land by the Israeli authorities continue to destroy the livelihoods of Palestinians living in the area and, unless action is taken, there are strong indications that the situation will only get worse. The Israeli government recently announced proposals and policies for the expansion of settlements, which, if implemented, will further threaten the living conditions and human rights of Palestinian communities in the Jordan Valley, undermining efforts to bring peace and prosperity to the OPT and Israel.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Agriculture, Development, Peace Studies, Treaties and Agreements, Territorial Disputes
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arabia
  • Author: Marleen Nolten
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The 25th of January 2011 uprising in Egypt called for freedom, dignity and social justice. The uprising was full of opportunities and challenges for Egyptian men and women who have been deprived of their political, social and economic rights. Hence, the revolution has given women a sense of freedom and empowerment, and seemed like a perfect opportunity to claim their rights. However, while many groups, including women, overcame their fear to speak out against violations of their basic rights, the changed power relations threatened to ignore women's rights or even reverse gains that were won in the past. Oxfam partners in Egypt have increased their efforts during the last year to collectively formulate priority demands on women's rights and bring these demands to the forefront.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Human Rights, Islam, Regime Change
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia, Egypt
  • Author: Dov Friedman
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The United States presidential election in November comes at a crucial moment in world affairs, particularly in the Middle East. The year-long uprising in Syria has devolved into civil war. The conflict between Iran, on the one hand, and the U.S., Europe, and Israel, on the other, has not been diffused. The transition of power in Iraq and the planned force reduction in Afghanistan suggest that both countries will continue to experience marked change. The future of relations with new governments in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, and Yemen must be reshaped.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Europe, Middle East, Libya, Yemen, Arabia, Syria, Egypt
  • Author: Stephen Biddle, Jacob N. Shapiro, Jeffrey A. Friedman
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Why did violence decline in Iraq in 2007? Many credit the "surge," or the program of U.S. reinforcements and doctrinal changes that began in January 2007. Others cite the voluntary insurgent stand-downs of the Sunni Awakening or say that the violence had simply run its course after a wave of sectarian cleansing. Evidence drawn from recently declassified data on violence at local levels and a series of seventy structured interviews with coalition participants finds little support for the cleansing or Awakening theses. This analysis constitutes the first attempt to gather systematic evidence across space and time to help resolve this debate, and it shows that a synergistic interaction between the surge and the Awakening was required for violence to drop as quickly and widely as it did.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Foreign Policy, War, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Arabia
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: "Seldom in the history of the Middle East and North Africa have so many changes taken place so dramatically, so quickly, and at the same time." This observation, made by a participant at the International Peace Institute's 2012 Vienna Seminar, helps explain the world's current focus on the uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East. The purpose of the forty-second annual Vienna Seminar was to make sense of these changes and see what steps can be taken to encourage the positive trends, and to promote peace and security in the region.
  • Topic: Democratization, Islam, Regime Change, Insurgency
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Libya, Yemen, Arabia, North Africa, Syria, Egypt, Tunisia, Vienna
  • Author: Douglas A. Ollivant
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Iraq remains a fragile state deeply traumatized and riven by thirty years of war, sanctions, occupation, and civil strife. Although there are numerous positive signs of progress in Iraq—violence has fallen to its lowest level since 2003, its economy is growing modestly, oil production recently surpassed that of Iran, and foreign investment is beginning to restore infrastructure decayed by years of war and sanctions—the risk of acute instability and renewed conflict remains. Already, in the wake of the U.S. military withdrawal in December 2011, Iraq has seen a fierce political struggle between Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and many of his rivals in the Sunni-dominated Iraqiya parliamentary coalition, plus increasing tension with at least some segments of the Kurdish minority. For the positive trends to continue, Iraq will need to contain various threats to internal stability and weather regional turmoil that could worsen significantly in the coming months. The United States has a significant stake in helping Iraq overcome these challenges; Iraq is a critical state within a critical region.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Development, Oil, Fragile/Failed State, Sectarian violence
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Martin Hartberg
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The ceasefire agreed between the Government of Israel and Hamas on 21 November 2012, following the recent military escalation in Gaza and southern Israel, provides an unprecedented opportunity to end the cycle of violence that has affected too many innocent Israeli and Palestinian civilians. In the ceasefire understanding, the parties agreed to negotiate 'opening the crossings' into the Gaza Strip and to put an end to 'restricting residents' free movement and targeting residents in border areas'. It is therefore also a unique chance to once and for all lift the Israeli blockade on Gaza, which has had a devastating impact on the lives and well-being of Gaza's civilian population and on Palestinian development.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Political Violence, Islam, War, Territorial Disputes
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Arabia, Gaza