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  • Author: Larry Diamond, Eileen Donahoe, Ahmed Shaheed, Benjamin Greenacre, James Shires, Alexei Abrahams, Joshua Tucker, Xiao Qiang, Marwa Fatafta, Andrew Leber, Alexei Abrahams, Marc Owen Jones, Afef Abroughi, Mohamed Najem, Mahsa Alimardani, Mona Elswah, Alexandra A. Siegel, H. Akin Unver, Ahmet Kurnaz, Anita Gohdes, Zachary Steinert-Threlkeld
  • Publication Date: 08-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Project on Middle East Political Science (POMEPS)
  • Abstract: The Project on Middle East Political Science partnered with Stanford University’s Center for Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law and its Global Digital Policy Incubator for an innovative two week online seminar to explore the issues surrounding digital activism and authoritarianism. This workshop was built upon more than a decade of our collaboration on issues related to the internet and politics in the Middle East, beginning in 2011 with a series of workshops in the “Blogs and Bullets” project supported by the United States Institute for Peace and the PeaceTech Lab. This new collaboration brought together more than a dozen scholars and practitioners with deep experience in digital policy and activism, some focused on the Middle East and others offering a global and comparative perspective. POMEPS STUDIES 43 collects essays from that workshop, shaped by two weeks of public and private discussion.
  • Topic: Security, Civil War, Government, Human Rights, Science and Technology, Infrastructure, Authoritarianism, Political Activism, Democracy, Media, Inequality, Social Media, Surveillance, Borders, Digital Culture, Cyberspace
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Middle East, North Africa
  • Author: Hisham Aïdi, Marc Lynch, Zachariah Mampilly, Diana S. Kim, Parisa Vaziri, Denis Regnier, Sean Jacobs, Wendell Marsh, Stephen J. King, Eric Hahonou, Paul A. Silverstein, Afifa Ltifi, Zeyad el Nabolsy, Bayan Abubakr, Yasmin Moll, Zachary Mondesire, Abdourahmane Seck, Amelie Le Renard, Sumayya Kassamali, Noori Lori, Nathaniel Mathews, Sabria Al-Thawr, Gokh Amin Alshaif, Deniz Duruiz, Yasmeen Abu-Laban, Efrat Yerday, Noah Salomon, Ann McDougall
  • Publication Date: 09-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Project on Middle East Political Science (POMEPS)
  • Abstract: In February 2020, the editors of this volume organized a POMEPS workshop that explored the origins of the disciplinary divide between the study of Africa and the Middle East, examining issues that span both regions (i.e., cross-border conflict, Islamist politics, social movements and national identity, and Gulf interventionism.) In February 2021, we convened another workshop, sponsored by POMEPS and the newly-founded Program on African Social Research (PASR, pronounced Pasiri) centered on racial formations and racialization across the two regions. Both workshops centered around the need for a genuinely transregional scholarship, one which rejects artificial divisions between ostensibly autonomous regions while also taking seriously the distinctive historical trajectories and local configurations of power which define national and subregional specificities. The workshop brought together nearly two dozen scholars from across multiple disciplines to explore the historical and contemporary politics of racial formation across Africa and the Middle East.
  • Topic: Islam, Race, War, Immigration, Law, Slavery, Judaism, Colonialism, Borders, Identity, Amazigh
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sudan, Turkey, Middle East, Asia, South Africa, Yemen, Palestine, North Africa, Egypt, Madagascar, Tunisia, Oman, Gulf Nations
  • Author: Marc Lynch, Bassel Salloukh, Toby Dodge, Jeroen Gunning, Dima Smaira, Stacey Philbrick Yadav, Morten Valbjørn, Simon Mabon, Ala'a Shehabi, Mariam Salehi
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Project on Middle East Political Science (POMEPS)
  • Abstract: The challenges to inclusionary states in the MENA region are daunting—including fiercely authoritarian states, the reality or threat of political violence, and ongoing protest movements. In September 2019, POMEPS and the Lebanese American University (LAU) brought together a diverse, interdisciplinary group of scholars to discuss the challenges to building more inclusive orders under these conditions.
  • Topic: Security, Civil Society, Politics, Sovereignty, Sectarianism, Transitional Justice, State, Reconciliation , Inclusion , Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF)
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Yemen, North Africa, Lebanon
  • Author: Marc Lynch, Simon Mabon, Christopher Phillips, F. Gregory Gause III, Morten Valbjørn, Maria-Louise Clausen, Johan Eriksson, Helle Malmvig, Tamirace Fakhoury, Bassel Salloukh, May Darwich, Edward Wastnidge
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Project on Middle East Political Science (POMEPS)
  • Abstract: The essays collected here were initially presented at a joint SEPAD-POMEPS workshop held at Chatham House in February 2020. The authors were asked to reflect on the ways in which geopolitical tensions between Saudi Arabia, Iran, the United States – and others – shapes conflict and societal tensions across the Middle East and beyond.
  • Topic: International Relations, Nationalism, Infrastructure, Sectarianism, Geopolitics, Arab Spring, Repression, Geography, Rivalry
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Iran, Central Asia, Middle East, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, United States of America, Horn of Africa
  • Author: Marc Lynch, Eleanore Ardemagni, Jesse Marks, Elizabeth Parker-Magyar, Allison Spencer Hartnett, Ezzeldeen al-Natour, Laith al-Ajlouni, Carla Abdo-Katsipis, Lucia Ardovini, Yasmine Zarhloule, Yasmina Abouzzohour, Brent E. Sasley, Ehud Eiran, Sally Sharif, Diana Galeeva, Matthew Hedges, Elham Fakhro, Kristin Diwan, Guy Burton, Ruth Hanau Santini, Justin Schon, Alex Thurston, Adam Hoffmann, Robert Kubinec
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Project on Middle East Political Science (POMEPS)
  • Abstract: This special issue of POMEPS STUDIES collects twenty contributions from a wide range of young scholars writing from diverse perspectives, which collectively offer a fascinating overview of a region whose governance failures, economic inequalities and societal resilience were all suddenly thrown into sharp relief.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Economics, Islam, Nationalism, United Nations, Governance, Authoritarianism, Refugees, Inequality, Conflict, Pandemic, Resilience, COVID-19, Identity
  • Political Geography: China, Middle East, Israel, Yemen, North Africa, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Morocco
  • Author: Hisham Aïdi, Marc Lynch, Zachariah Mampilly, Nisrin El-Amin, Jean-Baptiste Gallopin, Noah Salomon, Samar Al-Bulushi, Wolfram Lacher, Federico Donelli, Lina Benabdallah, Ezgi Guner, Afifa Ltifi, Zekeria Ould Ahmed Salem, Alex Thurston, Alex de Waal
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Project on Middle East Political Science (POMEPS)
  • Abstract: The papers, published in this collection, ranged widely over issues connecting West Africa, the Horn, the Sahel and North Africa thematically, politically, militarily and culturally. The goal of this volume is to get American political science to break down the barriers between academic subfields defined by regions and open the fields to new questions raised by scholars from and across Africa and the Middle East.
  • Topic: Islam, War, Regime Change, Media, Conflict, Political Science, Revolution, Capital
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, Sudan, Turkey, Middle East, Libya, Saudi Arabia, North Africa, West Africa, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, East Africa, Sahel, Horn of Africa
  • Author: Marc Lynch, Michael Barnett, Nathan Brown
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Project on Middle East Political Science (POMEPS)
  • Abstract: In October 2019, the Project on Middle East Political Science convened a workshop with more than a dozen scholars – Israelis, Palestinians, and others – to discuss the contours of this emergent one state reality. The essays in this collection represent an initial assessment of this reality, and many more will follow over the years to come. The authors each bring their own perspective and history, their own commitments and values, their own aspirations for the future, producing areas of agreement and disagreement. But all agree on the urgent need to recognize the Israeli-Palestinian reality for what it really is and to develop the theoretical language and conceptual tools to rigorously describe and compare that reality. We hope this collection makes a small contribution to the vibrant intellectual debates developing around these issues and joins those ongoing dialogues in a productive way.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Human Rights, Territorial Disputes, Citizenship, Ethnicity, Mobility, Settler Colonialism, Segregation
  • Political Geography: Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Mediterranean, West Bank
  • Author: Marc Lynch
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Project on Middle East Political Science (POMEPS)
  • Abstract: Over the last year, the MENA region’s simmering conflicts have seemed frozen in place. The internationally-fueled civil wars in Syria, Yemen and Libya have long since settled into an equilibrium in which no side can either truly win or truly lose. Those conflicts have been held in place in part by local ecologies and war economies and in part by the competitive interventions by regional and international powers on behalf of their proxies and clients. But are these conflicts truly frozen? What does viewing them through such a lens gain, and what are the theoretical and analytical costs? To explore these questions, POMEPS convened a virtual research workshop on September 25, 2020, with scholars from diverse empirical and theoretical backgrounds.
  • Topic: Security, Civil War, Politics, Citizenship, Military Intervention, Conflict, Syrian War, Mental Health, Crisis Management, Peace, Justice, Capital, Mobilization
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Libya, Yemen, North Africa, Lebanon, Syria, United States of America
  • Author: Marc Lynch, David Siddhartha Patel
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Project on Middle East Political Science (POMEPS)
  • Abstract: Iraq was long neglected by Middle East political scientists, rarely treated as a comparative case for studies of democratization or social mobilization and generally viewed as an exceptional outlier case in studies of authoritarianism. Islamist movements in Iraq received little attention, despite the participation of a Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated party in government as well as the fascinating array of Shi‘i Islamist movements and parties that have competed in elections and governed the country since 2005. The neglect of Iraq had many causes. Prior to 2003, Saddam Hussein’s security state offered little access to researchers of any kind, while the intense violence and insecurity in the decade after his overthrow deterred most scholars who were not embedded with coalition authorities or the U.S. military. Political opposition to the invasion and occupation of Iraq may also have led scholars to avoid research which they thought might somehow vindicate the Bush administration’s calls for democratization through regime change. In recent years, however, the study of Iraq has undergone a quiet renaissance. Iraq has become comparatively safer and more open to academic research than in the past, while other Arab countries have become closed to researchers or less safe. New outrages since the 2011 Arab Uprisings, such as the debates over intervention in Syria, Libya, and Yemen, have perhaps eased the unique stigma surrounding the post-2003 Iraqi project, while a younger generation of scholars may be less shaped by the politics of that moment. The failed states and civil wars of the post-2011 period arguably have made Iraq “less unique,” with its experience now viewed as offering valuable comparative perspective. The opening of the Ba‘ath Party archives to researchers, while problematic in some ways, has created the possibility for genuinely unique archival study of the inner workings of an Arab autocracy. And a generation of young Iraqi scholars has emerged writing about their own country’s politics and society. This has led to a rethinking of the relationships among religion, violence, and the Iraqi state before and after 2003. How much control did the Ba‘th regime have over society immediately before the invasion, and what role did violence play in that control? In what ways did the regime’s Faith Campaign in the 1990s influence the post-invasion prominence of religious actors? Why did sectarian politics and violence become so pronounced soon after the invasion yet later ebb? Finally, what dynamics within Iraq are missed by looking at the country through a lens that prioritizes sectarianism? In April 2019, POMEPS and the Crown Center for Middle East Studies at Brandeis University brought together almost two dozen scholars to discuss these and other topics. The authors come from different disciplines – political science, history, sociology, and urban studies – and employ a range of methodologies and sources of data. All of the authors have conducted research either in Iraq or in the Ba‘th Party Records at the Hoover Institution or both. The 14 papers in POMEPS Studies 35: Religion, Violence, and the State in Iraq exemplify the ways in which scholars are using new perspectives, data, and sources to offer insights into religion, violence, and the state in Iraq’s past, present, and future.
  • Topic: Democratization, Religion, War, Sectarianism, Islamic State, Ethnicity, State, Violence
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: Sean Yom, Wael ak-Khatib, Begum Uzun, Matt Gordner, Giulia Cimini, Yousra Kadi, Dina El-Sharnouby, Sarah Fischer, Aziza Moneer, Curtis R. Ryan, Sara Ababneh, Yazan Doughan, Aydin Ozipek, Makiko Nambu, Sarah A. Tobin, Justin Gengler, Sarah Anne Rennick
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Project on Middle East Political Science (POMEPS)
  • Abstract: Youth political activism has been challenging Middle East and North African political systems frequently and forcefully over the last decade. This is not a new phenomenon, of course. Young people have historically stood at the forefront of popular uprisings and cultural movements. Demographic realities in the Middle East have increased the latent potential for disruptive youth activism. Nearly 60 percent of people in the region fall under the age of 30, half of whom are aged between 15 and 29, and in almost every country, unemployment for working-age youth exceeds the overall jobless rate. The failures of the 2011 Arab uprisings to achieve lasting democratic change revealed the limits of street protests, but the underlying problems remain profoundly unresolved. How are young people questioning, subverting, and transforming the boundaries of politics in the post-uprising Middle East and North Africa? In June 2019, the Project on Middle East Political Science convened a workshop on youth politics in Amman, Jordan, in cooperation with the Phenix Center for Economic and Informatics Studies. The workshop’s papers and deliberations sought to unpack the meaning of youth politics. What characterizes the latest wave of youth mobilization? How is youth activism, and youth politics, changing public attitudes and government policies? Can any generalizations be made about youthfulness, and the experience of being young and political, in the Middle East today? The essays contained in POMEPS Studies 36: Youth Politics in the Middle East and North Africa attempt to answer these questions. They come from scholars who, through intensive fieldwork in varying countries, study the origins and processes of activism among young people through diverse methodologies and orientations.
  • Topic: Politics, Political Activism, Women, Youth, Protests, Sexual Violence, Revolution
  • Political Geography: Sudan, Turkey, Middle East, Israel, North Africa, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia