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  • Author: Eva M. Lisowski
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Nonproliferation Policy Education Center
  • Abstract: The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was formed in 1957 to promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy and to inspect civilian nuclear materials and activities to deter military diversions. To decide the frequency of inspections and inspection criteria, the IAEA set its safeguard standards with the objective of assuring “timely detection of diversion of significant quantities of nuclear material from peaceful nuclear activities to the manufacture of nuclear weapons.” The two nuclear weapon designs developed and detonated during World War II were the “gun-type” and “implosion” designs. Because implosion device technology requires much less fissile material than guntype technology, the IAEA significant quantity6 (SQ) values were determined based on the fissile material requirements of nuclear implosion devices like the plutonium-based “Fat Man” detonated over Nagasaki in 1945. Utilizing implosion designs perfected in the late 1940s, however, the explosive yields achieved in 1945 can be produced with much less fissile material. Table 1 lists the fissile material requirements of contemporary nuclear weapon technology. “Low Technical Capability” in Table 1 refers to the Mark III implosion device set off at Nagasaki. “Medium Technical Capability” refers to implosion designs perfected in the late 1940s and “High Technical Capability” in Table 1 refers to the implosion technologies the United States perfected in the 1950s.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, Science and Technology, Nonproliferation, Nuclear Energy, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Masaki Matsuo
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Japan Institute Of International Affairs (JIIA)
  • Abstract: One of the effects that Gulf Arab countries extend to the entire Middle East is that of stabilization through financial assistance. Huge oil export revenues are transformed into financial aid and funneled into neighboring Arab countries. The Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) is known throughout the world as a region where no progress has been made in democratization. Thus, if financial assistance from the Gulf Arab countries is stabilizing the systems of neighboring countries, it suggests that the Gulf Arab countries are hindering democratization in MENA. Such concerns can be traced back to Beblawi (1987) but have never been demonstrated. In this paper, official development assistance (ODA) statistics and democratization indicators will be used to conduct a preliminary analysis of the effects of financial assistance provided to MENA by the Gulf Arab countries in curbing democratization.
  • Topic: Democratization, Foreign Aid, Finance, Gulf Cooperation Council
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arab Countries, Gulf Nations
  • Author: Jun Saito
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Japan Institute Of International Affairs (JIIA)
  • Abstract: The Arab countries of the Gulf have worked to expand domestic food production and to secure stable food procurement from overseas in order to respond to increasing food demand due to the unsuitability of their geographical environment for food production and their rapid population growth.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Food, Food Security, Imports
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Gulf Nations
  • Author: Toru Onozawa
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Japan Institute Of International Affairs (JIIA)
  • Abstract: Since its inauguration, the Biden administration has been rapidly changing Trump administration's policies in both domestic and foreign affairs. The extension of the New START with Russia, the return to the Paris Agreement and the suspension of support for Saudi Arabia's intervention in the Yemeni civil war are just some of the pledges that Biden made during his presidential campaign. The new US administration seems to be on a steady track to make changes it deems necessary.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Conflict, Joe Biden
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Yuko Ido
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Japan Institute Of International Affairs (JIIA)
  • Abstract: In 2020, in the midst of a global coronavirus pandemic, food insecurity and crises became more serious worldwide. In October 2020, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for its humanitarian assistance in conflict areas around the world. WFP Executive Director David Beasley said, "Food is the best vaccine." However, in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, where conflicts in Syria, Yemen, Libya and other countries continue, there have been concerns of serious hunger even before the coronavirus outbreak. In addition to conflicts, the region is regarded as one of the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, which is considered to have been one of the factors in these conflicts. This short paper intends to offer an overview of the common challenges faced in pursuing food security in the MENA region and discuss their prospects.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Food Security, Crisis Management
  • Political Geography: Middle East, North Africa
  • Author: Mari Nukii
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Japan Institute Of International Affairs (JIIA)
  • Abstract: It is no exaggeration to say that Iran has been one of victims most suffered from the Trump administration's 'America First' policy in the four years since President Trump's inauguration in 2017. The main cause was Trump's unilateral declaration on May 8, 2018 to withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and resume sanctions against Iran. Furthermore, in May 2019, the United States imposed a total embargo on Iranian oil and sent the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln and bomber units to the Middle East, heightening the risk of military conflict between the two countries.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Politics, Elections, JCPOA
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, United States of America
  • Author: Masaaki Yatsuzuka
  • Publication Date: 06-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Japan Institute Of International Affairs (JIIA)
  • Abstract: There is no question that China's presence in the Middle East is growing significantly. Will China continue to deepen its involvement in the region and play a role in shaping the regional order, taking the place of the United States? In other words, will China practice major power diplomacy in the Middle East? The view among researchers in China and elsewhere1 over this question is divided. To categorize their arguments into two camps, there is a cautious engagement theory that warns against the risk of getting caught up in the turmoil in the Middle East and recommends (or predicts) that China protect its economic interests while maintaining political neutrality vis-à-vis the Middle East as it has done so far. On the other hand, there is an active engagement theory advocating (or foreseeing) that China deepen its engagement, proactively participate based on the responsibility of a major world power in solving problems in the Middle East, and actively propose its own ideas in order to protect Chinese interests in the Middle East.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: China, Middle East, Asia
  • Author: Eugene Gholz
  • Publication Date: 06-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft
  • Abstract: U.S. interests in the Middle East are often defined expansively, contributing to an overinflation of the perceived need for a large U.S. military footprint. While justifications like countering terrorism, defending Israel, preventing nuclear proliferation, preserving stability, and protecting human rights deserve consideration, none merit the current level of U.S. troops in the region; in some cases, the presence of the U.S. military actually undermines these concerns.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, War, Military Affairs, Military Intervention, War on Terror, Troop Deployment
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East
  • Author: Amr Hamzawy
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Brown Journal of World Affairs
  • Abstract: The current Egyptian political scene reveals an important paradox: since its ascendancy to power in 2013, the military-led authoritarian government has not faced significant challenges from civil society despite systematic hu- man rights abuses and continuous societal crises. Apart from limited protests by labor activists, student movements, and members of syndicates, Egyptians have mostly refrained from protesting, instead hoping that the government will improve their living conditions despite a rising poverty rate of 33 percent, an inflation rate between 11 and 12 percent, and unemployment at eight percent. This popular reluctance to challenge the authoritarian government has continued to shape Egypt’s reality since the collapse of the short-lived democratization process from 2011–2013.
  • Topic: Authoritarianism, Democracy, Rule of Law, Protests, Dictatorship
  • Political Geography: Africa, Middle East, North Africa, Egypt
  • Author: Dana Moss
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Brown Journal of World Affairs
  • Abstract: Transnational social movements play a critical role in the fight against authoritarianism, and a growing field of diaspora studies shows that exiles, émigrés, emigrants, and refugees are especially well positioned to undermine dictatorships from abroad. Given their cross-border ties, diasporas often mobilize against abuses taking place in their homelands, move aid to war zones and refugee camps, and fuel revolutionary social change. Exiles who gain the right to protest and lobby in their places of settlement can also become powerful players in international relations. Iraqi expatriate Ahmed Chalabi, who helped to justify the United States-led invasion of Iraq by fabricating evidence of Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction, is just one example of how influential exiles can be when exacting revenge on the autocrats who abused them.
  • Topic: Diaspora, Authoritarianism, Democracy, Protests
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: Jorrit Kamminga, Akram Zaki
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Huge numbers of people are returning to Afghanistan – more than two million since 2015 – while the country is still highly fragile, with ongoing fighting and internal displacement in many areas and high levels of poverty. Oxfam’s field research in Herat, Kabul, Kunduz and Nangarhar finds that for as long as these conditions do not improve, a safe and dignified return cannot be guaranteed, and forced returns remain irresponsible. With more people returning on a daily basis, tensions are likely to grow and pressure on scarce resources will increase, exacerbating inequalities in this unstable and fragile country. Sending Afghans back to volatile areas will likely result only in more displacement and fragility.
  • Topic: Refugees, Fragile States, Displacement, Humanitarian Intervention, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Middle East
  • Author: John Adams
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Lebanon hosts approximately 1.5 million Syrians who have fled the war in their country since 2011. Funding for assistance for refugees and refugee-affected populations in Lebanon is declining sharply across all sectors. As of January 2018, only 9% of the year’s WASH sector appeal had been secured. Unless more funding is secured there will be substantial reductions in WASH services for refugee communities. This report is an analysis of impacts and risks of reduced and limited WASH funding on Syrian refugees in informal tented settlements in Bekaa, Lebanon.
  • Topic: Refugees, Sanitation, Humanitarian Crisis, Hygiene
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Lebanon, Syria
  • Author: Sarah Barakat
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Women in the Middle East and North Africa region face challenges in their attempts to seek and get justice. Despite some promising legal awareness initiatives, mostly led by civil society, women’s knowledge of their rights and family law is limited. They lack social capital and the financial means to claim their rights, and the systems in place to provide financial support are insufficient and often ineffective. Women’s pursuit of justice is further limited by entrenched patriarchal values at community and court levels. Though some laws in the countries covered by this research have been positively amended recently, women still face discrimination in the judicial system based on their sex, their religion, and their financial status.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Gender Issues, Women, Justice
  • Political Geography: Africa, Middle East, Yemen, Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan
  • Author: Wasim Durani, Ronald Van Moorten, Saskia van Veen
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: This report presents the findings of research conducted to support the work of the Marriage, No Child's Play programme. The programme aims to change social norms that perpetuate the practices of early and forced marriage. It currently operates in four districts of Pakistan: Larkana and Shikarpur in Sindh, and Lodhran and Muzaffargarh in South Punjab. To increase understanding of the role that social norms currently play in these communities, Oxfam and partners conducted exploratory qualitative research in each of the four districts. Drawing on in-depth interviews with respondents, the report puts forward social norms the researchers believe are central to the marriage decision-making process in the four districts. It highlights potential opportunities to open up conversations and outlines ways for the programme to respond. A key aim of the Marriage, No Child’s Play programme is to change social norms that perpetuate early and forced marriage practices. To increase understanding of the role that social norms currently play in the communities where the Marriage, No Child’s Play programme operates, Oxfam and partners conducted exploratory qualitative research, which will provide a basis for programme implementation and follow-up research. The research consisted of in-depth interviews with 40 respondents: young and married men (n=10) and women (n=10), and mothers (n=10) and fathers (n=10). They were sampled from communities in the four districts of the Marriage No Child’s Play’s programme in Pakistan: Larkana and Shikarpur in Sindh, and Lodhran and Muzaffargarh in South Punjab. Partner staff supported the field research team in selecting respondents. The interview design combined the use of questions with a vignette – a hypothetical story related to early marriage. Oxfam and partners analysed and interpreted the results in a workshop.
  • Topic: Children, Family, Norms, Marriage
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Middle East
  • Author: Ammar A. Malik, Hamutal Bernstein, Edward Mohr, Yasemin Irvin-Erickson
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Urban Institute
  • Abstract: As the Syrian refugee crisis enters its eighth year, leveraging the private sector’s financial capital and capacity for innovation has emerged as an attractive solution to protracted displacement. But little evidence exists on the feasibility and effectiveness of this approach. This case study highlights a unique type of private-sector engagement in which mainstream business interests align with the needs of refugees and host communities. The IKEA–Jordan River Foundation (JRF) partnership demonstrates how diverse stakeholders can identify synergies, overcome legal and practical barriers, and sustain collaborations through effective management structures.
  • Topic: Humanitarian Aid, Refugees, Business , Displacement, Private Sector
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Syria, Jordan
  • Author: Ammar A. Malik, Edward Mohr, Yasemin Irvin-Erickson
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Urban Institute
  • Abstract: With the global displaced population exceeding 68 million, the global humanitarian response system is under unprecedented stress. With widening funding gaps and no resolution in sight, new solutions are needed to address the needs of over 68 million displaced people worldwide. The private sector’s innovative and financial capacity is emerging as one such avenue, resulting in dozens of partnerships with local and international nonprofits. Depending on local policy environments, such working arrangements create both opportunities and risks for partners and hosts. This report is an attempt to learn lessons from existing experiences and offer insights on what works under given circumstances. Through desk research on existing partnerships, semistructured interviews with key stakeholders, site visits with partners in Jordan and Uganda, expert roundtables, and public discussions, we gather insights on both conceptual and practical aspects of partnerships benefiting refugees. We introduce a conceptual framework on the variety of options available to partners and offer recommendations for organizing win-win partnerships in the future.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Immigration, Refugees, International Development, Displacement, Private Sector
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa, Middle East, Jordan
  • Author: Bassma Kodmani, Hana Jaber
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: Before 2011, the Syrian diaspora worldwide was estimated at 18 million people who migrated over more than a century and have mostly contributed actively to their host communities. This old diaspora has now increased with the wave of Syrian refugees who fled - and continue to flee - Syria because of the ongoing conflict. Over the past seven years, seven million Syrians - not all registered refugees – have fled the country out of a total population of 24 million before the conflict. The Arab Reform Initiative (ARI) conducted a research project between Spring 2017 and 2018 to study Syrian diaspora around the world after the 2011 uprising, map its features and explore the interactions of Syrian migrant communities with the conflict in Syria. To draw a map of these interactions, ARI commissioned a group of researchers to prepare studies on Syrian diaspora in North America, Latin America, and Europe. Regarding the Middle East, researchers conducted studies on the presence of Syrians in Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon, and Egypt as well as Gulf States, with Qatar and the UAE as case example. Furthermore, ARI prepared three papers on the experiences of other diaspora groups in the region, namely the Armenian, the Palestinian, and Lebanese, with a view to comparing them with the Syrian case and draw lessons from them. Finally, ARI shared a questionnaire with the researchers to use with Syrian personalities (academics, businesspeople, engineers, etc.) so as to explore the motives that could encourage or deter them from contributing to channel the potential of the Syrian diaspora to help in the recovery of the Syrian society in Syria and abroad. Researchers also focused on the living conditions of Syrian communities, new and old, in diaspora countries. The ensuing report draws a new globalized network of relationships characterized by the following:
  • Topic: Globalization, Diaspora, Refugees, Revolution
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, Latin America, Syria, North America
  • Author: Taher labadi
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: Displacement, dispersal, denial of nationhood, and global power shifts define the existence of the Palestinian diaspora, hindering their ability to connect to each other and to their homeland. This paper outlines diaspora-homeland relationships that, it argues, are shaped by both settler-colonial policies and globalization. “Diasporization” also impacts power dynamics among Palestinians, reflected in the shifting centre of gravity of Palestinian politics toward the Occupied Palestinian Territories and the growing marginalization of the Palestinian diaspora – especially those residing in neighbouring Arab countries. This paper also addresses the emergence of Palestinian diaspora elites who have been involved in inward-bound dynamics within the state-building process. Of particular note are increasing attempts to mobilize Palestinian “expatriates,” intending to strengthen their involvement in both economic development and state-building processes.
  • Topic: Globalization, Diaspora, Colonialism, State Building, Economic Development
  • Political Geography: Africa, Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Nora Ragab, Amer Katbeh
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: This research was commissioned by Danish Refugee Council’s (DRC) Diaspora Programme as part of a project with the Durable Solutions Platform (DSP) joint initiative of DRC, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC). This study seeks to explore Syrian diaspora mobilisation in six European host countries: Denmark, France, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. The report focuses on the organisational framework, transnational links and practices of Syrian diaspora groups, by taking into account both internal dynamics and potential lines of conflict as well as the contextual factors in the country of origin and destination. The mapping and study seek to provide a basis for further engagement with the most relevant group of Syrians (associations and individuals) across Europe for consultations on future solution scenarios for Syrian refugees, as well as to enable DRC’s Diaspora Programme to develop activities specifically targeting the Syrian diaspora looking towards the reconstruction and development of Syria.
  • Topic: Globalization, Diaspora, Refugee Issues, transnationalism
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe, Middle East, France, Germany, Denmark, Syria, Switzerland, Sweden
  • Author: Kheder Zakaria
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: The paper begins with a review of the stages of Syrian emigration to the Arab oil-producing countries, before and after the outbreak of the Syrian revolution, as well as the trends of Syrian emigration to the Gulf states, and size of Syrian immigrant communities in each. Despite the lack of sources on the number of Syrians in these countries, and the lack of accuracy of the sources that are available, the paper estimates the number of Syrians in these countries at fewer than 600,000 immigrants in 2011. The figure rose to between one million and 1.5 million across years of conflict. About 14% of these work in the top professions, and 11% as specialists and technicians. The study also examines the characteristics of the Syrian emigration to the Gulf states (the temporary nature of the immigration, the difficulty of organization, and having to work in other areas of specialties than their own, etc.). The study concludes with the presentation of the most important results of a questionnaire in which seven Syrian elites took part.
  • Topic: Refugee Issues, Immigration, Revolution
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arab Countries, Syria, OAPEC