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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: 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: 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: 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