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  • Author: Moussa Sall, Intissar Fakir, Hajar Khamlichi, Thowaba Ben Slema, Houssem Hamdi
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Middle East Institute (MEI)
  • Abstract: Across the MENA region, civil society plays a key role in putting climate on the agenda for governments and the private sector. How are activists and advocates in North Africa building momentum in their communities and globally to address climate change? How can social media, film, and art bridge gaps and create a global demand for greater sustainability? Intissar Fakir will be joined in conversation with leading figures in the fight for climate action in North Africa.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Climate Change, Arts, Social Media, Film, Sustainability
  • Political Geography: Middle East, North Africa
  • Author: Ellinore Ahlgren
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Public and International Affairs (JPIA)
  • Institution: School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University
  • Abstract: This paper examines whether frequent engagement with the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, the body of independent experts monitoring the implementation of the Convention of the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, is linked to improved compliance with women’s rights commitments. It further explores whether the relationship between treaty body interaction and compliance holds for states that have made reservations to articles concerning women’s rights. Data from state reports submitted to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women and indicators from the Social Institutions and Gender Index show that frequent engagement with the body is associated with improved equality for women, irrespective of state reservations. The results from this study challenge the idea that reservations undermine global governance regimes and are detrimental to human rights. Finally, this paper illustrates how compliance mechanisms work using a case study from Iraq. Through participation in the report-and-review process, states engage in negotiation around contentious areas of women’s rights with experts, civil society and the public, which facilitates respect for women’s rights.
  • Topic: International Relations, Civil Society, Governance, Women, Compliance, Case Study
  • Political Geography: Africa, Iraq, Middle East, Asia-Pacific
  • Author: Nimrod Goren
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Mitvim: The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies
  • Abstract: The progressive camp in Israel has been trying for years to find its way back to the corridors of power and influence, so far unsuccessfully. Those seeking strategies and tactics for change often wonder whether the solution to Israel’s problems will emerge from without, for example driven by international pressure, or from within, by convincing and mobilizing the Israeli public. A third option to this dichotomy has emerged in recent years in the shape of combined and coordinated moves both within Israeli society and in cooperation with allies abroad.
  • Topic: International Relations, Civil Society, Nationalism, Politics, Partnerships, Populism, Progressivism
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Ulaş Bayraktar
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: This report has been produced in the framework of the Empowering Civil Society for a More Democratic Local Governance Project funded by the scope of Republic of Turkey and European Union supported Partnerships and Networks Grant Program. TESEV is the lead, Şişli Municipality and Association of Union of Citizen Assemblies are the co-applicants, and the Checks and Balances Network is the associate of the project. The transition from the classical management approach to the governance approach, in which private sector and non-governmental organisations take on roles in determining public policies, has been the dominant discourse of politics for more than a quarter century. Instead of a hierarchical and monolithic bureaucratic process, this approach envisions a management triangle that engages other stakeholders. However, these governance principles have not been fully put into practice in Turkey and those that have been implemented have not yielded the expected results. The present study aims to test these statements at the level of local governments and politics. Its purpose is also to open up a discussion based on the findings of interviews and roundtables conducted in ten cities in Turkey and of a comprehensive survey administered to a nationally representative sample of civil society organisations.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Non-Governmental Organization, Governance, Democracy, Urban
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Mehdi Khalaji
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Even as their lack of transparency worsens the public health crisis, the Supreme Leader and other officials have systematically gutted any civil society elements capable of organizing substantial opposition to such policies. Iran’s ongoing coronavirus epidemic has left the people with less reason than ever to trust the information and directives issued by their leaders. Part 1 of this PolicyWatch discussed the clergy’s role in aggravating this problem, but the state’s mistakes and deceptions have been legion as well. They include scandalous discrepancies between official reports after a period of denial that the virus had entered the country; a health system that was unprepared to deal with such a disease promptly and properly; and official resistance to implementing internationally recommended precautionary measures, such as canceling flights from China and quarantining the center of the outbreak. These decisions have sown widespread confusion about facts and fictions related to the virus, the most effective medically proven ways to control it, and the degree to which it is spreading throughout the country. As a result, an already restive population has become increasingly panicked about the future and angry at the state. Yet can the coronavirus actually bring down the regime? The harsh reality is that the state has left little space for opposition to organize around health issues, or any issues for that matter. Instead, it has sought to confuse the people and redirect their anger toward external enemies, even as its own policies contribute to the crisis.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Civil Society, Health, Public Health, Coronavirus
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, United States of America
  • Author: Brandon Friedman, Joshua Krasna, Uzi Rabi, Michael Milshtein, Arik Rudnitzky, Liora Hendelman-Baavur, Joel D. Parker, Cohen Yanarocak, Hay Eytan, Michael Barak, Adam Hoffman
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies
  • Abstract: This collection of essays, published by Konrad Adenauer Stiftung in collaboration with the Moshe Dayan Center (MDC), focuses on how states and societies absorbed the coronavirus shock as the first wave spread through the Middle East, from February through April 2020. It offers a critical examination of how several different Middle East countries have coped with the crisis. This publication is not intended to be comprehensive or definitive, but rather representative and preliminary. Each of these essays draw on some combination of official government data, traditional local and international media, as well as social media, to provide a provisional picture of the interplay between state and society in the initial response to the crisis.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Health Care Policy, Economy, Crisis Management, Sunni, Jihad, Coronavirus, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Iran, Turkey, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Egypt, Jordan, Gulf Cooperation Council, Gulf Nations
  • Author: Shahin Vallée
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP)
  • Abstract: The Beirut Port blast (BPB) has revealed the fundamental failure of the Lebanese political system, but deep democratic reforms will take time and are fraught with risks. Given the US withdrawal and the extreme tensions in the region, the EU has a critical role to play in addressing the short-term humanitarian crisis, responding to the economic and financial situation, and providing a forum for civil society empowerment. If it fails to do so, the price is further geopolitical destabilization.
  • Topic: Civil Society, European Union, Geopolitics, Finance, Economy, Political stability, Crisis Management, Humanitarian Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, Lebanon
  • Author: Esra Kaya Erdoğan
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: The question we need to ask is this: how do we determine whether a government is successful or not in the face of a pandemic of such proportions? While it may seem like there is an objective answer to this question, in fact the answer will inevitably be influenced by the political stance, worldview and party preference of the person responding.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Governance, Accountability, Transparency, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Mediterranean
  • Author: Mahjoob Zweiri
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: Iran’s regional role in MENA is influenced by the evolution of its state-society relations and shifts within its state institutions. This paper argues that the growing regional role of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) is a reflection of the militarization and securitization of the Iranian political system. Conversely, frustration by segments of the Iranian population with the political system’s inability to deliver economically has increasingly manifested itself in criticism and contestation of the regime’s regional role.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Regional Cooperation, Authoritarianism, Militarization
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Nizar Saghieh, Jamil Mouawad
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: This interview with lawyer and Executive Director of “The Legal Agenda” Nizar Saghieh addresses the most important dimensions of accountability following the economic and financial crisis that Lebanon is suffering. It expands the notions of justice, lack of trust in the judiciary, and widespread corruption while attempting to create hope by emphasizing the vitality of a civil society brought once more to the fore by the “17 October Uprising.” Rather than a mere uprising against power, this is now known as the revolution that revived and rebuilt society.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Financial Crisis, Social Movement, Protests, Accountability
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Lebanon
  • Author: Hasan Aydin
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Because of a perceived existential threat to the Turkish state, the teaching of any language other than Turkish in the formal education system has historically been forbidden through targeted legislation, despite the fact that Turkey comprises many minority ethnic groups other than Turks. Guaranteeing the rights of minorities like the Kurds for native tongue education would ensure preserving the distinct identities of minorities and contribute to the resolution of the decades-long Turkish-Kurdish conflict. Potential solutions include establishing programs, hiring more qualified instructors, and encouraging pluralism and diversity in education.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Education, Poverty, Minorities, Income Inequality, Kurds
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Christian Koch, Adnan Tabatabai
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Given the consequences that security issues yield for the Middle East and beyond and in spite of the failures to date, a regional security process where stakeholders can engage with one another remains a relevant and timely approach, which would be needed to move out of the region’s current cycle of instability. Based on the ongoing Tafahum project, a first step is to establish a shared understanding of regional security issues and what they entail before taking steps towards building a security “architecture” or “system”. In addition, regional cooperation must be framed around both conceptual and operational baskets. A broad agreement on principles of conduct, a focus on regional economic development and the development of civil society interactions are seen as essential elements around which such baskets can be put together.
  • Topic: Security, Civil Society, Political stability, Regional Integration
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Mediterranean, Gulf Nations
  • Author: Vali Nasr, Valeria Talbot
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Italian Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI)
  • Abstract: The MED Report 2020, Navigating the Pandemic, provides analyses, policy recommendations and a vast array of data and infographics to stimulate discussion and inspire innovative ideas during the 6th edition of Rome MED Dialogues. Following MED's four traditional thematic sections – shared security; shared prosperity; migration; civil society, culture and media – the Report focuses on a selection of topics that are crucial to the region, highlighting both the challenges and the dynamics taking shape in an area that has been hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic. The aim of this publication is to provide a comprehensive understanding of the prospects and policy options for the Middle East and North Africa, where COVID-19 has impacted on a context already marred by socio-economic vulnerabilities and instability.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Migration, Culture, Geopolitics, Media, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Middle East, North Africa
  • Author: Adis Maksic
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Israel/Palestine Creative Regional Initiatives (IPCRI)
  • Abstract: Since 2017, the Davis Institute for International Relations from the Hebrew University and the Center for Regional Initiatives (IPCRI) have been engaged in a project aimed at building shared visions for Jerusalem. In this project, local residents from diverse communities from across Jerusalem engaged in mapping local needs and designing their visions for the future of the city. As complementary to this work, IPCRI organized in partnership with Konrad Adenauer Stiftung and the Irish Aid delegations of experts and civil society leaders from Jerusalem to other contested cities such as Belfast, Nicosia and Sarajevo. These delegations focused on the reality of cities in conflict and highlighted the lessons that can be learned from other conflicts. This conference presented the outcomes of both projects. In the first part of the conference, scholars presented policy recommendations designed by local residents and will receive input from experts from other contested cities. Following this part, we will host panels and workshops focusing on the practice of bringing change to contested spaces. From urban planning through shared education and equal representation, we aim to present a comprehensive vision towards the future of those cities in conflict. This video presents the remarks delivered by Dr. Adis Maksic on the lessons learned from other divided cities in Bosnia and Serbia.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Conflict, Representation, Cities, Authority
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Serbia
  • Author: Nancy Ezzeddine
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Clingendael Netherlands Institute of International Relations
  • Abstract: The recent protests in Iraq and Lebanon are driven by the effects of inadequate governance, which itself is a result of years of corruption, nepotism, and the appropriation of public authority and resources for sectarian purposes and self-enrichment. The governance model of both countries – sectarian quasi-democracy – is increasingly proving to be a long-term dead end. Both countries stare into the abyss of public bankruptcy, crumbling social services, growing poverty levels, and the lingering threat of renewed violence. Yet, the Lebanese and Iraqi political elites are stubbornly refusing to make more than token concessions to the protesters’ demands. The reform protesters seek are ambitious due to the many mechanisms that have entrenched elite capture of public authority and budgets in both countries over the past decades. These include, in particular: (1) the deep institutionalization of consociationalism that prevents more radical reform; (2) the pervasiveness of public/private arrangements that political elites use to dominate socioeconomic interactions to their benefits; and (3) the steady courting by many domestic political parties of foreign alliances that sustain the sectarian status quo. Notwithstanding the roadblocks to reform thrown up by these three mechanisms, this paper argues that today’s mix of political and economic crises offers opportunities bring about change. This is because these crises starkly expose the deep failure and unsustainability of current governance and development mechanisms in Lebanon and Iraq. Faced with resilient, stick systems that feature many veto players, reform is inevitably bound to be a gradual, long-term process that slowly and painfully strengthens and changes political structures. Key ingredients of such a path are the capacity of civil society structures to influence and guide decision making, the extent to which the international community is ready to challenge the status quo via conditions and incentives for genuine reform, and the ability to protestors to keep pressing for and prioritizing domestic agendas despite geopolitical tensions.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Corruption, Reform, Alliance, Political Crisis, Economic Crisis
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Lebanon
  • 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: Muhammad Saleem Mazhar, Naheed S. Goraya
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: South Asian Studies
  • Institution: Department of Political Science, University of the Punjab
  • Abstract: Afghanistan is a country with strong cultural norms and a male-dominated society, comprising 49% of women population. The plight of Afghan women is embedded in long history of the country. Decades old war has led 90% of Afghan women without education (aged 25). In war- torn countries around the world, thousands of women are deprived of education. The displacement and the predominance of norms or ideologies dampen the very idea of education for women. Most of the schools are far enough and the children, predominately the girls, have no easy access there. Girls do stay at home following the gender norms. However in post 2001, there have been significant developments regarding female education and their participation in public life. The most important contribution was the adoption of National Action Plan for the Women of Afghanistan (NAPWA1), 10 years strategic framework (2010-18). The paper argues that the girls‘ education in Afghanistan requires to be looked through the lens of culture. It will analyze the other barriers to women education and explore the facts how they are unequally treated in terms of access to all levels of education in the country. However, there is a long way to meet the challenges regarding women education. It will conclude with the idea that it is undoubtedly true that countries can develop where there is no gender discrimination with regard to ducation politics and social and economic rebuilding. Only gender-oriented tasks can rule out inequalities in conflict-affected societies and transform them into peaceful societies of respect and equality.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Development, Education, Gender Issues, Human Rights, Women, Feminism, Equality
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Middle East
  • Author: Zahid Mahmood, Muhammad Iqbal Chawla
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: South Asian Studies
  • Institution: Department of Political Science, University of the Punjab
  • Abstract: While broadly speaking the framework of separation of power is not fully executed which has caused institutional tangle in the history of Pakistan, however, the main objective of this research paper is to re-investigate the relationship between the civil and military leadership in the period 2013-2018. The elemental premise of this article is that the civilian and military leadership has generally squabbled during the civilian rule. This paper contends that this wrangle has left a majority of people of Pakistan with undelivered promises and their woes have generally multiplied. Generally speaking, perception abounds that form over substance approach proliferates in the present democratic set-up. There is an impression that the military schemes surreptitiously to destabilize the civil governments if the latter does not play to the whims of the former. The relations between the two power-centres embittered during the period 2013-2018 and it is generally believed that such tensions led to events like the dharna (sit – in) by the PTI/PAT, Tehreek-i-Labbayak protests/sit-ins and the disputed election results of 2018. Right or wrong, but there is an impression that military has generally tried to transgress its limits and meddled in the affairs of the civil administration in order to punish the ‘corrupt civilians’ for their corrupt practices. The relationship of civilian and military leadership in this article discusses specifically the instances which created tussles between both the leadership during the 2013-2018 periods. Again, the civilian leadership is facing the charges of corruption and since the matter is sub- judice, this paper constraints from considering these politicians corrupt or innocent but the main argument of the paper is that whether it is direct or indirect military interference the main allegation against the politicians is corruption. Therefore, this paper will try to find the answer to the following queries: what is the conduct of the civil governments how the civilians irritate the military and other institutions why the military takes interest into the civilian matters and why military needs to policing the civil governments and what factors caused the downfall of Mian Nawaz Sharif government. The underlying hypothesis of the study is that the theory of separation of power is not fully implemented in Pakistan which has been causing institutional clash and powerful institutions overpower the weaker and in case of Pakistan’s parliament is the weakest institution. However, this paper will like to recommend to go for the basics of democracy ‘Separation of power’ to ensure continuation and consolidation of democracy.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Governance, Political Power Sharing, Military Government, Civil-Military Relations
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Middle East
  • Author: Javid Raza Naseem, Abdul Basit Mujahid
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: South Asian Studies
  • Institution: Department of Political Science, University of the Punjab
  • Abstract: Political ideology of Nawab of Kalabagh Malik Amir Muhammad Khan (1910-67) was based on the perception of a highly educated but conservative feudal. He advocated status quo in almost all the matters including foreign relations. He advised Ayub Khan not to switch over to China because it would antagonise U.S.A. He was not so optimist about the solution of Kashmir issue. His pragmatic approach favoured the peaceful method of negotiation instead of confrontation. General perception portrays him as a typical landlord who was averse to education and freedom of press. Evidences from history reveal that there is a partial truth in it. He liked a responsible press which should not be left unbridled. Bengalis of East Pakistan made the bigger chunk of the total population of Pakistan. He, as a non-Bengali of West Pakistan, was apprehensive of their strength in numbers. Anti-One Unit politicians were secessionists in the eyes of Nawab so were dealt severely. He treated his political rivals according to their strength and ambitions. He was suspicious of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto because he (Bhutto) was too ambitious to be trusted. He allegedly victimized Chaudhri Zahoor Elahi because Chaudhri had desired to replace him. Mawlana A. Sattar Niazi, Habibullah Paracha and Pir of Makhad Sharif used to challenge his supremacy in his native area so Nawab had to deal them harshly. It can be derived that his political outlook reflected the mindset of a typical feudal lord.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Development, Political Activism, Elections, Leadership, Ideology
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Middle East
  • Author: Ayesha Farooq
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: South Asian Studies
  • Institution: Department of Political Science, University of the Punjab
  • Abstract: This paper discusses the socio-demographics of a village in Punjab named „Mohla‟. Socio- demographic variables include description of age distribution, sex composition, family structure, castes and marital statuses of the people. Description of respondents‟ attributes such as educational and occupational statuses are also inclusive of this study. The researchers used quantitative approach and data collection was done through probability survey to ensure objectivity and reliability of the results. Household Enumeration Forms were used to collect the information regarding age, sex, households and castes. On the other hand, interview schedule was developed to gather information from the respondents. Decade-wise sources of water supply and domestic material possessions are also analyzed. These time series data are indicative of the development that has taken place over the fifty years, this is expected to have influence on the socio- structural changes in the rural community.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Gender Issues, Population, Inequality, Caste
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Middle East
  • Author: Sezai Ozan Zeybek
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: I aim to open to discussion one of the critical barriers to potentially transformative environmental policies. In response to challenging problems there are moves being carried out to save the day, to make it seem like the issue is already solved. These moves end up postponing the real solutions. This is a trap that not only municipalities, public institutions and companies, but even civil society falls into.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Climate Change, Environment, Governance, Democracy, Urban
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Itır Akdoğan
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: In this report, we enquire into the issue of gender equality by investigating different sectors at once to offer recommendations for improvement. In this project, which is supported by the Swedish Consulate General in İstanbul, we first examine, in light of data gathered and disseminated by European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE), the percentage of women high-level decision makers in Turkey’s politics, public administration, local government, civil society organizations, social partners, business, media, judiciary and education/science/research. We compare these rates in their historical transformation and with the rates of European Union countries, thus inspecting them in their wider quantitative context. Next, we conduct in-depth interviews with women (if not present, men) high-level decision makers in these areas to carry out a qualitative assessment of women’s participation in Turkey.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Gender Issues, Politics, Women, Inequality
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, European Union
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto
  • Abstract: The Reach Project is a research initiative based in the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy and supported by the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth. They examine the successful delivery of social services to those who are hardest to reach. This case study examines how the Ministry of Social Development in Palestine designed, implemented, and continues to refine the Palestinian National Cash Transfer Program (PNCTP) to specifically reach those who are hard to reach.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Development, Poverty, Inequality, Social Services
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Ibrahim Ayberk, Sait Akşit, Ali Dayioğlu
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Uluslararasi Iliskiler
  • Institution: International Relations Council of Turkey (UİK-IRCT)
  • Abstract: This study presents the importance of patron states for de facto states within the context of Turkey-Northern Cyprus relations intending to highlight how and in what ways the Turkish Cypriot civil society is influenced by this relationship. It analyses the societal dissent in Northern Cyprus through a detailed study of the leading role played by trade unions given the conjectural developments since the early 2000s and argues that this differentiates Northern Cyprus from other de facto states. With the case analysis of Northern Cyprus, this study aims to contribute to the gap on the study of de facto states’ domestic affairs and the influence of patron states on the societal structures of these entities.
  • Topic: International Relations, Civil Society, State, Emerging States, Unions
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Cyprus, Mediterranean
  • Author: Yusri Khaizran
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies
  • Abstract: Yusri Khaizran sheds light on recent civil and political developments in Israel's Arab society, against the backdrop of the significant events that took place within the larger Arab world at the beginning of this decade.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Development, Minorities, Arab Spring
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The Afghan War has entered a critical period in which the U.S. is actively seeking a peace settlement with the Taliban, and doing so in spite of the fact that it is negotiating without the full participation of the Afghan government. Its options now consist of finding some form of peace, leaving the country without any form of victory or security, or fighting indefinitely in a country whose central government has no near or mid-term capability to either defeat its opponents or survive without massive military and civil aid. Peace is a highly uncertain option. There are no official descriptions of the terms of the peace that the Administration is now seeking to negotiate, but media reports indicate that it may be considering a full withdrawal of its military support within one to two years of a ceasefire, and other reports indicate that it is considering a 50% cut in U.S. military personnel even if a peace is not negotiated. As of late-August 2019, the Taliban continued to reject any formal peace negotiations with the Afghan government, and its military activity and acts of violence while it negotiated with the United States. Terrorist groups like ISIS-K add to the threat, as do the many splits within the Afghani government and political structure. The Taliban has not encouraged further ceasefires, or shown any clear willingness to accept a lasting peace on any terms but its own. It may well see peace negotiations as a means of negotiating a withdrawal of U.S. and other allied forces and a prelude to a peace that it could exploit to win control of Afghanistan. At the same time, the other options are no better. They either mean leaving without a peace and the near certain collapse of the Afghan government, or continuing the war indefinitely with no clear timeframe for victory or the emergence of an Afghan government that can fight on its own or act as an effective civil government. Much of the analysis of these three options has focused on the possible terms of the peace, the immediate progress in the fighting, and/or the coming Afghan election and Afghanistan’s immediate political problems. These are all important issues, but they do not address the basic problems in Afghan security forces that will limit its military capabilities indefinitely into the future, or the scale of the civil problems in Afghanistan that have given it failed governance and made it the equivalent of a failed state, and that will shape its future in actually implementing any peace or in attempting to continue the war.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Diplomacy, Military Strategy, Peace
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Middle East, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Sean Foley
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Contemporary Arab Studies
  • Abstract: MAAS alum Sean Foley (‘00) discusses his forthcoming book, Changing Saudi Arabia: Art, Culture, and Society in the Kingdom.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Gender Issues, Arts, Natural Resources, Culture, Authoritarianism
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Saudi Arabia, North America, United States of America, Gulf Nations
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The U.S. has learned many lessons in its wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria—most of them the hard way. It has had to adapt the strategies, tactics, and force structures designed to fight regular wars to conflicts dominated by non-state actors. It has had to deal with threats shaped by ideological extremism far more radical than the communist movements it struggled against in countries like Vietnam. It has found that the kind of “Revolution in Military Affairs,” or RMA, that helped the U.S. deter and encourage the collapses of the former Soviet Union does not win such conflicts against non-state actors, and that it faces a different mix of threats in each such war—such as in cases like Libya, Yemen, Somalia and a number of states in West Africa. The U.S. does have other strategic priorities: competition with China and Russia, and direct military threats from states like Iran and North Korea. At the same time, the U.S. is still seeking to find some form of stable civil solution to the conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria—as well as the conflicts Libya, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan and West Africa. Reporting by the UN, IMF, and World Bank also shows that the mix of demographic, political governance, and economic forces that created the extremist threats the U.S. and its strategic partners are now fighting have increased in much of the entire developing world since the attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon in 2001, and the political upheavals in the Middle East and North Africa in 2011. The Burke Chair at CSIS has prepared a working paper that suggests the U.S. needs to build on the military lessons it has learned from its "long wars" in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other countries in order to carry out a new and different kind of “Revolution in Civil-Military Affairs,” or RCMA. This revolution involves very different kinds of warfighting and military efforts from the RMA. The U.S. must take full advantage of what it is learning about the need for different kinds of train and assist missions, the use of airpower, strategic communications, and ideological warfare. At the same time, the U.S. must integrate these military efforts with new civilian efforts that address the rise of extremist ideologies and internal civil conflicts. It must accept the reality that it is fighting "failed state" wars, where population pressures and unemployment, ethnic and sectarian differences, critical problems in politics and governance, and failures to meet basic economic needs are a key element of the conflict. In these elements of conflict, progress must be made in wartime to achieve any kind of victory, and that progress must continue if any stable form of resolution is to be successful.
  • Topic: Civil Society, United Nations, Military Strategy, Governance, Military Affairs, Developing World
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Iraq, Middle East, West Africa, Somalia, Sundan
  • Author: Jon B. Alterman
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: n 2014, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) embarked on a bold experiment: It began drafting young men into the military. This move was not only a departure for the Emirates, it was a departure from world trends. Governments have been moving away from national service requirements for decades as military missions have changed and governments have sought to create highly skilled all-volunteer armies. But the UAE move to press young men into military service was meant to build the country, not just the army. Several factors contributed to the decision to adopt conscription. One was a deeply unsettled regional environment. Another was a drive to promote a stronger sense of shared Emirati identity. A third was a growing fear that young Emirati men were becoming lazy and “soft” just as the government eyed an increasing imperative to shape its workforce for a world less centered on oil. A fourth consideration was the UAE’s resolve to blunt the forces that contributed to the Arab uprisings in 2011. Staring down all of these factors, the UAE leadership decided a bold intervention was needed. The leadership constructed a program combining intensive physical fitness training with military training, national education, and character education. It did not only reach 18 year-olds. Everyone 30 years of age and younger is required to register, pulling men from their jobs and families to live with their peers in barracks, perform predawn calisthenics, and clean toilets. Those lacking the fitness for military training—nearly one in five—are not exempted, but rather are trained for civilian roles in vital sectors. The UAE drew from careful studies of other national service programs around the world—especially in Finland, Singapore, and South Korea—and had indirect knowledge of Israel’s program. Compared to these countries, the UAE has made innovations in its approach to citizenship education, workforce development, and public health. Women can volunteer, but fewer than 850 have done so, compared to 50,000 male conscripts. Women are cast largely in a supportive role as relatives of conscripts.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Women, Citizenship, Services
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Persian Gulf, UAE
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman, Nicholas Harrington
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The Middle East has long been one of the most unstable regions in the world, and there are no present prospects for change in the near future. This instability is the result of ongoing conflicts and tensions, and a variety of political tensions and divisions. It also, however, is the result of a wide variety of long-term pressures growing out of poor governance, corruption, economic failures, demographic pressures and other forces within the civil sector.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Governance, Political stability, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Richard Youngs, Gareth Fowler, Arthur Larok, Pawel Marczewski, Vijayan Mj, Ghia Nodia, Natalia Shapoavlova, Janjira Sombatpoonsiri, Marisa Von Bülow, Özge Zihnioğlu
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: As the domain of civil society burgeoned in the 1990s and early 2000s—a crucial component of the global spread of democracy in the developing and postcommunist worlds—many transnational and domestic actors involved in building and supporting this expanding civil society assumed that the sector was naturally animated by organizations mobilizing for progressive causes. Some organizations focused on the needs of underrepresented groups, such as women’s empowerment, inclusion of minorities, and LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) rights; others addressed broader societal issues such as economic justice, social welfare, and antipoverty concerns. In many countries, the term “civil society” came to be associated with a relatively bounded set of organizations associated with a common agenda, one separate from or even actively opposed by conservative political forces. However, in the past ten years, this assumption and outlook are proving increasingly incorrect. In many countries in the developing and postcommunist worlds, as well as in long-established Western democracies, conservative forms of civic activism have been multiplying and gaining traction. In some cases, new conservative civic movements and groups are closely associated with illiberal political actors and appear to be an integral part of the well-chronicled global pushback against Western liberal democratic norms. In other cases, the political alliances and implications of conservative civil society are less clear. In almost all cases—other than perhaps that of the United States, where the rise of conservative activism has been the subject of considerable study—this rising world of conservative civil society has been little studied and often overlooked. This report seeks to correct this oversight and to probe more deeply into the rise of conservative civil society around the world. It does so under the rubric of Carnegie’s Civic Research Network project, an initiative that aims to explore new types of civic activism and examine the extent to which these activists and associations are redrawing the contours of global civil society. The emerging role and prominence of conservative activism is one such change to civil society that merits comparative examination. Taken as a whole, the report asks what conservative civic activism portends for global civil society. Its aim is not primarily to pass judgment on whether conservative civil society is a good or bad thing—although the contributing authors obviously have criticisms to make. Rather, it seeks mainly to understand more fully what this trend entails. Much has been written and said about anticapitalist, human rights, and global justice civil society campaigns and protests. Similar analytical depth is required in the study of conservative civil society. The report redresses the lack of analytical attention paid to the current rise of conservative civil society by offering examples of such movements and the issues that drive them. The authors examine the common traits that conservative groups share and the issues that divide them. They look at the kind of members that these groups attract and the tactics and tools they employ. And they ask how effective the emerging conservative civil society has been in reshaping the political agenda.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Politics, Political Activism, Conservatism
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa, Europe, South Asia, Turkey, Ukraine, Caucasus, Middle East, India, Poland, Brazil, South America, Georgia, North America, Thailand, Southeast Asia, United States of America
  • Author: Nousha Kabawat, Fernando Travesi
  • Publication Date: 05-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ)
  • Abstract: By looking at the documentation efforts of Syrian civil society organizations, this paper challenges the notion that criminal prosecution is the sole avenue of justice available for alleged crimes in Syria. Documentation could be used for important other avenues of justice, such as acknowledgement, fulfilling victims’ right to truth, and informing and preparing future transitional justice processes. This paper makes several recommendations for what can be done with documentation to support Syrian victims.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Transitional Justice, Criminal Justice, Victims
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Yara Shahin
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Civil society plays a vital role in society. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) connect citizens and governments, hold governments accountable, and advocate for citizens’ interests. After being widely celebrated in the 1990s, civil society across the world is now facing shrinking support and growing restrictions. Drivers behind these restrictions in Tunisia include professed concerns about terrorism, a dominant security agenda, and the shift within civil society from service delivery to advocacy, which can seem threatening to governments. Government restrictions most often target the social justice sector and obstruct the work of NGOs through legal restrictions, financial measures, and direct threats to civic actors. Recently, many governments have intensified accusations that civil society and its activists are anti-development, work against economic security, or are terrorist sympathizers or supporters. This paper explores the status of civic space in Tunisia and its development from the most repressive civic space in the Middle East and North Africa during Zine El Abidine Ben Ali’s regime to an open civic space following the 2011 Arab Spring. It also highlights the various ways in which civil society has responded to the closing of civic space, especially as it pertains to pushing back against problematic laws through the formation of domestic coalitions.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Space, NGOs, Social Order
  • Political Geography: Africa, Middle East, Tunisia
  • 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: Daniel Benaim
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for American Progress - CAP
  • Abstract: One year after military victory over the Islamic State (IS) and a bitter Kurdish defeat in Kirkuk, Iraq, Iraqi Kurdistan is settling into a new moment of hard-won calm. Its two largest parties are poised to form a new regional government, and a newly formed central government in Baghdad presents opportunities for cooperation. Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) leaders have sought to turn the page on bitter disputes with Baghdad and Washington over the Kurds’ referendum on independence.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Development, Transition, Political Crisis
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Kurdistan