Harvard Journal of Middle Eastern Politics and Policy: Spring 2014

Colin Eide, Averell Schmidt, Ibrahim Sharqieh, Matthew Levitt, Denise Natali, Gina A. Zurlo, Todd M. Johnson, Karina Piser, John Strickland, Sarath Ganji, Nada Zohdy
Content Type
Journal Article
Harvard Journal of Middle Eastern Politics and Policy
Issue Number
Publication Date
Spring 2014
The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
We are pleased to present the third edition of the Harvard Journal of Middle Eastern Politics and Pol icy. This volume is being published at a time of rapid transformation in the Middle East and North Africa. The euphoric uprisings of 2011 have met with fierce resistance from resilient autocrats and the complex realities of reshuffled domestic politics. With corruption scandals threatening the long-venerated Turkish model, an Egyptian military reasserting itself in political life, and heated tribal disputes compromising an already fragile Libyan state, which way the region is headed remains altogether unclear. These volatile domestic transformations coincide with regional diplomatic realignments. Nuclear diplomacy between Iran and the West has complicated the relationship between Washington and its traditional allies in Israel and the Gulf. The Obama administration’s hesitance to intervene militarily in Syria has at times further strained these ties. Meanwhile, the unprecedented diffusion of Syrian refugees risks destabilizing neighboring states and igniting a region-wide conflagration. This year’s Journal sheds light on many of the dynamics underlying what we see as a larger regional transformation. Ibrahim Sharqieh opens the Journal with a commentary on the often overlooked plight of Palestinian “double refugees”—those first displaced by conflict with Israel, displaced again by conflict in Syria. Matthew Levitt provides our first feature article investigating the evolving strategic relationship between Hezbollah and Iran. Denise Natali analyzes the dynamics—new and old—of transborder Kurdish politics. Todd M. Johnson and Gina A. Zurlo focus our attention on demographic trends behind the flight of the region’s Christian communities. Karina Piser helps dispel the popular narrative of religion as the sole driver of Islamist political parties in Tunisia, focusing us instead on their internal debates and political acumen. John Strickland points us to an economic transformation with global consequences taking place in the region’s skies: the growth of Gulf airlines. Lastly, spanning the politics of the Palestinian Authority, the political economy of oil and gas, and the underpinnings of the region’s grassroots political movements, this year’s staff interviews offer fresh perspectives on pressing issues.
Islam, Migration, Peace Studies, History, Social Movement, Partnerships, Arab Spring, Protests, Christianity, Hezbollah, Kurds
Political Geography
Iran, Middle East, Palestine, Arab Countries, Syria, Jordan, Tunisia, Gulf Nations