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Election Banners, Kilis - Adam Jones

Reconciling History: Secularism, Faith and Allegiance after Turkey’s June 24th Elections


The decision to support or reject the opposition in its appeals to AKP voters is bound up with its identity as the representative of official secularism, a reputation that has proved difficult to shake. The memory of the divisive 1970s and the terror-filled aftermath of the 1980 coup remains a deeply impactful force conditioning voter behavior. An understanding of these traumatizing years, which left few segments of society untouched, contextualizes the steep odds against which the opposition was forced to contend.

Pro-Morsi protesters

Event Review: Is Islamism a threat to democracy?


An unfortunate characteristic of the discourse on Islamism is the muddling of definitions, terminology, historical references, and political positions. It is not uncommon to find criticisms of contemporary Islamist parties rooted in criticisms of premodern Islamic ideas. Even the basic definition of political Islam and “Islamism” is unclear, with no consensus as to what the […]

Democracy and Governance

Tunisia, Five Years Later: What’s Changed?


Five years ago, Tunisians – after weeks of anti-government protests following the self-immolation of fruit vendor Mohamed Bouazizi – succeeded in ousting dictator Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali. In the months that followed, similar unrest would spread across much of the Arab world, in what came to be known as the “Arab Spring.” Since then, Tunisia […]

Democracy and Governance

Is the Middle East a Lost Cause?


“Arab civilization, such as we knew it, is all but gone.” Those are the words of Hisham Melham, Washington bureau chief of Dubai-based media outlet Al-Arabiya. In a 2,000-word piece for Politico, Melham argues that Arab civilization has collapsed, and that it won’t be revived in his lifetime. Is this gloomy outlook overwrought, or simply […]

Inside the Middle East: Interview with Dr. Khalil al-Anani on Egypt


In this installment of “Inside the Middle East: Q&A,” Dr. Khalil Al-Anani, Adjunct Professor at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, discusses the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, democratization in the Middle East and the hope for political stability in Egypt. You can watch the interview, conducted by Nada Zohdy, senior editor […]

Democracy and Governance

Surveying the MENA Region: An Interview with Jon B. Alterman


  Jon B. Alterman is director of the Middle East Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Prior to joining CSIS in 2002, he served as a member of the policy planning staff at the U.S. Department of State and as a special assistant to the assistant secretary of state for Near […]

Environment and Energy

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