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Engulfed: Reading the tea leaves on Qatar’s ostracization


Very rich, heavily armed states are engaged in brinkmanship in the world’s most conflict-prone region. This doesn’t end well – for anyone.

International Relations and Security
Kuwait parliamentary election

After big election win, what’s next for Kuwait’s opposition?


Kuwait’s opposition notched a major victory in parliamentary elections held on November 26, winning around half of the National Assembly’s 50 elected seats. Though polls were originally scheduled for June 2017, Kuwaiti Emir Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah dissolved the legislature on October 16 after the government was unable to make headway in passing subsidy reforms – even […]

Democracy and Governance
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An unfortunate characteristic of the discourse on Islamism is the muddling of definitions, terminology, historical references, and political positions.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
Tunisian security forces

Watching the watchmen: A long way to go for security-sector reform in the Arab world


Embed from Getty Images Police brutality and the impunity of the security forces, though far from the only cause, were a major catalyst of the Arab Spring uprisings of 2010-11. In Sidi Bouzid, Tunisia, Mohamed Bouazizi’s humiliating encounters with local police led him to light himself on fire. In Alexandria, Egypt, Khaled Mohamed Said was […]

International Relations and Security

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