• Policy Analysis
    JordanDemocracy and Governance

    A New Cycle of Reform in Jordan

    Oct 21, 2021Curtis Ryan

    Jordan’s latest reform committee completed its work this month on modernizing the Jordanian political system. As with the many earlier reform committees and ca…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqDemocracy and Governance

    Iraq’s Elections Are Over. Now What?

    Oct 21, 2021Rend Al-Rahim

    Iraq’s fifth parliamentary election since the 2003 US invasion is procedurally over. The polling stations have closed, but the fight over the results has just …

  • Policy Analysis
    JordanRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Jordan: Uptick in Diplomacy amid Pandora Papers Revelations

    Revelations in the so-called Pandora Papers about King Abdullah II’s substantial real estate acquisitions of luxury homes in the United States and United Kingd…

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonDemocracy and Governance

    Foreign Influence in Lebanon and the Third Miqati Premiership

    Oct 13, 2021Joe Macaron

    For the third time in 16 years, Prime Minister Najib Miqati comes to office as a consensus candidate in a country with deep divisions within the Lebanese polit…

  • Viewpoint
    IraqDemocracy and Governance

    Elections in Iraq: Getting Closer to Democracy?

    Oct 6, 2021Rend Al-Rahim 

    Iraq’s parliamentary elections, set for October 10, 2021, represent the sixth national poll since 2003. Iraqi President Barham Salih described them1 as “critic…

  • Viewpoint
    LebanonDemocracy and Governance

    No Rest for the Weary: Lebanon’s Miqati Must Hit the Ground Running

    Sep 10, 2021Imad K. Harb

    Najib Miqati, the billionaire tasked over a year ago with forming the Lebanese government, has finally finished putting it together, but not before President M…

  • Policy Analysis
    JordanDemocracy and Governance

    Jordan’s Decade-long Path to Democracy Might Have Just Begun

    Sep 3, 2021Daoud Kuttab

    In June, Jordan’s King Abdullah II appointed a 92-member commission, headed by former Prime Minister Samir Rifai, and charged it with creating a plan to modern…

  • Policy Analysis
    MoroccoDemocracy and Governance

    Morocco Consolidates Its Authoritarianism

    Aug 26, 2021Houda Chograni

    Al-hogra, a North African colloquial term meaning humiliation, degradation, and abasement, drove another vulnerable Moroccan to self-immolate out of utter powe…

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonEnergy and Economics

    Lebanon’s Energy Crisis Fuels US-Iran Tensions

    Aug 25, 2021Joe Macaron

    In the midst of an economic collapse and an energy crisis, Lebanon has found itself in a tug of war between the United States and Iran. On August 19, Hezbollah…

  • Policy Analysis
    TunisiaRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Risky Business: Kais Saied’s Regional Alliances

    Aug 20, 2021Daniel Brumberg

    Three weeks after President Kais Saied used Article 80 of the constitution to impose what can be called a ‘state of exceptionalism,’ Tunisians are waiting for …

  • Policy Analysis
    TunisiaDemocracy and Governance

    Kais Saied Can Either Save or Destroy Tunisia’s Democracy

    Jul 27, 2021Daniel Brumberg

    The political earthquake that rocked Tunisia July 25th—65 years after the country’s independence from France—seems all too familiar. Declaring that he was dete…

  • Policy Analysis
    KuwaitDemocracy and Governance

    Kuwait Muddles through Its Confusing Politics

    Nearly a year has passed since the death, on September 29, 2020, of Kuwait’s emir, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jabir Al Sabah, the respected elder statesman of Gu…

  • Policy Analysis
    SomaliaDemocracy and Governance

    Many Challenges to Address as Somalis Go to the Polls

    Jul 19, 2021Imad K. Harb

    The recent agreement on Somali presidential and parliamentary elections is a good but insufficient sign that Somalia’s many antagonists will allow the credible…

  • Policy Analysis
    AlgeriaDemocracy and Governance

    Algeria Reestablishes Authoritarianism through Elections

    Jul 1, 2021Imad K. Harb

    On June 12, Algeria held an early parliamentary election whose results reflected both Algerian voters’ apathy about the system they inherited from former Presi…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranUS Foreign Policy

    Raisi’s Election Creates Opportunities and Pitfalls for Iran’s Islamic Republic

    Jun 25, 2021Daniel Brumberg

    In the weeks leading up to Iran’s June 18 presidential elections, one joke making the rounds was that Ebrahim Raisi, then a candidate and now the winner, was r…

  • Research Paper
    LebanonIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    Youth in Lebanon: Policy Narratives, Attitudes, and Forms of Mobilization

    Jun 17, 2021Mona Harb

    IntroductionAs Lebanon is undergoing one of the worst economic and financial collapses in the world, one that was caused by the deliberate inaction1 of its rul…

  • Policy Analysis
    LibyaDemocracy and Governance

    The Challenges and Opportunities in Libya Today

    Jun 14, 2021Imad K. Harb

    After the uprising against former strongman Muammar Qadhafi in 2011, Libya’s road to stability and order—let alone to full democratic governance—has not been s…

  • Viewpoint
    IraqIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    Time to Address Impunity in Iraq

    On May 26, Iraqi security forces arrested General Qasim Muslih, commander of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) in Anbar province, basing their action on…

  • Policy Analysis
    SyriaDemocracy and Governance

    Syria’s Presidential Election and the Absence of the American Role

    Jun 1, 2021Radwan Ziadeh

    On May 26, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad won a fourth seven-year term in a practically uncontested election. No one was surprised by the original announceme…

  • Policy Analysis
    Women & Gender Issues

    The (Slowly) Changing Gender Dynamics in Arab Countries

    May 11, 2021Yara M. Asi

    A now infamous image from 2014 captured the moment Loujain al-Hathloul’s life changed: it shows her sitting behind the wheel of a car, a small smile on her fac…

  • Policy Analysis
    TunisiaDemocracy and Governance

    Is Tunisia’s President Endangering Democracy?

    May 7, 2021Daniel Brumberg

    Recently, Tunisia has witnessed a political dynamic that is all too rare in the Arab world: Islamists have joined forces with some secularly oriented Members o…

  • Policy Analysis
    TunisiaDemocracy and Governance

    Tunisia’s Revolution Has Neglected the Country’s Youth

    May 3, 2021Houda Chograni

    Since the desperate act of self-immolation of 26-year-old Mohamed Bouazizi in Sidi Bouzid, a marginalized city in the center of Tunisia, on December 17, 2010, …

  • Viewpoint
    Palestine/IsraelDemocracy and Governance

    The Palestinian Elections: Process, Mechanics, and Importance

    Apr 29, 2021Hanna Nasir

    President Mahmoud Abbas issued a decree last January to hold elections for the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), the presidency of the Palestinian Authori…

  • Policy Analysis
    EgyptDemocracy and Governance

    Failures of Authoritarian Governance in Egypt

    Apr 28, 2021Khalil Al-Anani

    On March 23, the world's attention turned to Egypt as traffic in the strategic Suez Canal was disrupted after the 400-meter container ship, the Ever Given, ran…

  • Policy Analysis
    Palestine/IsraelDemocracy and Governance

    The Palestinian Elections and Jerusalem

    Apr 20, 2021Jonathan Kuttab

    Fifteen years have elapsed since the last elections in Palestine, and now Palestinians are poised to hold a new round for the Legislative Council of the Palest…

  • Policy Analysis
    JordanDemocracy and Governance

    Family Matters: Plots and Accusations in Jordan’s Hashemite Monarchy

    Apr 8, 2021Curtis Ryan

    Jordan’s carefully crafted international image was jolted recently when news broke of multiple arrests, the alleged detention of a Hashemite prince, and announ…

  • Policy Analysis
    EgyptDemocracy and Governance

    An Old, Ongoing Struggle: Domesticating Religious Institutions in Egypt

    Apr 2, 2021Khalil Al-Anani

    The relationship between religion and the state is controversial and problematic in the Arab world, particularly with the absence of clear demarcations that co…

  • Policy Analysis
    Democracy and Governance

    The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Autocrats: Key Strategies That Beat Down the Arab Spring and Keep Regimes in Power

    Mar 31, 2021Charles W. Dunne

    The 10th anniversary of the Arab Spring has unleashed a torrent of retrospectives focused on the legacy of the uprisings, mostly their failures. All these year…

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonDemocracy and Governance

    Lebanon Faces a Civil War, a Prospect of Its Own Making

    Mar 23, 2021Imad K. Harb

    The socioeconomic and political crises gripping Lebanon today are unprecedented in the country’s 100-year history, one that has witnessed intercommunal unrest …

  • Policy Analysis
    Palestine/IsraelDemocracy and Governance

    Israel’s 2021 Elections: Background, Scenarios, and Expectations

    Mar 16, 2021Honaida Ghanim

    On March 23rd, Israel holds its fourth round of parliamentary elections in less than two years, amid what in Israel has become known as “the political crisis” …

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    Democracy and Governance

    Congress Outlines Its 2021 Foreign Policy Priorities

    Mar 15, 2021Marcus Montgomery

    Observers can infer a great deal about congressional committees’ priorities by examining the topics they choose to explore in their first committee or subcommi…

  • Policy Analysis
    Justice, Equality, and Human Rights

    Challenges to Biden’s Human Rights Agenda in the Middle East

    Mar 9, 2021Khalil Al-Anani

    In his speech at the US State Department on February 4, 2021, US President Joe Biden pledged to support democracy and confront authoritarianism globally, sayin…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantDemocracy and Governance

    No Light at the End of Lebanon’s Long and Dark Tunnel

    Mar 3, 2021Joe Macaron

    By all accounts, Lebanon is a desperate case. The severe fiscal crises portend an extended economic depression ahead. The country has been in political paralys…

  • Policy Analysis
    Palestine/IsraelDemocracy and Governance

    Palestinian Elections 2021: Reconciling Competing Motives

    Feb 18, 2021Khalil E. Jahshan

    On January 15, 2021, President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority (PA) issued a decreecalling for legislative, presidential, and National Council elect…

  • Policy Analysis
    TunisiaDemocracy and Governance

    Tunisia’s Multiple Crises Threaten Its Brittle Democracy

    Feb 16, 2021Daniel Brumberg

    On January 26, Tunisia witnessed a scene that echoed the dramatic events of January 6 in Washington, DC. Outside the Tunisian parliament in Tunis, hundreds of …

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    US Domestic Politics and Elections

    Donald Trump’s Second Impeachment Trial: Procedure and Prospects

    Feb 10, 2021Marcus Montgomery

    On February 9, the US Senate commenced the second impeachment trial of former President Donald J. Trump to examine his role in inciting the January 6, 2021 rio…

  • Policy Analysis
    TunisiaDemocracy and Governance

    As 2021 Begins, Rival Populisms Menace Tunisia’s Democracy

    Jan 8, 2021Daniel Brumberg

    Ten years after Tunisia’s “Jasmine Revolution” sparked grassroots uprisings in Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain, and Syria, the pressures of an economic crisis, rampant c…

  • Policy Analysis
    Palestine/IsraelEducation and Development

    Building a Nation without a State: Civil Society in Palestine

    Dec 23, 2020Yara M. Asi

    Never before has the Palestinian Authority (PA) seemed so isolated. American policy under President Donald Trump has unprecedentedly and openly been favorable …

  • Policy Analysis
    US Foreign Policy

    Democracy and Human Rights in the Middle East: The Biden Agenda

    Nov 25, 2020Charles W. Dunne

    As news that former Vice President Joe Biden had won the American presidential election began to circulate on Saturday, November 7, messages of congratulations…

  • Viewpoint
    The Arabian Peninsula and The GulfDemocracy and Governance

    Arab Public Opinion on National Security and Foreign Intervention

    Nov 17, 2020Joe Macaron

    The Arab League celebrated its 75th anniversary this year in the midst of regional politics that have never been more polarized, with continuous foreign interv…

  • Public Opinion Survey
    Public Opinion

    The 2019-2020 Arab Opinion Index: Main Results in Brief

    Nov 16, 2020

    The 2019-2020 Arab Opinion Index is based on the findings of face-to-face interviews conducted with 28,288 individual respondents in 13 Arab countries: Algeria…

  • Policy Analysis
    Security and Defense

    Military Institutions and Poor Governance in the Arab World

    Nov 16, 2020Imad K. Harb

    The latest Arab Opinion Index (AOI) from the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies (ACRPS) in Doha, Qatar, reveals an interesting combination of views ab…

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonDemocracy and Governance

    Lebanon Risks Becoming Irrelevant

    Nov 11, 2020Imad K. Harb

    For the third time in the span of a year, Lebanese politicians are trying to go back to the proverbial drawing board. On October 22nd, President Michel Aoun ap…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqDemocracy and Governance

    Mustafa al-Kadhimi’s Iraq: Challenges and Prospects

    Nov 2, 2020Abbas Kadhim

    The Iraqi Council of Representatives voted to confirm Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi on May 7, 2020, after two aborted attempts to replace his predecessor, …

  • Policy Analysis
    EgyptProtests and Activism

    Protests of the Poor in Egypt: Causes and Implications

    Oct 21, 2020Khalil Al-Anani

    On September 20th, a series of anti-government demonstrations broke out in a number of Egyptian governorates and villages protesting the social and economic co…

  • Viewpoint
    LebanonDemocracy and Governance

    Lebanon Chooses a Prime Minister, Thwarting the Protesters Again

    Aug 31, 2020Imad K. Harb

    Imad K. Harb writes that Lebanon’s new and largely unknown prime minister-designate, Mustafa Adib, is relatively inexperienced in politics. Nevertheless, his c…

  • Policy Analysis
    SudanDemocracy and Governance

    Despite Some Progress, Sudan’s Transition Faces Mounting Hurdles

    Gregory Aftandilian states that although the government of Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok has instituted a number of political and social reforms, Sudan’s democ…

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonDemocracy and Governance

    The Beirut Explosion Will Have a Lasting Impact on Lebanon

    Aug 14, 2020Joe Macaron

    Joe Macaron argues that the Beirut explosion and its repercussions will have a profound impact on Lebanon’s future, whatever political scenario emerges followi…

  • Viewpoint
    LebanonDemocracy and Governance

    The Hezbollah-Aoun Political Process Has Failed in Lebanon

    Aug 11, 2020Imad K. Harb

    Imad K. Harb posits that the resignation of the Lebanese government exposes the failure of the Hezbollah-Aoun political process but opens an opportunity for th…

  • Viewpoint
    LebanonDemocracy and Governance

    Lebanon: A Failed State Explodes

    Aug 6, 2020Imad K. Harb

    Imad K. Harb contends that the failing Lebanese state will only begin to restore its legitimacy when the country’s political elites either step down or alter t…

  • From our Affiliates
    Democracy and Governance

    Beware of the looming chaos in the Middle East

    Aug 3, 2020Marwan Bishara

    If you thought the Middle East has hit rock bottom and may finally emerge intact from a decade of upheaval and conflict, think again.

  • Policy Analysis
    TunisiaDemocracy and Governance

    Political Crisis, Regional Power Struggles, and Creeping Presidentialism in Tunisia

    Jul 29, 2020Daniel Brumberg

    Analyzing Tunisia’s political problems, Daniel Brumberg writes that nearly a decade into the country’s democratic experiment, many of its leaders appear incapa…

  • Book Review
    Democracy and Governance

    How the West Stole Democracy from the Arabs, by Elizabeth F. Thompson

    Jun 30, 2020Imad K. Harb

    Elizabeth ​F. Thompson's book​, How the West Stole Democracy from the Arabs​, is a welcome re-telling of how the people of the eastern Mediterranean were cheat…

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonDemocracy and Governance

    Hezbollah Cannot Solve Lebanon’s Worsening Conditions

    Jun 10, 2020Imad K. Harb

    Imad K. Harb contends that Hezbollah has not succeeded in helping to repair Lebanon's domestic political and economic problems, has made the country hostage to…

  • Policy Analysis
    JordanThe GCC

    Jordan Maneuvers in GCC Politics to Protect Its Interests

    Despite its heavy dependence on the GCC for economic aid and employment for its workforce, Jordan has been able to pursue political positions not always in syn…

  • From our Affiliates
    IraqDemocracy and Governance

    Iraq’s Al-Kazemi Government: Real Change or a Temporary Settlement?

    May 20, 2020Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies (ACRPS)

    The formation of the new government in Iraq may represent a window of opportunity for gradual political change that is less costly than toppling the entire reg…

  • Policy Analysis
    SyriaDemocracy and Governance

    A Fracture That Will Not Threaten the Assad Regime in Syria

    May 18, 2020Radwan Ziadeh

    Radwan Ziadeh discounts the long-term political repercussions of the Assad-Makhlouf dispute and writes that if the regime gets in serious trouble, the cousins …

  • Policy Analysis
    EgyptDemocracy and Governance

    Politics of COVID-19 in Egypt: Between Repression and Opportunism

    May 12, 2020Khalil Al-Anani

    The Egyptian regime's medical assistance to the United States and other countries during the coronavirus pandemic is meant to mollify international criticism o…

  • Policy Analysis
    Global Health and Health Policy

    Health Care in the Arab World: Outcomes of a Broken Social Contract

    May 12, 2020Yara M. Asi

    Yara M. Asi surveys the poor conditions of the Arab world's health care sector and writes that significant changes in efforts and resources should be prioritiz…

  • Policy Analysis
    Saudi ArabiaDemocracy and Governance

    MbS’s New “Vision 2020”: Reform and Repression

    May 5, 2020Daniel Brumberg

    Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) will most likely weather the political, economic, and health storms generated by COVID-19. Prompted by th…

  • Policy Analysis
    Energy and Economics

    The Impact of Low Oil Prices and COVID-19 on Arab Economies

    May 4, 2020Bessma Momani

    Bessma Momani analyzes the global oil price collapse and the COVID-19 public health crisis as a dual blow to the social and economic well-being of both oil-ric…

  • Policy Analysis
    LibyaConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Haftar’s Secession Must Not Stand

    May 2, 2020Imad K. Harb

    General Haftar's unilateral abrogation of the 2015 Skhirat Agreement is illegal and that his secession in areas under his control paves the way for Libya's dis…

  • Viewpoint
    Palestine/IsraelDemocracy and Governance

    The Netanyahu-Gantz Coalition Farce

    Apr 30, 2020Khalil E. Jahshan

    The emerging differences about the issue of annexation between the two coalition partners could become the massive rock on which their agreement is apt to cras…

  • Policy Analysis
    SyriaDemocracy and Governance

    Syria’s Authoritarian Regime and COVID-19

    Apr 24, 2020Radwan Ziadeh

    Syria's delayed admission of COVID-19 cases was dictated by the regime's political calculations and its hope to use the cover of the pandemic to avoid sanction…

  • Policy Analysis
    AlgeriaDemocracy and Governance

    COVID-19 Promises Algeria Uncertainty, Danger, and—Perhaps—Opportunity

    Apr 23, 2020Daniel Brumberg

    Daniel Brumberg discusses the political and economic circumstances surrounding the Algerian military's handling of the coronavirus epidemic, using the situatio…

  • Policy Analysis
    OmanDemocracy and Governance

    Continuity in Oman’s Problems and Policy Prescriptions

    Apr 21, 2020Imad K. Harb

    Oman is likely to continue to follow the policy prescriptions of the late Sultan Qaboos, Imad K. Harb writes, but the new ruler, Sultan Haitham bin Tariq, may …

  • Policy Analysis
    SudanConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Fractured Power Structure, Peace Talks Hurdles Add to Sudan’s Woes

    Gregory Aftandilian argues that even if a final political deal is reached between Khartoum and the rebel groups in Sudan, a poor economy will continue to worse…

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonDemocracy and Governance

    The Fakhoury Fiasco and US-Lebanese Relations

    Apr 13, 2020Joe Macaron

    The unconventional release of Lebanese-American Amer Fakhoury highlights the extent of Washington’s leverage in Beirut and raises questions about the status of…

  • Policy Analysis
    Palestine/IsraelDemocracy and Governance

    The Coronavirus Crisis May Assure Netanyahu’s Survival

    Apr 8, 2020Yousef Munayyer

    Yousef Munayyer examines how Benny Gantz's political defeat and acceptance to form a coalition government with Benjamin Netanyahu have revived the Israeli prim…

  • Policy Analysis
    Saudi ArabiaDemocracy and Governance

    The Fourth Saudi State Remains a Distant Vision

    Apr 3, 2020Imad K. Harb

    Imad K. Harb argues that Mohammed bin Salman’s chaotic and authoritarian stewardship of Saudi domestic and international affairs may well impede the establishm…

  • Policy Analysis
    Democracy and Governance

    Authoritarianism and the Middle East in the Time of COVID-19

    Apr 2, 2020Charles W. Dunne

    Authoritarian governments and leaders in the Middle East have used the cover of the coronavirus pandemic to disperse demonstrations, jail activists, stifle dis…

  • Policy Analysis
    MoroccoDemocracy and Governance

    Morocco: Despite Some Progress, Many Challenges Remain

    Mar 31, 2020Nabeel A. Khoury

    Nabeel Khoury discusses Morocco's political and economic conditions and cautions its elite to use the opportunity of the current social calm engendered by the …

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqDemocracy and Governance

    Confusion in Iraq: A Fractious Political Process and Free-Wheeling Militias

    Abdulwahab al-Qassab highlights Iraq's current political problems and calls upon Iraqi politicians to put aside their differences and concentrate on how to avo…

  • Policy Analysis
    Global Health and Health Policy

    The Coronavirus Pandemic and the Arab World: Impact, Politics, and Mitigation

    Arab Center Washington DC's resident and non-resident fellows and scholars investigate and report on the different aspects of the COVID-19 global public health…

  • Policy Analysis
    Palestine/IsraelDemocracy and Governance

    Third Time’s a Charm? Netanyahu Could Finally Be Dislodged

    Mar 20, 2020Yousef Munayyer

    In examining Israel's uncertain political conditions following the inconclusive third parliamentary election, Yousef Munayyer observes that there is a possibil…

  • From our Affiliates
    SyriaConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    The Moscow Summit: Will the Ceasefire Hold in Idlib?

    Mar 11, 2020Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies (ACRPS)

    The failure of previous arrangements regarding Syria suggests that the latest ceasefire agreement between Turkey and Russia may only be temporary. Read this an…

  • Policy Analysis
    SyriaConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    The Idlib Developments Usher in a New Phase in Syria’s War

    Mar 6, 2020Radwan Ziadeh Imad K. Harb Marwan Kabalan Mustafa Gurbuz

    The Syrian civil war entered a new phase when Bashar al-Assad’s regime began an assault on the northwestern Idlib province, eliciting a Turkish response. ACW a…

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonDemocracy and Governance

    Lebanon’s Imminent Collapse: How Can It Be Prevented?

    Mar 3, 2020Imad K. Harb

    The dissolution of confessional politics in Lebanon and the political coalescence of the street opposition to negotiate for social change are key to addressing…

  • Viewpoint
    Palestine/IsraelDemocracy and Governance

    The Palestinian Arab Vote in Israel: Facing the Ultimate Test of Inclusion

    The Palestinian Arab vote can challenge the Palestinians’ disenfranchisement but that they will never be welcome as full partners in the Israeli political syst…

  • Policy Analysis
    EgyptJustice, Equality, and Human Rights

    State Terror in Egypt: Is It Time for Accountability?

    Feb 28, 2020Khalil Al-Anani

    This article by Khaill Al-Anani examines the Egyptian regime’s tools for such repression and the lack of pressure by western governments to hold it accountable…