• Policy Analysis
    LebanonDemocracy and Governance

    Lebanon Faces a Prolonged Presidential Vacuum

    Nov 29, 2022Imad K. Harb

    Lebanon has experienced a long presidential vacuum three times in its history: from September 1988 to November 1989, from November 2007 to May 2008, and from M…

  • Policy Analysis
    EgyptEnergy and Economics

    Egypt and the IMF: Greater Foreign Debt and Deeper Economic Decline

    Nov 17, 2022Khalil Al-Anani

    Egypt reached a new agreement with the IMF to borrow $3 billion over a 46-month period. The Egyptian economy has been struggling over the past couple of years …

  • Policy Analysis
    TunisiaDemocracy and Governance

    Kais Saied Sets the Stage for Tunisia’s December 17 Elections

    Nov 11, 2022Daniel Brumberg

    Autocrats love elections, so long as they know they will win them, of course. But because they have zero tolerance for uncertainty at the polls, autocratic reg…

  • Policy Analysis
    Democracy and Governance

    The Colonial Legacy in the Arab World: Health, Education, and Politics

    Nov 9, 2022Yara M. Asi

    In recent years, movements toward “decolonization” have taken hold throughout multiple disciplines, including cultural studies, health, economics, and educatio…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqDemocracy and Governance

    Challenges and Prospects Facing the New Government in Iraq

    Nov 8, 2022Rend Al-Rahim

    Twelve months of high drama in Iraqi politics finally ended on October 27, with the investiture of a new government headed by Mohammed Shia’ al-Sudani. Two wee…

  • Viewpoint
    Palestine/IsraelDemocracy and Governance

    A Scandal-Plagued Netanyahu Returns for His Fifth Term as Israeli Prime Minister

    With final election results having been announced by Israel’s Central Elections Committee, Haaretz declared that former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Lik…

  • Policy Analysis
    EgyptJustice, Equality, and Human Rights

    Congress Versus Biden on Foreign Assistance to Egypt

    Nov 1, 2022Charles W. Dunne

    The Egypt Human Rights Caucus would like a word with President Joe Biden. The group, which was formed in January 2021 on the 10th anniversary of Egypt’s 2011 u…

  • Policy Analysis
    SudanDemocracy and Governance

    Sudan: A Flicker of Hope Amid Mounting Problems

    Since the October 2021 military coup that derailed Sudan’s political transition to a much hoped-for democracy, Sudan has been plagued by civil strife, deterior…

  • Policy Analysis
    KuwaitDemocracy and Governance

    Parliamentary Elections Are Unlikely to Alter Kuwait’s Political Landscape

    Voters in Kuwait went to the polls on September 29 to elect a new National Assembly in what was the country’s ninth general election in 16 years and the sixth …

  • Policy Analysis
    Palestine/IsraelDemocracy and Governance

    Israeli Elections: A Fifth Attempt at Forming a Stable Government

    Oct 6, 2022Yousef Munayyer

    Once again, and for the fifth time in four years, Israel is on the brink of an election, and is facing the all-too-familiar prospect of political deadlock—even…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    Iran’s Cautious Stance on Iraq’s Current Political Crisis

    Sep 27, 2022Zeidon Alkinani

    Iraqi politicians have repeatedly failed to form a government in the eleven months that have passed since the country’s October 2021 elections, in large part d…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    In Iraq’s Political Stalemate, Sadr May Be in Charge

    Aug 23, 2022Zeidon Alkinani

    Iraq’s political deadlock has grown more intense and complex in recent months. The stalemate that has reigned since the re-election of Speaker of Parliament Mo…

  • Policy Analysis
    LibyaConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Libya’s Woes Persist in a Fractured Political Landscape

    Gregory Aftandilian examines the latest developments in Libya following the derailment of parliamentary and presidential elections and the ongoing division and…

  • Policy Analysis
    TurkeyRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Erdoğan Bets on “Turkish Exceptionalism”

    Aug 17, 2022Mustafa Gurbuz

    Mustafa Gurbuz analyzes Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s calculations as he increases his cooperation with Russian President Vladimir Putin, despite Tu…

  • Policy Analysis
    US Foreign Policy

    Biden’s Embrace of Arab Autocrats Ends Hopes for Democracy in the Middle East

    Aug 10, 2022Khalil Al-Anani

    Khalil al-Anani writes that President Biden’s recent meetings with the leaders of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the UAE sent a clear message to the world’s authorit…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqDemocracy and Governance

    Iraq’s Political Crisis: A Country Adrift in Chaos

    Aug 10, 2022Rend Al-Rahim

    Rend Al-Rahim discusses the latest events in Iraqi politics, including the Sadrist Movement’s political maneuvering and its incitement of street protests that …

  • Policy Analysis
    TunisiaDemocracy and Governance

    Tunisia’s Three Post-Referendum Political Scenarios

    Aug 8, 2022Daniel Brumberg

    Daniel Brumberg offers three potential political scenarios for Tunisia following the country's July 25 referendum on a new constitution that President Kais Sai…

  • Policy Analysis
    Palestine/IsraelDemocracy and Governance

    Contenders for a Post-Abbas Palestinian Presidency

    Aug 3, 2022Bishara A. Bahbah

    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s health has been the subject of speculation for some time, especially since he has been afflicted by both prostate cancer …

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonDemocracy and Governance

    Lebanon’s Upcoming Presidential Race Is Riddled with Uncertainty

    Jul 21, 2022Nabeel Khoury

    Amid political chaos, economic collapse, a dearth of public services, and shortages of basic foods and medications, Lebanon is nonetheless slated to hold anoth…

  • Policy Analysis
    TunisiaDemocracy and Governance

    Tunisia’s New Constitution Will Hasten the Country’s Transition to Autocracy

    Jul 14, 2022Daniel Brumberg

    The gathering storm provoked by Tunisian President Kais Saied’s attempt to forge a new political system could reach a critical moment on July 25. On that day T…

  • Policy Analysis
    EgyptDemocracy and Governance

    Egypt’s National Dialogue: Real Change or Merely a Mirage?

    Jul 13, 2022Khalil Al-Anani

    Sisi’s call for a national dialogue could break through Egypt’s political stasis. However, there are several reasons to believe otherwise.

  • Viewpoint
    LibyaDemocracy and Governance

    Libya’s Belligerent Elites May Doom the Country’s Future

    Jul 5, 2022Imad K. Harb

    Once again, Libya is falling victim to its political elites’ failure to agree on a long-awaited election mechanism and constitutional provisions that would sec…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    Iraq’s Opposition Builds a Blueprint for Dismantling a Corrupt Sectarian System

    Jun 28, 2022Zahraa Alribeawi

    Iraqi politicians’ continued failure to form a functioning government calls for a reexamination of the country’s current political system, al-muhasasa al-ta'if…

  • Policy Analysis
    Palestine/IsraelDemocracy and Governance

    Here We Go Again: Israeli Government Collapses

    Jun 28, 2022Yousef Munayyer

    The Israeli Knesset once again voted to dissolve itself, setting the stage for new elections this fall, which will be the country’s fifth in just three years. …

  • Policy Analysis
    SudanDemocracy and Governance

    The Muddled Diplomacy of Sudan’s Tripartite Mechanism

    Jun 17, 2022Kholood Khair

    The international community was largely unprepared to deal with the fallout of Sudan’s October 2021 coup, organized by the country’s military with the support …

  • Policy Analysis
    EgyptSecurity and Defense

    Insurgency in Sinai: Challenges and Prospects

    Jun 10, 2022Khalil Al-Anani

    In May 2022, at least 16 Egyptian troops were killed in two separate attacks in the Sinai Peninsula. The attacks were claimed by Wilayat Sinai or Sinai Provinc…

  • Policy Analysis
    Justice, Equality, and Human Rights

    “Free Them All”: The Trampled Rights of Political Prisoners in the Arab World

    May 27, 2022Yara M. Asi

    In December 2021, Egyptian activist and blogger Alaa Abdel Fattah was sentenced to prison for five years after being convicted of “spreading false news.” Alaa …

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantDemocracy and Governance

    A Preliminary Reading into Lebanon’s Parliamentary Elections

    May 18, 2022Halim Shebaya

    Lebanon’s parliamentary elections, held on May 15, 2022, were the first chance to understand where Lebanese voters stand on a number of important issues since …

  • Viewpoint
    LebanonDemocracy and Governance

    Lebanon’s Voters Would Do Well to Support the Forces of Change

    May 10, 2022Imad K. Harb

    On May 15, resident Lebanese go to the polls to elect a new 128-member parliament to replace the one elected four years ago. Given the right to vote in 2018, e…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    Iraq’s Government Formation Hindered by Intra-Group Political Competitions

    May 2, 2022Zeidon Alkinani

    Zeidon Alkinani argues that the current political deadlock in Iraq in choosing a president and a prime minister is fueled by intra-group competitions in the Sh…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqDemocracy and Governance

    Iraq Awaits the End of Its Political Deadlock

    Apr 18, 2022Rend Al-Rahim

    In Iraq’s parliamentary elections last October, the Sadrist Movement led by the Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr emerged as the largest bloc with 73 seats. Its clos…

  • Policy Analysis
    JordanDemocracy and Governance

    Royal Rifts and Other Challenges in Jordan

    Apr 14, 2022Curtis Ryan

    Jordan’s former crown prince, Hamza bin Al Hussein, posted a rare message on social media in early April 2022, announcing that he was relinquishing his royal t…

  • Policy Analysis
    TunisiaDemocracy and Governance

    Kais Saied Continues His Assault on the Tunisian State

    Apr 8, 2022Daniel Brumberg

    It is difficult to say whether Tunisian President Kais Saied’s March 30 announcement that he is dissolving the country’s parliament represents a turning point …

  • Policy Analysis
    LibyaDemocracy and Governance

    Libya: A Return to Uncertainty

    Mar 16, 2022Imad K. Harb

    It appears that all bets are off in Libya. Elections that were scheduled for last December were postponed as competing institutions and individuals interpret p…

  • Policy Analysis
    EgyptRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Sisi Intensifies Arms Imports to Secure External Support for His Policies

    Feb 28, 2022Khalil Al-Anani

    Egypt has become the third largest arms importer in the world, according to Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). The institute’s “Trends i…

  • Policy Analysis
    SudanDemocracy and Governance

    A Coup Cannot Serve Two Masters

    Feb 22, 2022Kholood Khair

    After a two-year experiment in civilian-military power-sharing, Sudan’s military took over on October 25, 2021 in another bid to govern the country alone. Afte…

  • Viewpoint
    Palestine/IsraelDemocracy and Governance

    Making Sense of the Palestinian Central Council’s February Meeting

    Feb 16, 2022Jamil Hilal

    The meeting of the Palestinian Central Council (PCC), held in Ramallah on February 6, received more attention in the news media than was warranted for a number…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqDemocracy and Governance

    The Quiet Kurdish Rivalry over Iraq’s Presidency

    Feb 9, 2022Zeidon Alkinani

    Zeidon Alkinani discusses the rivalry between Iraq’s main Kurdish parties—the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK)—and i…

  • Policy Analysis
    Palestine/IsraelDemocracy and Governance

    Prospects for the Israeli Governing Coalition

    Feb 9, 2022Yousef Munayyer

    Yousef Munayyer evaluates the prospects of survival of Israel’s current governing coalition, whose partners have little in common except that they coalesced ar…

  • Policy Analysis
    Media and Technology

    Mapping Digital Authoritarianism in the Arab World

    Feb 3, 2022Tamara Kharroub

    The Arab uprisings of 2011 gave rise to a utopian vision of information and communication technologies (ICTs), highlighting their abilities to bypass governmen…

  • Policy Analysis
    Justice, Equality, and Human Rights

    A Bleak Landscape for Democracy and Human Rights in the MENA Region in 2022

    Feb 2, 2022Charles W. Dunne

    Any survey of human rights in the Middle East and North Africa at the start of 2022 has to open with the bad news.Promising protest movements that began in 201…

  • Policy Analysis
    EgyptJustice, Equality, and Human Rights

    Sisi’s Transnational Repression: Silencing Political Dissidents in Exile

    Jan 26, 2022Khalil Al-Anani

    On January 6, the FBI arrested Pierre Girgis, an Egyptian American, for spying on critics of Egypt’s president in the United States. According to the US Depart…

  • Policy Analysis
    North AfricaDemocracy and Governance

    The Islamists of Northwest Africa: Accommodation and Co-optation

    Jan 26, 2022Amal Ghazal

    Analyses of Islamists in Northwest Arica—from Mauritania to Libya—follow a common pattern of distinguishing militants among them from non-militants. In particu…

  • Policy Analysis
    Democracy and Governance

    The Democracy Deficit in the Arab World

    Jan 14, 2022Imad K. Harb

    Imad K. Harb examines the democracy deficit in the Arab world and the associated widespread violations of human rights, probing possible explanations of what h…

  • Policy Analysis
    LibyaDemocracy and Governance

    Libya: Political Paralysis and Continued Uncertainty

    Gregory Aftandilian writes that the postponement of Libya’s presidential and parliamentary elections has helped plunge the country into another crisis that thr…

  • Viewpoint
    SudanDemocracy and Governance

    Sudan’s Revolution Must Be Allowed to Continue

    Jan 4, 2022Imad K. Harb

    In a move that reflected his failure to garner the support of the Sudanese public, Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok submitted his resignation on January 2…

  • Policy Analysis
    TunisiaDemocracy and Governance

    Can Tunisia’s Leaders Forge a New Democratic Bargain?

    Dec 29, 2021Daniel Brumberg

    Nothing captures Tunisia’s crisis of democracy better than this act: the sentencing, in absentia, of former President Moncef Marzouki to four years in prison. …

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqDemocracy and Governance

    Iraq’s Post-Election Government Formation: Political Deadlock

    Dec 28, 2021Zeidon Alkinani

    Major changes to the Iraqi political scene are awaiting the formation of a new government following the results of the early parliamentary election that took p…

  • Policy Analysis
    Education and Development

    What Future Exists for the Arab Youth of Today?

    Dec 22, 2021Yara M. Asi

    In December 2021, an unprecedented event happened in Saudi Arabia: a rave just north of Riyadh. Men and women danced in mixed company, alcohol and marijuana we…

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonDemocracy and Governance

    Politics, Geopolitical Conditions Pushing Lebanon into a Death Spiral

    Dec 22, 2021Imad K. Harb

    Conditions in Lebanon today betray a slide toward the total failure of state institutions amid a precipitous downturn of the country’s economic and social indi…

  • Policy Analysis
    Democracy and Governance

    Biden’s Summit for Democracy Ignored the Middle East

    Dec 15, 2021Charles W. Dunne

    The Biden Administration’s recent Summit for Democracy should be regarded as a modest success, fulfilling a campaign promise by President Joe Biden and decisiv…

  • Policy Analysis
    SudanRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Sudan Coup: The Regional Interference behind a Faltering Transition

    Dec 11, 2021Khalil Al-Anani

    On October 25, 2021, Sudan’s General Abdel-Fattah al-Burhan staged a coup, declared a state of emergency, dissolved the power-sharing Sovereign Council, sacked…

  • Viewpoint
    Democracy and Governance

    Is Biden Serious about His Summit for Democracy?

    Since his inauguration on January 20, 2021, President Joe Biden has been hinting at a renewed focus on democracy by his administration to reverse the dismal re…

  • Policy Analysis
    TunisiaDemocracy and Governance

    Is Tunisia Transitioning to a Liberalized Autocracy?

    Nov 18, 2021Daniel Brumberg

    If in the coming months Tunisia undergoes a transition, given current conditions, it will probably not be along a path back to democracy. Indeed, while Preside…

  • Viewpoint
    SyriaConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    The Failure of Syria’s Constitutional Committee

    Nov 16, 2021Radwan Ziadeh

    In October 2019, Secretary General of the United Nations António Guterres enthusiastically welcomed the creation of Syria’s Constitutional Committee that would…

  • Policy Analysis
    LibyaDemocracy and Governance

    Uncertainty Overshadows Libya’s Elections

    Nov 11, 2021Imad K. Harb

    The agreement governing Libya’s advancement toward presidential and legislative elections, which are slated to be held in December, ran into serious trouble th…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqProtests and Activism

    Iraq’s Tishreen Protest Movement: The Exceptional Domestic Pressure Tool

    Nov 10, 2021Zeidon Alkinani

    In October 2019, Iraq witnessed its most significant anti-government protests since the US-led invasion and occupation in 2003. The demonstrations blasted the …

  • Policy Analysis
    EgyptReligion and Politics

    Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood: Old Problems and New Divisions

    Nov 3, 2021Khalil Al-Anani

    Since its removal from power in 2013, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt continues to face many problems and challenges. Having always prided itself on being the …

  • Policy Analysis
    SudanUS Foreign Policy

    Biden’s Chameleon-like Policy in the MENA Region

    Nov 3, 2021Imad K. Harb

    Having invested time, effort, and treasure in helping to sustain the 2019 political agreement between the Sudanese military and the civilian Forces of Freedom …

  • Viewpoint
    SudanDemocracy and Governance

    Military Takeover in Sudan: The Writing Is on the Wall

    Oct 25, 2021Imad K. Harb

    We have seen this before: military officers in the Arab world not quite enamored with sharing power with civilians—let alone ceding it to them peacefully—show …

  • 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…