• Policy Analysis
    Palestine/IsraelDemocracy and Governance

    Elections in Israel: Possible Scenarios and Outcomes

    Feb 16, 2024Mohanad Mustafa

    With the outbreak of the war on Gaza, there was a consensus in Israel that war was an exceptional emergency in which politics was neutralized, that unity was a…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqDemocracy and Governance

    A Year of Mixed Results for Iraq’s Sudani

    Nov 8, 2023Rend Al-Rahim

    Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shi`a al-Sudani completed his first year in office on October 27 with a mixed record of successes and failures owing to objective…

  • Policy Analysis
    AlgeriaDemocracy and Governance

    In Algeria, the More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same

    Oct 3, 2023Patricia Karam

    More than four years have passed since the Hirak protest movement threatened to upend Algeria’s political and military leadership structure. Since then, the co…

  • Policy Analysis
    KuwaitDemocracy and Governance

    Challenges Facing Kuwait’s Parliamentary Democracy

    Sep 12, 2023Imad K. Harb

    Watching Kuwait’s seemingly dysfunctional political scene gives one the impression that the country is on a course toward endless instability and disorder. Las…

  • Viewpoint
    Palestine/IsraelDemocracy and Governance

    The Persistent Illusion of Palestinian Reconciliation

    Representatives of 14 Palestinian political factions, including Fatah and Hamas, were invited to the Egyptian coastal city of El-Alamein on July 30, 2023 for r…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqDemocracy and Governance

    Iran’s Hardliners on the March: The Quiet Before the Storm?

    Aug 3, 2023Daniel Brumberg

    The recent redeployment of Iran’s dreaded “morality police” signals much more than a victory for the country’s hardliners. Instead, it seems to be part and par…

  • Policy Analysis
    Palestine/IsraelDemocracy and Governance

    Fending for Themselves: The Palestinians and the Palestinian Authority

    Aug 3, 2023Yara M. Asi

    On July 3, 2023, Israeli forces raided the city of Jenin in the occupied West Bank, with a specific focus on the refugee camp that borders the municipality. Th…

  • Intern Corner
    TunisiaDemocracy and Governance

    Disinformation as a Tool of Regime Survival in Tunisia

    Jul 21, 2023C. Ian DeHaven

    Disinformation—false information created with the intent to mislead others—swamped the 2019 Tunisian presidential election, creating a confused and volatile po…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqDemocracy and Governance

    Sudani’s Premiership Is Failing in the Iraqi Fight Against Corruption

    Jul 12, 2023Patricia Karam

    When Mohammed Shia` al-Sudani became prime minister of Iraq, he made it a priority to combat endemic corruption in the country and help restore citizen trust i…

  • Policy Analysis
    EgyptDemocracy and Governance

    Egypt’s National Dialogue: A Lost Opportunity for National Salvage

    Jul 7, 2023Khalil Al-Anani

    The Egyptian National Dialogue began in May 2023, following a one-year delay since President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi suddenly announced plans for it in April 2022…

  • Policy Analysis
    TunisiaDemocracy and Governance

    Rebuilding Tunisia’s Democracy Will Require a Long-Term Strategy

    Jun 22, 2023Daniel Brumberg

    For now, neither the urban middle class nor the Tunisian General Labor Union seem ready for a full-on collision with the president.

  • Policy Analysis
    TurkeyDemocracy and Governance

    The Erdoğan Doctrine in the Wake of Turkey’s Elections

    Jun 22, 2023Mustafa Gurbuz

    When Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced his new cabinet following his victory in the May 2023 presidential election, a positive mood ensued. Turk…

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonDemocracy and Governance

    The Continuation of Lebanon’s Presidential Debacle

    Jun 21, 2023Patricia Karam

    It should come as no surprise to Lebanese citizens or the international community that the country remains without a president after more than 7 months and 12 …

  • Policy Analysis
    LibyaConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Despite Libya’s Progress on Election Laws, Deep Divisions Remain

    Recent meetings in Morocco between representatives of Libya’s two main factions, the Government of National Unity (GNU) in the West and the House of Representa…

  • Policy Analysis
    MoroccoDemocracy and Governance

    Morocco’s Concerning Domestic and Foreign Policies

    Jun 7, 2023Imad K. Harb

    As Morocco works to become a pivotal power in northwest Africa’s security sphere, it continues to suffer from what can be seen as self-inflicted wounds caused …

  • Policy Analysis
    TurkeyDemocracy and Governance

    Turkish Elections in a Post-Truth Political Landscape

    May 24, 2023Mustafa Gurbuz

    The scene was all too familiar in the headquarters of Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) on the day of the recent Turkish election. Giant portraits o…

  • Policy Analysis
    TunisiaDemocracy and Governance

    Tunisia’s Broken Democracy: A Preliminary Assessment

    May 12, 2023Daniel Brumberg

    With Tunisia’s slide into autocracy accelerating every day, this hardly seems the best moment to undertake a frank assessment of its democratic experiment. To …

  • Policy Analysis
    TurkeyDemocracy and Governance

    Turkey’s Upcoming Elections: A Country at a Crossroads

    May 10, 2023Salim Çevik

    On May 14, Turkey will be heading to the polls for what many have deemed the most important election of 2023. For the first time in two decades, President Rece…

  • Policy Analysis
    YemenConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    The Thorny Relationship between Yemen’s Government and the Southern Transitional Council

    May 3, 2023Afrah Nasser

    In Yemen, the Southern Movement calling for separation between the North and South of Yemen is controversial. For those who oppose it, it is a simple secession…

  • Policy Analysis
    TunisiaDemocracy and Governance

    Kais Saied’s Fantasies Are Drowning Tunisia

    Apr 27, 2023Daniel Brumberg

    The April 18 arrest of Rached Ghannouchi represents a dramatic escalation of Tunisian President Kais Saied’s assault on the political opposition. The leader of…

  • Viewpoint
    SudanDemocracy and Governance

    Sudan’s Transitional Process Is Dead and Buried

    Apr 17, 2023Imad K. Harb

    It would be very difficult to consider the ongoing intra-military conflict in Sudan as a struggle to advance the cause of democratic development in the country…

  • Policy Analysis
    Palestine/IsraelJustice, Equality, and Human Rights

    Discrimination Fuels Intra-Palestinian Violence and Crime in Israel

    Mar 30, 2023Yara M. Asi

    In recent weeks, it has been impossible to miss the protests taking place in Israel against proposed judicial reforms laid out by the country’s new extreme rig…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqDemocracy and Governance

    Unfinished Business: Nation-Building in Iraq Since 2003

    Mar 21, 2023Rend Al-Rahim

    Nothing so perfectly expresses the failure of nation-building in Iraq as the cry of protesters in 2019, when they chanted, nureed watan, “we want a country.” T…

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonDemocracy and Governance

    A New Model for Presidential Elections in Lebanon

    Mar 9, 2023Patricia Karam

    It has been four months since former Lebanese President Michel Aoun left office in October 2022, after a presidential term marred by a series of catastrophic e…

  • Policy Analysis
    TunisiaDemocracy and Governance

    The Success of Tunisian President Kais Saied’s Neofascist Populism

    Mar 2, 2023Daniel Brumberg

    If there was any doubt that Tunisian President Kais Saied is building a new autocracy on the rubble of Tunisia’s imperfect and short-lived democracy, that doub…

  • Policy Analysis
    LibyaRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Impacting Elusive Transitions: Egypt’s Policy Toward Sudan and Libya

    Mar 1, 2023Khalil Al-Anani

    The recent political developments in Sudan and Libya have generated some optimism for a potential resolution to the protracted political crises that have plagu…

  • Policy Analysis
    Palestine/IsraelDemocracy and Governance

    The Settler Colonial Origins of Israel’s Constitutional Crisis

    Feb 22, 2023Yousef Munayyer

    Tens of thousands of Israelis have filled the streets of major cities in recent weeks to protest significant judicial reforms that the new far-right Israeli go…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantDemocracy and Governance

    Turkey’s Presidential Election in the Shadow of Devastating Earthquakes

    Feb 22, 2023Mustafa Gurbuz

    The devastating February 6 earthquakes in Turkey, which caused nearly 45,000 deaths in Turkey and Syria and rendered hundreds of thousands of people homeless, …

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonDemocracy and Governance

    Lebanon’s New Opposition MPs Must Work Together for Political Change

    Feb 14, 2023Patricia Karam

    Although the October 2019 protests in Lebanon rallied every sector, class, and gender in a moment of enthusiasm with the expectation of revolutionary change, t…

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    Beirut Port Explosion: A “Judicial Coup” to Bury the Investigation?

    Feb 9, 2023Halim Shebaya

    There is broad consensus in Lebanon regarding the need to reform the country’s judiciary and to work toward enhancing its independence, as stipulated by both t…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranDemocracy and Governance

    Succeeding Khamenei: Can Iran’s Leaders Reinvent Their Islamic Republic?

    Feb 3, 2023Daniel Brumberg

    Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is 83 years old. And while he has lived long enough to see the 44th anniversary of the Iranian Revolution, the s…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqDemocracy and Governance

    Iraqi Prime Minister al-Sudani Upstages His Benefactors in the Coordination Framework

    Jan 31, 2023Rend Al-Rahim

    Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia’ al-Sudani, who was sworn in on October 27, 2022, has nearly completed the first 100 days of his tenure. In this short perio…

  • Policy Analysis
    SudanDemocracy and Governance

    Sudan’s Political Process and Hopes for a Civilian Government

    Jan 23, 2023Kholood Khair

    After months of negotiations, in December 2022, a limited selection of Sudan’s military and civilian political actors signed a Framework Agreement (FA) in orde…

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonDemocracy and Governance

    Lebanon’s Politicians Are Incapable of Productive Dialogue

    Jan 12, 2023Halim Shebaya

    Lebanon has now entered the fourth year of its devastating economic crisis and collapse, with no end in sight and no hint regarding the possible launch of a re…

  • Policy Analysis
    TunisiaDemocracy and Governance

    Only Tunisians Can Save Tunisia

    Jan 3, 2023Daniel Brumberg

    What if an aspiring autocrat held an election and barely anyone showed up? This question looms large following Tunisia’s December 17 parliamentary election. Wi…

  • Policy Analysis
    LibyaConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Libya’s Impasse Continues Amid Mounting Migrant Problems

    Nearly a year after national elections were supposed to be held in Libya, the country is still not any closer to resolving the deep political and geographical …

  • Policy Analysis
    IranProtests and Activism

    Have Iran’s Leaders Come to Another Crossroads?

    Dec 14, 2022Daniel Brumberg

    Daniel Brumberg examines the ongoing protests in Iran and the country’s hardline response, stressing that the disturbances are unlikely to lead to the collapse…

  • 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
    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 A. 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…

  • Intern Corner
    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…