The LSE IDEAS Middle East International Affairs Programme is dedicated to enhancing our understanding of the region stretching from the Maghreb, through the Levant and the Gulf to South West Asia. It aims to bring to bear the insights of academic research in illuminating the origins and development of contemporary issues in the region. The Middle East has thrown up some of the key policy challenges of recent decades, ranging from the Arab-Israeli conflict, through the rise of militant Islamism to nuclear proliferation and resource depletion. Middle East International Affairs will bring together scholars, commentators and practitioners involved in the analysis of these challenges for a continuing dialogue about their causes and consequences. Drawing on the academic resources of LSE, and capitalising on London's traditional position as an entrepôt of Middle East debate, discussion and intrigue, Middle East International Affairs will develop an informed and critical international perspective on the contemporary challenges facing the region.

Middle East International Affairs will bring to bear academic insights, particularly those drawn from history and political science, in order to contextualise the challenges facing the region today. Specifically, our objectives are to:

  • Establish a wide ranging and intellectually stimulating programme of events, including lectures, seminars, workshops and roundtable discussions relating to the region.
  • Establish international connections between scholars, practitioners and institutions pursuing a Middle East research agenda.
  • Disseminate information on resources related to the study of the Middle East.
  • Support a programme of timely publications relating to contemporary policy challenges in the region.
  • Pursue funding to facilitate advanced research at doctoral and post-doctoral level on the region.

In pursuing these objectives, Middle East International Affairs focuses on the following broad areas of concern:

  • Inter-state conflict
  • The role of non-state actors
  • Regional institution-building and integration
  • Refugees and displaced people
  • Nationalism and identity
  • Nuclear proliferation
  • Violence and terrorism
  • Mediation and peace-making
  • The role of external actors and foreign intervention
  • The causes and consequences of civil conflict