Shifting Sands


Welcome to the Shifting Sands blog at LSE IDEAS. We invite PhD students and academics from throughout the UK and abroad to analyse current events in the Middle East and add to the ongoing deliberations over policy prescriptions. We look forward to exploring both regional and topical issues relating to current events.

The element of citizenship and the current political climate in Israel
By Dr Lauren Banko, Senior Teaching Fellow, School of Oriental and African Studies, London.   The peace talks between the Israeli and Palestinian negotiators that started in the summer of 2013 under the auspices of US Secretary of State John … Continue reading

Egypt: Towards an Algerian Scenario
By Dalia Ghanem-Yazbeck, research analyst at the Carnegie Middle East Center.   It is hard to watch the events unfolding in Egypt today without drawing a parallel with the Algerian situation in 1990. The images of demonstrations and clashes between … Continue reading

Syria: At Geneva II, Something to Fight For
By Ivonne Lockhart Smith, International Policy Analyst at a law firm in London.   On 22 January ‘Geneva II’ talks between the Assad regime and the opposition will commence in Montreux, Switzerland, with Western stakeholders hoping that they will lead … Continue reading

Hizbullah: the quagmire of Syria
By Dr Dina Matar, Director, Centre for Media and Film Studies, SOAS.   Syria’s agreement last month to disclose and destroy its chemical weapons and the subsequent easing of tensions between the US and Iran raise a crucial question about … Continue reading

Might Assad Want US Intervention in Syria?
By Dr Nicholas Kitchen, Research Officer in Global Power and the Gulf and Editor in Chief of LSE IDEAS.     “We don’t know exactly why it happened,” a US intelligence official told Foreign Policy. “We just know it was … Continue reading

The Shia and the Battle for Survival
By Ranj Alaaldin, PhD Candidate at the LSE. This piece originally appeared in RUSI Analysis on 30 July 2013   It could be argued that for the Shia of Iraq – who have consolidated power after decades, if not centuries … Continue reading

Coup d’etat or liberation? US-Egypt relations after the fall of Mohamed Morsi
By Dr Katerina Dalacoura, Senior Lecturer in International Relations at LSE.   In response to the political convulsions in Egypt, Barack Obama stated from Dar el Salaam that the United States is committed to the democratic process in that country … Continue reading

From rebellion to coup: Egypt ahead of a difficult transition
By Dr Filippo Dionigi, Teaching Fellow at LSE and an expert in Islamist politics.   The past five days have been historical for Egypt. But the next months will prove to be a challenging transition period during which the precarious … Continue reading

Iraq today: The failure of re-shaping a state on sectarian and quota lines.
By Professor Saad N Jawad Senior Research Fellow at the Middle East Centre, LSE & Dr Sawsan I al-Assaf Board Member of the Peace Building-Academy for the Middle East, Spain & Beirut.   When King Faisal I was crowned to … Continue reading

When it comes to Palestine the EU’s grasp still exceeds its reach
By Prof. Rory Miller, Professor of Middle East & Mediterranean Studies at King’s College London.   In a recent letter to Catherine Ashton, the EU’s foreign policy chief, nineteen former senior politicians and statesmen from across Europe called on the … Continue reading