The national armed forces of Arab states have been undergoing a radical transformation. New fluid coalitions of armed state and non-state actors engage in complex patterns of coexistence and contestation, set within a wider context of geopolitical rivalry between their external backers. Renowned Middle East scholar Yezid Sayigh examines the re-emergence of militaries as central political actors.
Yezid Sayigh is a senior fellow at the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut, where he leads the program on Civil-Military Relations in Arab States (CMRAS). His work focuses on the comparative political and economic roles of Arab armed forces and nonstate actors, the impact of war on states and societies, and the politics of post-conflict reconstruction and security sector transformation in Arab transitions, and authoritarian resurgence.
Jessica Watkins is Research Officer at the Middle East Centre, currently working on a DFID-funded project looking at regional drivers of conflict in Iraq and Syria. The project ties in with Jessica’s previous research at the Rand Corporation into Iraqi and regional security issues. Her PhD at the Department of War Studies, King’s College London, was on policing and dispute management in Jordan.
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