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Middle East Centre

How to contact us

Middle East Centre
Tower 1, 10th Floor
London School of Economics and Political Science
Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE 

General Enquiries and Events
Sandra Sfeir
+44 (0)20 7955 6198

Projects and Scholarships Enquiries 
Chelsea Milsom
+44 (0)20 7955 7038

Media and Communications Enquiries
Ribale Sleiman Haidar

+44(0)20 7955 6250




LSE Middle East Alumni Forum, Dubai

As part of the LSE Global Forum, on Monday 11 May, the LSE Middle East Centre and the Abraaj Group are organising the second LSE Middle East Alumni Forum. This will present a great opportunity to meet leading LSE academics and discuss ground-breaking research as well as the issues that are shaping lives and societies on a global scale. Confirmed speakers include Professor Erik Berglof, Professor Toby Dodge and Dr Steffen Hertog. 

Register to attend


BRISMES Annual Conference 2015: Liberation?

Early bird registration for the BRISMES Annual Conference 2015 is now open. This year, the conference takes 'liberation' for a theme. Liberation has been a recurrent theme in the Middle East for millennia. People have sought it in a multitude of ways – through politics, mysticism, philosophy, and personal piety.

Register now


Steffen Hertog comments on the role of Saudi Aramco for the Economist

Aramco is not the only national oil company to get dragged into doing the state’s economic-development work, but no other has quite such a smorgasbord of tasks. 'There is a genuine nationalism in Aramco', says Steffen Hertog. 

Read the full article


Romola Sanyal for the Institute for Palestine Studies
How Refuge Creates Informality: Shelter Politics in Refugee Camps in Beirut

This paper looks at how humanitarian policies of protection encourage the development of informality in refugee camps, particularly informal housing.

Read the full paper


LSE Middle East Alumni Forum 2015

Building on last year's successful event, the LSE Middle East Centre and The Abraaj Group are organising the second LSE Middle East Alumni Forum.  The event, on Monday 11 May, will present a unique opportunity to bring together top academics with graduates of the School.

This event is free and open to all however registration is necessary.


Of Regime and Movements: authoritarian reform and the 2011 popular uprisings in Morocco

On Tuesday 19 May, Frédéric Vairel looks at how the 2011 Arab uprisings played out in Morocco, focusing specifically on the 20th February Movement and the regime's response to it.


How Self-Limiting Mobilisations Work: the case of Morocco

On Wednesday 20 May, Frédéric Vairel discusses his paper on self-limiting mobilisation, paying close attention to the institutionalisation of contentious space and the relation between contentious space and institutional politics.


Being Salafi Under Sisi: the strategy of the Egyptian al-Nour party

On Tuesday 26 May, Stéphane Lacroix looks at the Salafi al-Nour party, the political arm of the "Salafi call" and accounts for their political identity and strategy, as well as the role they play in the emerging power structure in Egypt.


Saudi Islamists on Peaceful Revolution: Divine Politics Reconsidered

On Tuesday 2 June, MEC Visiting Professor Madawi al-Rasheed launches her most recent working paper. Focusing on mutations of Saudi Islamism during the Arab uprisings, this paper examines the responses of Salman al-Ouda, one of the most influential Saudi Islamist scholars.


Democracy in Turkey: institutions, society and foreign relations

Dr Deniz Kandiyoti, Dr Berna Turam and Dr Ali Carkoglu reflect on the state of democracy in Turkey from both the angle of the state and its laws and that of society.

Listen to the podcast


Empire, Revolt, and State Formation in the Middle East and North Africa in the 1920s

Jonathan Wyrtzen discusses his paper entitled Reimagining Political Space: Empire, Revolt, and Competitive State Formation in the Middle East and North Africa in the 1920s.

Listen to the podcast


Algeria: a state and its discontents

Professor Lahouari Addi discusses the current situation in Algeria, from the sickness and subsequent disappearance of Bouteflika from the public eye, to the protests in the south resisting the exploitation of the country's vast shale gas reserves and, importantly, the future of Algeria's economic situation in the face of declining oil prices.

Listen to the podcast


The Non-Contentious Politics of Labour Protests in Egypt

Marie Duboc looks at labour protests in Egypt before and after the fall of Hosni Mubarak. She argues that repression and radicalisation do not fully capture the dynamics of social movements in authoritarian contexts. Instead, she suggests expanding the contentious politics approach, the dominant theoretical framework used to study collective action.

Listen to the podcast 









Middle East Border Geopolitics: established and emerging themes

In trying to make sense of the spontaneous appearance of new borderland spatialities in Syria and Iraq, as well as recent instances of formal state boundary-making such as the Abyei arbitration, Richard Schofield asks what constitutes a borderland in the Middle East.

Listen to podcast 









Iranian Diplomacy Evolves: What’s next for Iran?
by Alireza Shams Lahijani With final steps of sealing the anticipated deal between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany (P5+1) well underway, Iran is preparing to open a new chapter in its foreign relations just as it did in the aftermath of the Iraq-Iran war. What comes next for Iran is the crucial […]

Lebanon is revising its policies towards the Syrian refugee crisis, but are the new measures in its real interest?
by Filippo Dionigi Among the effects of the Syrian civil war is the massive exodus of refugees flowing into neighbouring countries. Relatively to its size, Lebanon is the most affected state. The number of Syrians registered with the UNHCR in Lebanon is nearly 1.2 million, a quarter of its autochthonous population, and this is only a partial figure. Perhaps surprisingly, […]

Ancient to Modern Mashriq
 by Dr Ali Kadri The earliest places to develop into sedentary cultures were to be found in the present-day Mashriq (Ancient Syria and Mesopotamia) pursuant to the early agricultural revolution. The crevice at the end of the Great African rift known as the Fertile Crescent is a natural gathering ground for domesticable animals; it enjoyed regular rainfall and a variety […]

Bahrain after the Elections
In November 2014 Bahrain held its first parliamentary elections since the anti-government protests erupted in 2011. With the main Shi’a opposition party al-Wefaq’s boycott of the elections and the subsequent arrest of its leader Ali Salman, the role of the elections in determining the future of Bahrain was questioned. On 21 January 2015, the LSE Kuwait Programme organised a workshop […]

The House of Saud’s War in Yemen: A Looming Afghanistan?
by Tobias Thiel In the night from 25 to 26 March, a Saudi-led coalition of Sunni Arab states has launched operation ‘asifat al-hazm (Decisive Storm) – ostensibly to save the Republic of Yemen from the Zaydi Shi’a Huthi ‘rebels’ and restore the legitimate rule of president-in-exile ‘Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi. In reality, however, the nocturnal aerial bombardments have exacerbated and […]

Book Review: The Hizbullah Phenomenon: Politics and Communication
by Morgane Colleau The authors of this book address how Hizbullah uses image, language, and its charismatic leader, Hassan Nasrallah, to legitimise its political aims and ideology and appeal to different target groups. In this review, originally posted  on the LSE Review of Books blog, Morgane Colleau argues this is a highly valuable contribution that sheds much needed light on a key causal dimension in […]

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