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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




Dr Rebecca Steinfeld for Israel Studies Journal
Wars of the Wombs: Struggles Over Abortion Policies in Israel

MEC Visiting Fellow Rebecca Steinfeld examines the historical and contemporary struggles that have led to the gap between the restrictions on, and availability of, abortion in Israel. This article attributes this gap to the compromise necessitated by conflicts amongst competing policymakers, motivated by opposing viewpoints and interests, over the objectives and substance of abortion policies. 


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


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.


Bahraini Activism in Exile: Legacies and Revolutionary Ruptures

Bahrain has had a long history of exiling its opponents as a way to regulate political dissent. On Wednesday 3 June, Claire Beaugrand examines the forms of opposition and advocacy that were built on previous exile experiences, focusing on a new generation of opponents that includes children of political exiles and long-time expatriates.

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


BRISMES Annual Conference 2015: Liberation?

With the reassertion of military rule in Egypt, and the descent in Syria from popular uprisings to bloody civil war, ‘liberation’ is now even more in question in the Middle East than it was before 2011. The BRISMES Annual Conference 2015, taking place from 24 to 26 June at LSE, will explore the multitude of meanings that the concept has for the region today.

This is a registration only event. Register here.


How Self-Limiting Mobilisations Work: the case of Morocco

Frédéric Vairel presents his paper, which describes how self-limitation works in contemporary Moroccan mobilisation, with particular reference to the 20th February Movement.

Listen to the podcast


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

Frédéric Vairel discusses the 2011 Moroccan protests and why the Arab Spring played out so differently in Morocco by considering the 20th February Movement and the regime's response to it.

Listen to the podcast


An Impending Nuclear Deal With Iran?

Mark Fitzpatrick assesses the political and strategic ramifications of a resolution to the Iranian nuclear crisis as well as the technical and diplomatic issues involved.

Listen to the podcast


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


Democracy, Secession, and the Kurds
by Serhun Al US Senator Rand Paul (R) recently stated that Kurds should be given their own country rather than simply being armed by the United States. US Vice President Joe Biden, on the other hand, praised Iraq’s territorial unity. Today, while an independent Kurdish state is the dream of many—especially the Kurds of Iraq—it is also the fear of […]

Once ‘outsiders’, the HDP can become the ‘protectors’ of the parliamentary regime in Turkey
by Mustafa Cagatay Aslan Turkey will hold a parliamentary election on 7 June. The main aim of the incumbent Justice Development Party (AKP) is to have at least 330 seats in order to change the political system from a parliamentary regime to a ‘presidential’ one. In his piece, Mustafa Cagatay Aslan suggests that whether the AKP achieves its aim depends […]

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 […]

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