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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




Insurgent Cohesion and Collapse in Syria: A Social-Institutionalist Explanation

Over the last four years, the Syrian insurgency has witnessed the rise and consolidation of certain factions, particularly Islamist ones, but also the demise of once powerful groups of a more nationalist persuasion. On Tuesday 2 May, Thomas Pierret proposes a different explanation that revolves around the social networks upon which insurgent groups were built. 

The Evolution of Ennahdha in Tunisia: In Conversation with Sheikh Rached Ghannouchi

On Thursday 20 April, the MEC hosted a talk by Ennahdha (Renaissance) Party founder Sheikh Rached Ghannouchi, in which he reflected on the achievements of the 2011 Tunisian uprising, the challenges facing the region, as well as the evolution of his Party.


Where are the Women in Today’s Islamic world?

Prior to her LSE Literature Festival talk, Elif Shafak answers thought-provoking questions about some of the most compelling issues of our times.


‘You want freedom? This is your freedom’: Rape as a Tactic of the Assad Regime

Marie Forestier presents her research findings based on more than 70 interviews investigating the use of rape as a tactic by the Assad regime in its attempt to crush the revolution and remain in power.


Gender and Statehood in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq
Zeynep Kaya, February 2017

The Kurdistan Region of Iraq has made greater strides towards gender equality than the federal government of Iraq. However, discriminatory rules and practices still exist, and changes are not fully implemented and monitored in the Region. This paper argues that the Kurdistan Region’s policies of gender equality are linked to its dependence on multilateral organisations and Western states, as well as its government’s aspiration to gain international legitimacy for statehood.


Iran's Eleventh Presidential Election Revisited: The Politics of Managing Change
Ali Ansari, November 2016

With Rouhani's first term coming to an end, and an agreement reached on Iran’s nuclear programme, Ali Ansari revisits the 2013 presidential election campaign and argues that the process retained much of the intricate management of previous elections.


Theorising Revolution, Apprehending Civil War: Leftist Political Practice and Analysis in Lebanon (1969–79)
Fadi Bardawil, October 2016

This paper focuses on the writings of Waddah Charara as well as the Marxist tradition of thought at the beginning of the Lebanese civil and regional wars (1975–1990).


The Long-Term Challenges of Forced Migration: Local and Regional Perspectives from Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq
September 2016

In a workshop held on 17–18 June 2016, the MEC brought together a diverse group of people to explore the effects of the Syrian refugee crisis on Arab host states such as Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq. This volume brings together a set of papers presented at the workshop.


Women, Peace and Security in Iraq
Zeynep N. Kaya, August 2016

This report offers an overview of the issues women face due to conflict in Iraq and provides an assessment of the Iraqi National Action Plan for the implementation of UN Security Resolution 1325.


Rojava at 4: Examining the Experiment in Western Kurdistan
August 2016

In July 2012, Kurds in northern Syria began taking control of territory. Four years on from this unprecedented development, the MEC convened a workshop to examine the progress and nature of the Rojava project. This report provides a distillation of the presentations and discussions.


Book Review: Roger Hardy’s The Poisoned Well by Ian Black

Almost fifty years after Britain and France left the Middle East, the toxic legacies of their rule continue to fester. Roger Hardy’s lively new account of  imperialism in the region is bursting with memorable anecdotes, intriguing detail and splashes of colour that illuminate a canvas of power, greed and double standards... read the full article


The CHP’s ineffective opposition to Erdoğan continues by Daniel W. Round

It is nearly two months since a section of the military tried to overthrow Turkey’s government. The coup attempt has brought about an unprecedented and ongoing restructuring of key state institutions... read the full article

Rojava at 4: Examining the Experiment in Western Kurdistan
Four years on from the creation of Rojava, the LSE Middle East Centre convened a workshop bringing together specialists on Kurdish, Syrian and Turkish politics. Short pieces by workshop participants were published on our blog. read the articles

Is VAT the best choice for the GCC countries? by Ghada Abdullah


The economies of the Gulf Corporation Council (GCC) countries are highly dependent on the energy sector, where the hydrocarbon sector constitutes around 40% of their GDP... read the full article


In the midst of political bargaining, migrants are the biggest losers by Ammar Bajboj

Today, Syrian refugees find themselves the victims of political bargaining by many host countries which use them for political or economic gain. The latest example of this was the statement made by Burhan Kuzu, a high-ranking deputy of the ruling AKP in Turkey, when he said... read the full article


Quest for Authority: The Presidency and its Standing in the Islamic Republic

Siavush Randjbar-Daemi discusses the origins and development of the presidential institution in Iran from the 1979 Iranian Revolution to the present day and reflects on whether the Islamic Republic can be defined according to the Western principles of state systems. 

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The Politics of Selective Liberalisation: Cronyism and Trade Protection in Egypt

Ferdinand Eibl uses trade liberalisation in late-Mubarak Egypt as a case study to show that cronies have not only been passive beneficiaries of economic policies; rather, their preferential access to power has allowed them to actively shape trade liberalisation in their favour.

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Middle East Careers

A panel made up of professionals from five different sectors – government, journalism, academia, business and not-for-profit – discuss career opportunities for students interested in working in or with the Middle East.

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Documenting Genocide: Survey Evidence on ISIS Violence Against Yazidis

The UN Human Rights Council has recently declared that ISIS violence against the Yazidi religious minority constitutes a case of "ongoing genocide". Valeria Cetorelli presents the first survey evidence on the number and demographic profile of Yazidis killed and enslaved by ISIS.

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Social Harmony: An Iraqi perspective

Lukman Faily argues that the lack of social harmony in Iraqi society represents a key factor of instability and that it is necessary to identify and mediate this problem by encouraging increased cooperation between citizens though state-supported social and religious programmes.

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