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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 2015, Dubai| 

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, on Monday 11 May 2015 in Dubai. Confirmed speakers include Professor Craig Calhoun, Professor Jeffrey Chwieroth, Professor Toby Dodge and Dr Steffen Hertog. 

This event is free and open to all however registration is necessary. Please register using our online booking system.|


Call for Proposals
BRISMES Annual Conference 2015: Liberation?|

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. Proposals for papers and panels on all aspects of liberation, as well as other themes, are invited.

Apply now|


Steffen Hertog for The Conversation
Oil prices: eventually the Gulf states will run out of power|

Oil prices have now almost halved in six months thanks to OPEC’s refusal to cut production. While countries such as Iran and Venezuela face an imminent fiscal crisis, the short-term ramifications for the Arabian peninsula’s oil monarchies are less dramatic. In the long run, however, their very high dependence on oil poses a more fundamental challenge than for almost any of their rivals writes Steffen Hertog.


UNDP Iraq Human Development Report 2014
Iraqi Youth Challenges and Opportunities|

Former MEC Fellow Dr Amal Shlash was lead author of the UNDP Iraq Human Development Report 2014, which focuses on opportunities and challenges related to youth development – a promising foundation is being laid for the empowerment of the youth.

Download the full report|


Study by Valeria Cetorelli
LSE study shows sharp rise in teenage childbearing during Iraq War|

A study by LSE’s Valeria Cetorelli, MEC Emirates PhD scholar and candidate in demography, shows that teenage fertility in Iraq rose by more than 30 per cent between 2003 and 2010 due to increased early marriage among less-educated girls. 


Dr Fatima El-Issawi for the IEMed
The Role of Egyptian Media in the Coup|

MEC Research Fellow Fatima El-Issawi|'s paper on The Role of Egyptian Media in the Coup has been published in the European Institute of the Mediterranean 2014 yearbook. The paper investigates the role played by Egyptian media, especially prominent talk show hosts, in providing legitimacy to the military-backed regime, with examples from the daily practices of journalists.


Hezbollah, Islamist Politics and International Society|


On February 2, MEC Fellow Filippo Dionigi launches his book Hezbollah, Islamist Politics and International Security|, which uses the example of Lebanon's Hezbollah to reflect on the role of international norms in influencing and shaping Islamist politics in the Middle East.


Syria and the Future of the State Order in the Levant|


On Wednesday 11 February, Steven Heydemann argues that the widespread violence now gripping the Levant and Arab East has a logic and structure that can shed light on its underlying dynamics, its drivers, and its possible effects.


Recalibrating Authoritarianism After the Arab Spring|


On Thursday 12 February, reflecting on the debate about the resilience of authoritarianism in the Middle East, Steven Heydemann analyses what regime responses to the rise of mass political movements tell us about the capacity of Arab regimes to adapt in the face of new challenges.


The Politics of Foreign Aid in the Arab World: the impact of the Arab uprisings|


On Friday 13 February, guest editors Federica Bicchi, Steven Heydemann, and Benoit Challand, joined by a number of discussants, launch the special issue of Mediterranean Politics on the Politics of Foreign Aid in the Arab World: the Impact of the Arab Uprisings, looking at the changing state of aid in the Arab world in the wake of the Arab Uprisings and its significance for the region.


Iraq After America: Strongmen, Sectarians, Resistance|

On Tuesday 17 February, Joel Rayburn presents his book Iraq After America: Strongmen, Sectarians, Resistance, in which he examines the government and the sectarian and secular factions that have emerged in Iraq since the US invasion of 2003, presenting the interrelations among the various elements in the Iraqi political scene.


Berber Government: The Kabyle Polity in Pre-colonial Algeria|

In this talk, Professor Hugh Roberts discusses his new book, Berber Government: the Kabyle Polity in Pre-colonial Algeria. Breaking with both Ernest Gellner’s and Pierre Bourdieu’s influential theories, Berber Government explores the character of the institutions which were central to Kabyle political organization and explains how their development was the product of the interaction between the populations of Kabylia and the Ottoman Regency and gave birth to a political tradition which survives to the present day.

Listen to the podcast|


The Hizbullah Phenomenon: Politics and Communication|

In this talk, Dr Lina Khatib, Dr Dina Matar, and Dr Atef Alshaer present their most recent book, 'The Hizbullah Phenomenon: Politics and Communication'. In this book, the authors 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.

Listen to the podcast|


Iraq: Causes and Consequences of the Present Crisis|

The seizure of Mosul by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant and their rapid move south towards Baghdad has thrown Iraq into another post-regime change crisis. This panel examines the identity and background of the fighters in northern Iraq, as well as the root causes behind the violence. Prof Toby Dodge, Amb Feisal Istrabadi and Dr Faleh Jabar also explore why the Iraqi armed forces collapsed so quickly,  explaining how the political and constitutional system, which was set up in the aftermath of regime change, has contributed to the current situation.

Listen to the podcast|


1960s Algeria: Women, Public Space and Moral Panic|

This talk explores debates about the place of women in public space in Algeria in the 1960s. Seeking to go beyond commonly-held views of post-independence Algeria as locked in a binary struggle between, on the one hand, 'tradition' and ethno-cultural nationalism and, on the other hand 'modernity' and socialist development, Dr Vince considers how revolutionary progress could embrace puritanical single-mindedness and also how Algerian women in the 1960s responded to and contributed to these debates.

Listen to the podcast|


New Trends of Women's Activism after the Arab Uprisings: Redefining Women's Leadership|

Dr Aitemad Muhanna-Matar presents the findings of field research conducted in five countries (Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Yemen and the occupied Palestinian territory) in 2013.

The research reflects on the form of women's leadership that developed during and after the Arab Uprisings and how it could contribute to redefining women's activism and empowerment and its effect on social and gender transformation in Arab countries.

Listen to the podcast|


The path to reform in Bahrain
by Ali Alaswad On a political level Bahrain’s 2014 parliamentary elections were meaningless. Less than half of the local population voted in an ineffectual and unconvincing new parliament that continues to have no real power. Yet, its significance as a marker for the authorities in Bahrain to abandon any pretence of reform, and move directly into a security confrontation, cannot […]

Britain’s base and Bahraini politics
by Jane Kinninmont Repression in Bahrain has intensified since the UK’s announcement in December that it would open its first permanent Middle Eastern military base since 1971 in the kingdom. This week, the authorities announced the leader of the main opposition party, Al Wefaq, would be tried as a ‘coup plotter’, and a court handed down a six-month sentence to […]

A risky move by Israel in the Golan?
by Filippo Dionigi Following Israel’s targeting and killing of a number of high-ranking Hezbollah and Iranian military officials in Syria, Dr Filippo Dionigi reflects on what Hezbollah and Iran’s reactions might be and what this escalation means for Israel. Filippo will be launching his book, Hezbollah, Islamist Politics and International Society, at LSE on Monday 2 February 2015. Israel’s stance towards the […]

Radical spatial-demographic transformations: the need for an intersectional view
by Mohamed Aldaaysi Ever since the discovery of oil in the 1920s, Bahrain has experienced uneven and combined development – combined in the sense that it mixes old and new forms in society, and uneven as it is a development plot against the prior development in the West. The demographic structure in the country and the notion of nationality are […]

The deepening divide in post-election Bahrain
by Marc Owen Jones Bahrain’s November elections were seen by some as a competition between the government and the opposition: To participate was to vote for the status quo, while boycotting reaffirmed one’s oppositional credentials. For its part, the government did as much as it could to encourage people to vote. Raffles with iphones as prizes were set up for those […]

The ‘red line’ of Sheikh Ali Salman’s arrest: Bahrain moves into new territory
by Christopher M. Davidson The arrest of Bahraini opposition leader Sheikh Ali Salman on 30th December 2014 caught many by surprise – it had been widely assumed to be something of a ‘red line’, both for domestic Bahraini politics, and for the kingdom’s international relations, most notably with its prominent Western allies, the United States and Britain. As the head […]

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