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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 Annual Gulf History Lecture

End of Empire: Britain's withdrawal from the Persian Gulf

On Thursday 26 November, Eminent historian Professor Louis examines Britain’s role inthe creation of the United Arab Emirates and the origins of the contemporary Persian Gulf.


The Revival of Nationalism and Secularism in Modern Iran

On Tuesday 1 December, Dr Pejman Abdolmohammadi looks beyond the focus on Iran's foreign policy towards another paramount aspect which could have a crucial influence over the future of the country - Iranian civil society.

Registration for this event is now closed.


The State of Algeria: The politics of a post-colonial legacy

On Wednesday 2 December, Malika Maamri Rebai launches her book, in which she argues that Algeria's postcolonial history and politics are, in fact, a series of attempts to come to terms with the dire consequences of this colonial past.

Registration for this event is now closed.


Revisiting the Arab Spring in Bahrain

On Tuesday 8 December, Abdulhadi Khalaf presents his paper in which he examines the consequences of competition between moderate opposition networks and their diverse radical flanks. The paper argues that the positive roles of the radical flanks include developing new political opportunities and attracting new participants to join the movement.

This is a registration only event. Please click here to register.


Job Vacancies at the MEC

The LSE Middle East Centre seeks two research officers to join our team. The first will be part of a research project looking at media and participatory culture in the region. The other will contribute to research activities on the historical sociology of the Middle East and and will produce independent research.

Apply now


Dr Jamal Abdullah joins the MEC as Visiting Researcher

We are pleased to welcome Jamal Abdullah as Visiting Researcher at the MEC. During his time at LSE, Jamal will work on his research looking at the Gulf after the arrival of King Salman to power in Saudi Arabia. Jamal is Researcher and Head of Gulf Studies Unit at Al Jazeera Centre for Studies (AJCS).


Dr Karen Young in the New York Times
As Oil Wealth Dwindles, Saudi Arabia Faces Change

'It's not an absolute crisis, but it is a question of planning for the future,' comments Karen Young on the challenges faced by Saudi Arabia in light of the recent plunge in the price of crude oil, which accounts for 90% of government revenue.


Dr Pejman Abdolmohammadi for the British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies
Iran as a Peculiar Hybrid Regime

This article, based on the assumption that the Iranian political system is a peculiar form of a hybrid regime, looks at the structure and dynamics of the Islamic Republic.


Dr Hessah Al-Ojayan for Applied Economics
Drivers of price reaction to rights issue announcements in the Kuwait Stock Exchange

This paper examines the drivers behind stock price reactions to announcements of rights issues by firms listed on the Kuwaiti Stock Exchange for the period 2003–2013. 


Rentier Islamism: The Role of the Muslim Brotherhood in the Gulf
Courtney Freer, November 2015

This paper discusses the degree to which Muslim Brotherhood affiliates in Kuwait, Qatar, and the UAE influence political decision-making and how those governments have chosen to handle the Ikhwan. Given the analysis, it provides the following policy recommendations to both regional and Western actors.


Social Movements and the Question of Organisation: Egypt and Everywhere
Maha Abdelrahman, September 2015

Maha Abdelrahman considers the nature of activism and revolutionary process in the 21st century by examining some of the dilemmas involved in the case of Egypt. 


Mapping GCC Foreign Policy: Resources, Recipients and Regional Effects
October 2015

These collected papers were presented in Doha in January 2015 at a workshop aimed to analyse the increasingly interventionist Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states’ foreign policy.


Divine Politics Reconsidered: Saudi Islamists on Peaceful Revolution

Madawi al-Rasheed, May 2015

Focusing on mutations of Saudi Islamism during the Arab uprisings, this paper examines the responses of Salman al-Awdah, one of the most influential Saudi Islamist scholars.


The New Politics of Gulf Arab State Foreign Aid and Investment
by Karen Young This memo was presented at a workshop organised by the LSE Middle East Centre on ‘Mapping GCC Foreign Policy: Resources, Recipients and Regional Effects‘ on 7 October 2015. The Arab Gulf states (AGS), or the member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council, have historically used foreign aid and humanitarian aid as a quiet tool of foreign policy. More recently, however, […]

GCC-Iranian Relations and Changes in Iranian Foreign Policy towards its Neighbours
by Pejman Abdolmohammadi This memo was presented at a workshop organised by the LSE Middle East Centre on ‘Mapping GCC Foreign Policy: Resources, Recipients and Regional Effects‘ on 7 October 2015. Following the Iranian revolution of 1979 and the subsequent establishment of an Islamic Republic, the geopolitical role of Iran in the region has changed radically. From an ideological point of view, […]

Mapping GCC Foreign Policy: Resources, Recipients and Regional Effects
On 7 October 2015, the LSE  Middle East Centre hosted workshop as part of the academic collaboration project ‘Mapping GCC Foreign Policy: Resources, Recipients and Regional Effects’. This workshop is the third in a series of investigations of the changing role of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states in regional security, aid and intervention. The first workshop, held in March 2014, […]

The Declining Health of Turkish Democracy
by Zeynep Kaya Undoubtedly the recent general election in Turkey represents another step in the Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) seemingly unstoppable domination of Turkish politics, with results only further consolidating its push towards electoral authoritarianism. What is less appreciated, however, is the fact that the reasons for the AKP’s authoritarian dominance lie just as much in the historical weaknesses […]

Intensifying the military campaign will help but it won’t be enough to defeat ISIS
by Ranj Alaaldin Friday night’s terrorist attack in Paris was horrific. If the Charlie Hebdo attacks failed to do so, the attacks on Friday will have almost certainly provided a stark reminder that the terrorist threat from ISIS and its sympathisers is a real and immediate threat to us all. The fact that the Paris attacks took place on the same […]

Kuwait’s Economic ‘Toolkit’: Foreign Aid & the Kuwait Investment Authority
by Hessah Alojayan Kuwait is an inveterate donor, its foreign aid contribution was recently announced at 2.1% of its GDP, giving more than double the UN Official Development Assistance commitment target of 0.7%. Kuwait’s propensity to generously donate stems from its preference to rely heavily on diplomacy and foreign aid as ‘hot’ tools to achieve foreign policy goals including maintaining […]


Why is Syria so Statist? Revisiting ideas and economic change in historical institutionalism

Why did Syria transition from a laissez-faire to a statist economy between 1946 and 1954? Daniel Neep presents his paper explaining the shift by using a constructivist historical institutionalist approach to emphasise the importance of ideas in producing economic shifts.

Listen to the podcast


The Other Saudis: Shiism, dissent and sectarianism

Toby Matthiesen discusses his new book titled The Other Saudis: Shiism, dissent and sectarianism in which he traces the politics of the Shia in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia from the nineteenth century until the present day.

Listen to the podcast


Algeria's Belle Epoque: Memories of the 1970s

From the perspective of a working-class Algiers neighbourhood, Ed McAllister looks at social memories of post-independence nation-building during the 1970s as reflections of the disappointments of the 1980s, the dislocation caused by civil war during the 1990s, and the reinforced state power and consumerism of the 2000s.

Listen to the podcast


Between Hegemony and Resistance: towards a moral economy of the Tunisian Revolution

In this seminar, Sami Zemni presents his paper, co-written with Habib Ayeb, using a ‘moral economy’ approach in order to understand the massive mobilizations that led to Ben Ali’s disappearance, and to make sense of the nature of political change in the post-Ben Ali era

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