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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




EU Foreign Policy in the Middle East and North Africa: Lobbying, Networks and Framing

On Tuesday 9 February, Benedetta Voltolini presents her paper investigating lobbying and framing in EU foreign policy towards the MENA region. By relying on social network analysis and the literature on policy entrepreneurship, Benedetta will show how non-state actors are involved in processes of framing and knowledge construction, how frames become collective and under what conditions framing processes take place. 


The Syrian Refugee Crisis and the Challenge to the Arab State

On Wednesday 24 February, Filippo Dionigi discusses how states such as Lebanon and Jordan have coped with the challenges of mass displacement within their borders. He poses questions and advance hypotheses on the future prospects and implications of forced mass displacement in the Middle East for states in the region.


The Notion of Salafiyya: Between Saudi Arabia and Turkey

On Tuesday 1 March, Andrew Hammond discusses how Salafism, with its semantic confusions, is finding its way from Arabic and the Saudi sphere into Turkey and the Turkish language, which had been as a last bastion against its ideological spread.


Steffen Hertog for Reuters

The one thing in Saudi Arabia that works well is under threat, writes Steffen Hertog about the surprising news that the kingdom’s Deputy Crown Prince mentioned his interest in selling off parts of Saudi Aramco.


Toby Dodge in the Telegraph

Toby Dodge, MEC Director and Kuwait Professor, discusses the likelihood of a "war after the war" in Iraq because of the Iraqi government's reliance on Shi'a militias in its fight against ISIS.


The MEC receives Impact Acceleration Fund Award

The MEC received an Impact Acceleration Account Impact Fund Award at LSE in support of the project, ‘Mass Displacement in the  Middle East: Challenges for States and Displaced Populations’, led by Dr Filippo Dionigi. The Centre will organise a conference in June 2016 discussing forced displacement in the Middle East bringing together the policy, academia and civil society sectors.


Battlefields of the Republic: The Struggle for Public Space in Tunisia
Charles Tripp, December 2015

This paper argues that the Tunisian revolutionary moment of 2011 and its aftermath have opened up spaces that are capable of providing a framework for the agonistic politics associated with democratic possibility. Insurgent public space, an emerging plural public, as well as adversarial contests over the constitution of the republic display features that may help to build ‘conflictual consensus’ as part of a democratic future. 


Is it Always Good to be King? Saudi Regime Resilience after the 2011 Arab Popular Uprisings
Madawi Al-Rasheed, December 2015

This paper analyses the conditions that helped maintain Saudi stability, attributing it to a combination of domestic and regional factors. 


The Revival of Nationalism and Secularism in Modern Iran
Pejman Abdolmohammadi, November 2015

Iran is currently facing a time of demographic and ideological change. This working paper aims to investigate ongoing trends of secularisation and nationalism amongst the post-revolutionary generation, as well as the response of the government.


Will the Real Palestinian Peasantry Please Sit Down? Towards a New History of British Rule in Palestine, 1917-1936
Charles Anderson, November 2015

This paper surveys the history of peasant and rural resistance to colonial rule, policies, and law in British Palestine before 1936, arguing that rural Arab struggles against political, social and economic dispossession were integral to the history of British Palestine. 

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.

Lebanon – Electing a president will not solve our ills
by Sami Atallah

The election of a president may offer a sense of normalcy but at the end of the day, all of us will be worse off, as our livelihoods and problems become aggravated, while those in power feel neither obligated nor responsible to address them, let alone accountable to us, writes Sami Atallah on the recent nomination of Michel Aoun for presidency by Samir Geagea.


Yemen’s Shifting Alliances: The Triumph of Pragmatism
by Eleonora Ardemagni

In Yemen, alliances are primarily driven by pragmatic interests of power politics, rather than ideological convergences: the enduring multi-layered conflict has enhanced this trend.


Five Years after the Uprising: Youth in Egypt are using the internet for escapism, not political participation
by Heba Elsayed

The question should not only be how (or if) the media facilitated the immediate moment of revolutionary change, but instead, what is the longer-term impact of new media in helping young Egyptians make sense of their turbulent, confusing and constantly changing post-uprising reality?


Did Turkey’s parties care about the Gezi Protests?
by Jonas Bergan Draege

Jonas Bergan Draege assesses the extent to which the Turkey's political parties responded to the Geizi protests. The analysis indicates that the three opposition parties all gave attention to the movement, but seemed to do so more to amplify their established positions.


Hezbollah’s Empty Seat at the Syria Peace Talks in Vienna
by Adam Weinstein

Adam Weinstein questions why  mention of Hezbollah is noticeably missing from most official statements on all sides of the Syria talks, yet it may be the crux of the debate. 


International Military Intervention and the Politics of Iraq

Toby Dodge  considers the reasons behind the rise of the Islamic State and its expansion, looking at the implications of intervention by both international and regional powers on Iraq.

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How the West Undermined Women's Rights in the Arab World

Based on personal narratives of women activists of different generations in Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan, Nicola Pratt explores the history of women’s activism in the Arab world from the 1950s onwards. It demonstrates the ways in which this activism has changed over time and what this tells us about the gendered dimensions of geopolitics in the region.

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Muted Modernists: the struggle over divine politics in Saudi Arabia

Madawi Al-Rasheed launches her new book, in which she challenges stereotypes of Saudi divine politics as monolithic, examining a long tradition of engaging with modernism that gathered momentum with the Arab uprisings and incurred the wrath of both the Saudi regime and its Wahhabi supporters.

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After the Nuclear Deal: Iranian foreign policy in the Middle East

Dina Esfandiary discusses who makes foreign policy decisions in Iran, Iran’s regional policy and explore the impact of the nuclear agreement on its efforts in Iraq and Syria in particular. She will also explore the potential for meaningful dialogue on regional security issues between Iran and the Arab Gulf countries.

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