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Middle East Centre Papers Series

Published Papers


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


This paper considers the nature of activism and revolutionary process in the 21st century by examining some of the dilemmas involved in the case of Egypt. It argues that the characteristics of horizontal networks of activism, especially the absence of centralised organisational structures, although well suited to the phase of mass protestsin the lead-up to the ousting of Mubarak, can pose a challenge to the prospects of long-term revolutionary projects.


Divine Politics Reconsidered: Saudi Islamists on Peaceful Revolution
Professor 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. As he reflects on peaceful revolution in the Arab world, al-Awdah combines his Salafi heritage with insights from western thought, thus producing a hybrid discourse that engages with the inevitability of political change. 


The Uprising of the Marginalised: A Socio-Economic Perspective of the Syrian Uprising
Dr Shamel Azmeh, November 2014

This paper aims at examining the political and socio-economic compromise that underlined the rule of the Ba’th party in Syria for four decades and unpacking how a combination of internal and external shifts that started in the 1990s and intensified in the 2000s led to the erosion of this compromise, providing the background to the events that began in 2011.


New Trends of Women's Activism after the Arab Uprisings: Redefining Women's Leadership
Dr Aitemad Muhanna-Matar, November 2014

Given the complex context of division in women’s political participation in post-uprising countries, this paper focuses on how emerging young female leaders – ordinary educated women with no specific feminist consciousness or previous political involvement – succeeded in shaping a new form of women’s activism. 


Syria-Iraq Relations: State Construction and Deconstruction and the MENA States System
Professor Raymond Hinnebusch, October 2014

This paper examines Syria-Iraq relations in order to explore wider issues of regional politics. It presents an overview of the historical stages in relations between the two countries since their formation, with the aim of using their changing relations as indicators of changes in both regional states and in the regional states system.


Trends in Contemporary Conscious Music in Iran
Dr Malihe Maghazei, June 2014

This paper studies the growing trends in conscious music in Iran, which emerged in the 1990s. It provides a brief historical overview of changes in conscious music in Iran since the Constitutional Revolution of 1905. This music, which is part of a broader intellectual and artistic wave, represents the needs and views of a diverse young population as well as society as a whole.


The Emerging Interventionists of the GCC
Dr Karen Young, December 2013


In a dramatic change of foreign policy, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates have emerged as activist states in their interest and willingness to intervene both militarily and financially in the politics of neighbouring Arab states. We can trace this policy shift through the simultaneous yet separate evolution of domestic, regional and international politics. The result is a moment of financial and military interventionism unprecedented in Arab Gulf politics.


The Iraqi Constitution: Structural Flaws and Political Implications
Professor Saad Jawad, November 2013

This paper examines the political implications and impact of the 2005 Iraqi constitution by providing an analysis of Iraq’s constitutional history as well as a study of the process that culminated in the drafting of the new constitution.



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