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Publications


Rouhani100

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, this paper revisits the 2013 presidential election campaign and argues that the process retained much of the intricate management of previous elections. A willingness to ‘believe the rhetoric’ of the campaign has resulted in a dangerous mismanagement of expectations. 

 
TheorisingRevolution100

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). It highlights how Charara’s analysis rethought the question of power away from class politics in the wake of his diagnosis of the failure of hegemony in Lebanon.

 
SyrianRefugeesinLebanon100

The Syrian Refugee Crisis in Lebanon: State Fragility and Social Resilience 
Filippo Dionigi, February 2016


This report provides an account of the unfolding of the Syrian refugee crisis from the perspective of Lebanese political institutions. It maps political reactions to the crisis, and the role played by local administrations and international organisations.Based on these considerations, the report then proposes a set of possible courses of action to be undertaken by various stakeholders.

 
Beinin100

Political Economy and Social Movement Theory Perspectives on the Tunisian and Egyptian Popular Uprisings in 2011
Joel Beinin, January 2016


Comparing the role of workers before, during and after the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt demonstrates that the relatively successful installation of a procedural democracy in Tunisia owes a great deal to the movements of workers and the unemployed in the uprisings and to their organisational structure and political horizon. 

 
BattlefieldsofRepublic100

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. 

 
SaudiResilience100

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


Although all Arab monarchies (Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, Jordan and Morocco) witnessed varying degrees of mass protest during the Arab uprisings of 2011, none of the kings and princes has thus far been deposed. This paper analyses the conditions that helped maintain Saudi stability, attributing it to a combination of domestic and regional factors. 

 
NationalismIran100

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


Iran is currently facing a time of demographic and ideological change. As the post-revolutionary generation has emerged into political awareness, there has been a revival of interest in democracy, nationalism, secularism and constitutionalism, and a heterogenic protest movement has gathered strength – particularly among young Iranians. This working paper aims to investigate these ongoing trends of secularisation and nationalism, as well as the response of the government. 

 
PalestinianPeasantry100

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. Although the Arab countryside and its inhabitants have often received minimal or dismissive treatment in much of the scholarly literature, the study argues that rural Arab struggles against political, social and economic dispossession were integral to the history of British Palestine. 

 
CourtneyFreer100

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.

 
Abderahman100

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 protests in the lead-up to the ousting of Mubarak, can pose a challenge to the prospects of long-term revolutionary projects.

 
DivinePolitics100

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. 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. 

 
UprisingMarginalised100

The Uprising of the Marginalised: A Socio-Economic Perspective of the Syrian Uprising
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. 

 
WomenActivism100

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

 
SyriaIraq100

Syria-Iraq relations: State Construction and Deconstruction and the MENA States System
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.

 
IranMusic100x142

Trends in Contemporary Conscious Music in Iran
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.

 
EmergingInterventionists100

The Emerging Interventionists of the GCC
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.

 
IraqiConstitution100

The Iraqi Constitution: Structural Flaws and Political Implications
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.

 
Rojavaat4100

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


In July 2012, Kurds in northern Syria began taking control of territory. This led to the creation of the largely self-governing areas known collectively as Rojava (Western Kurdistan), and a new experiment in local government which has deep significance for Syrian, Kurdish, Middle Eastern and international geopolitics. Four years on from this unprecedented development, the LSE Middle East Centre convened a workshop on 19 July 2016 to examine the progress and nature of the Rojava project. 

 
BahrainReport100

Bahrain after the Elections
April 2015


In November 2014 Bahrain held its first parliamentary elections since the anti-government protests erupted in 2011. With the main Shi’a opposition party al-Wefaq’s boycott of the elections and the subsequent arrest of its leader Ali Salman, the role of the elections in determining the future of Bahrain was questioned.

 
ErbilReportCover100

Statebuilding and Gender in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq
July 2014


This report features the proceedings from a workshop held at the University of Kurdistan-Hewlêr in Erbil on 27 May 2014 as part of the Academic Collaboration research project between LSE MEC and AUD. The workshop focused on the relationship between international actors in institutional reconstruction and gender relations in Kurdistan-Iraq since 2003. 

 
NewIntervention100x142

The New Politics of Intervention of Gulf Arab States
July 2014


This report is the outcome of a workshop held on Wednesday 26 March at the LSE Middle East Centre. Nine papers were presented, discussing the following issues: The use of complex realism in assessing Gulf foreign policy; State formation and militarisation; The role of the GCC: identity, cohesion, and foreign relations; Case studies: Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE; Gulf interventionist foreign policies.

 
DemographicsGCC100x142

Addressing the Demographic Imbalance in the Gulf States: Implications for Labour Markets, Migration, and National Identity
June 2014


This report contains the proceedings from a workshop organised by the LSE Middle East Centre and led by Dr Kristian Coates Ulrichsen which examined demography in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states. The event took place on 24 January 2014 under the Chatham House Rule and hosted six speakers from the Gulf and Europe who addressed the shifting dynamics of the study of demographic issues in the GCC states.

 
InsideSyria100x142

Inside Syria: 18 Months On
October 2012


This report is the outcome of the conference 'Inside Syria: 18 Months On' organised on 20 September 2012 at LSE. The conference, featuring four panels and a keynote address from former Syrian National Council chairman and Université de la Sorbonne Nouvelle Professor Burhan Ghalioun, explored the dynamics of the key  domestic forces influencing the struggle: the regime, the opposition, the economy and the Syrian people.

 
ForcedMigration100

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


In a workshop held on 17–18 June 2016, the LSE Middle East Centre brought together a diverse group of people (policymakers from host states, representatives from international organisations, academics and NGOs practitioners) to explore the effects of the Syrian refugee crisis on Arab host states such as Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq. 

 
AKPFP100

The AKP and Turkish Foreign Policy in the Middle East
April 2016


On 15 December 2015, the LSE Middle East Centre organised a workshop bringing together key experts on Turkish domestic and foreign policy. The workshop aimed at explaining the relationship between Turkish domestic politics and foreign policy in the Middle East in the midst of a period when both Turkey and the wider region are facing major challenges and undergoing significant transformations. This volume brings together a collection of papers presented at the workshop.

 
TurkeyDemocracy100

The State of Democracy in Turkey: Institutions, Society and Foreign Relations
December 2015


The major questions which surround the future of democracy in Turkey are aboutinstitutions and attitudes.  The Middle East Centre and the Chair in Contemporary Turkish Studies at LSE organised a panel discussion and a workshop on the state of democracy in Turkey on 19-20 March 2015. A selection of the papers presented is published here.

 
MappingGCC100

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


These papers were presented in Doha in January 2015 at a workshop on ‘Mapping GCC Foreign Policy: Resources, Recipients and Regional Effects’. The workshop aimed to analyse the increasingly interventionist Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states’ foreign policy. The first paper, by Evren Balta, addresses the impact of the Syrian war on Turkey’s Kurdish conflict, while the other two tackle Qatar’s foreign policy.  

 
Citizenship100

Challenges to Citizenship in the Middle East and North Africa Region
April 2015


This collected papers volume reflectes a range of theoretical and empirical understandings of how belonging and political identity have evolved in juridical practice and social  life in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region after 2011. The papers explore how, even within non-revolutionary states, ideas about citizenship have been changing and as  citizens and non-citizens test those boundaries within law and society, the outcomes reveal tensions and mounting pressures to reform along gender, class and ethnic lines.

 
GCCFP100

The New Politics of intervention of Gulf Arab States
April 2015


The purpose of the papers collected is to address drivers of foreign policy within GCC member-states, and subsequent interaction and effect of these policies in neighbouring countries. What we might also achieve is some shared conceptual clarity on frameworks for analysing foreign policy in the subregion, and to put forward some hypotheses about how the process of state-building in the region is changing both the agents and the practice of policy making. 

 
POMEPS100

The Arab Thermidor: The Resurgence of the Security State
February 2015


How should we understand the authoritarian resurgence in the aftermath of the Arab uprisings? In October 2014, the MEC and POMEPS organised a workshop to dig deeply into the causes, mechanisms, and drivers of 'The Arab Thermidor'. More than a dozen scholars looked at specific sectors such as the military, police and intelligence services, different countries, and the broader regional environment.

 
SocialHarmonyIraq100

Social Harmony: An Iraqi Perspective
Lukman Faily, November 2016


This report examines the three foundational pillars of Iraqi society, culture, state and religion, exploring who has power and who has authority within this framework. It then focuses in detail on each of the requirements for social harmony within Iraq and questions whether nation-building can be done prior to or in parallel with state-building.

 
WPSIraq100

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. It highlights some of the shortcomings of the INAP, and then offers recommendations for the effective implementation of 1325.

 
MoroccanMedia100

Moroccan National Media: Between Change and Status Quo
Fatima El-Issawi, April 2016


This report, part of the ‘Arab National Media and Politics: Democracy Revisited’ project, examines the relationship between Moroccan tra­ditional mass media and the political sphere after the Arab uprisings. The report aims to extend and complement policy work on the impact of political change on the traditional national media, and on the role played by the national media in consolidating or weakening the democratisation processes.

 
LabourQatar100

Labour Migrants and Access to Justice in Contemporary Qatar
November 2014


Qatar, despite its small size, is one of the primary destinations for the flow of transnational labour migrants in the region. This report examines migrants' access to justice in contemporary Qatar. Considering the problems transnational migrants in Qatar and other Gulf states face, this report makes a series of policy recommendations specific to the justice system and the institutions that comprise it.

download the full report in English 
download the full report in Arabic

 
TSC100

Transboundary Climate Security: Climate Vulnerability and Rural Livelihoods in the Jordan River Basin
Michael Mason and Ziad Mimi, October 2014


This report presents the principal research findings of a collaborative project between LSE and Birzeit University, which investigated the climate-related vulnerabilities of agricultural communities living in areas with current or historically recent experience of military occupation – labelled ‘(post)occupation’ – within the Jordan River Basin.

download the full report

 
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