Research Units

Publications

View All
  • Mass Protests and the American-Iranian Competition in Iraq

    EPC | 16 Jul 2020

    Iraq today finds itself at a crossroads, beset by challenges and life-and-death decisions. The public protests that erupted in early October 2019 revealed a number of deep structural crises in the country, growing public resentment vis-à-vis the political elite, and an expanding rift between these political forces and the Iraqi street. They have ignited a conflict that has opened the door to all manner of possible future scenarios for the nation.

  • Social Forces in Contemporary Iran

    EPC | 23 Apr 2020

    Our neighbor, Iran, is currently experiencing significant social turmoil in the face of escalating economic challenges and political crises – largely manifested in the form of ongoing public protests.

  • Internal and External Dynamics of a Rapidly Changing Turkey

    EPC | 07 Oct 2019

    Turkey is today undergoing significant political turbulence. President Erdogan’s popularity is in decline and the incumbent Justice and Development Party (AKP) appears increasingly vulnerable to

  • The UN Peacemaking Role in Yemen

    EPC | 01 Oct 2019

    From the initial crisis surrounding political transition, and through the ensuing war, the United Nations (UN) has played a variety of roles in Yemen, under its mandate from the international community.

Briefs

View All
  • What if Trump did not accept electoral defeat?

    EPC | 20 Oct 2020

    The astonishing question that awaits American politics as we enter the last month before presidential elections is whether President Trump will accept electoral defeat. Trump has several times indicated that he may not accept the result of the November presidential election if he is defeated by his Democratic opponent, Joe Biden.

  • Egypt-Russia “Friendship Bridge 2020” Military Exercise: Motivations and Messages

    ​Mohamed Fawzi | 19 Oct 2020

    On October 9, 2020, Russian news agency TASS reported that Egypt would participate in joint naval exercises with Russia in the Black Sea before the end of the year. According to a statement issued by the press office of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, delegations from the Russian and Egyptian navies had held three-day consultations in Novorossiysk on preparations for the 2020 Friendship Bridge Exercise and that the two countries were working together to develop “a programme of exercises to take place in the Black Sea for the first time.”

  • Growing Protests in the Tunisian Town of Sbeitla: Motives and Repercussions

    Shereen Mohammed | 18 Oct 2020

    The Tunisian city of Sbeitla (or Sufetela) in Kasserine Governorate has seen a wave of violent protest after a man died when the authorities demolished the illegal kiosk where he was sleeping on October 13, 2020. The incident was reminiscent of the death of Mohamed Bouazizi, the Tunisian street vendor who, in late 2010, set himself on fire in protest against the confiscation of his vehicle by the municipal police in Sidi Bouzid; this became the catalyst for the Tunisian revolution that toppled the regime of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

  • Phenomenon of "Independents" in Elections of Egypt’s House of Representatives

    Amr Hashem Rabea | 14 Oct 2020

    Egypt is on the eve of the first of two stages in its parliamentary elections, scheduled to begin in the last week of October and ending in the second week of December. The window for nominations has closed, and candidates (many of whom are running as independents) have begun campaigning, under the oversight of the National Elections Authority. This paper will examine the phenomenon of independent candidates in the Egyptian elections and the impact that they have had on elections and the Egyptian parliament.

Featured Topic

View All
  • COVID-19, the oil price collapse and the Iraqi economy

    Zeinab Shuker | 21 Oct 2020

    The OPEC+ member states, led by Saudi Arabia and Russia, agreed in April 2020 to slash oil production by 9.7 million barrels per day (mbpd) in May and June – the deepest cuts ever agreed by the world’s oil producers. They aim to stabilize both oil markets and prices, which reached their lowest level in almost two decades due to the coronavirus. Iraq – the second largest oil producer after Saudi Arabia – agreed to a cut of 850,000 barrels per day (bpd). However, as with some other producers in the region, Iraq faces both the short-term challenges to its crisis-ridden economy posed by COVID-19 and those that necessitate fundamental long-term changes to its oil-dependent economic structure.

  • The Possibility of Military Escalation between Turkey and Greece and Likely Scenarios

    Dr. Nizar Abdul Kader | 11 Oct 2020

    Tensions in the eastern Mediterranean are at their highest in decades following Turkey’s decision to send a research vessel, the Oruç Reis, to prospect for gas and oil in maritime areas which Turkey believes fall within its exclusive economic zone, a claim disputed by both Greece and Cyprus. The roots of the crisis stretch back several years to when commercial quantities of oil and gas were first discovered in the marine areas off the coast of the two countries. Given the geographic overlap between the two, both Athens and Ankara claimed rights to those resources, which has greatly complicated the issues of sovereignty and economic rights in the exclusive economic zones claimed by both sides. Before delving into the causes of the dispute — in which Greece and Cyprus together are facing off against Turkey — and the possible outcomes, it will be useful to take a quick look at the history of relations between the three countries, which have so often been characterized by the threat of escalation and a growing sense of hostility.

  • Elections of Egyptian House of Representatives: Preparations and Expectations

    Amr Hashem Rabea | 06 Oct 2020

    Nearly a week before the official announcement by the National Elections Authority (NEA) in Egypt of the results of the Senate elections on 16 September 2020, the NEA called on the electors to cast their votes in the elections for membership of the Egyptian House of Representatives (EHR), which has broad legislative and oversight powers and is the representative of the legislative authority in the country. One day after the results of the Senate elections were announced, that is, on 17 September 2020, the NEA announced the start of accepting candidacy applications for membership of the EHR. This paper discusses the ongoing preparations for holding those elections whose schedule was announced on 10 September 2020. It deals with the most prominent powers of the EHR, its electoral system, the general features of the electoral campaigns, chiefly what happened in the nomination process for the EHR seats, and the implications of the nominations for party life in Egypt. The last part of the paper is devoted to discussing the most prominent expectations concerning the work of the next EHR and the agendas it would undertake to achieve in its next legislative term.

  • Has Iraq Become a Field for Iranian-Turkish Agreement?

    EPC | 01 Oct 2020

    ​On 8 September 2020, the sixth meeting of the Iran-Turkey Cooperation Council was held under the chairmanship of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The meeting approved many common issues between the two sides as a gateway to enhancing their strategic relations at this stage. However, what is striking is that the meeting, which took place by means of videoconferencing, confirmed that the two countries would take joint steps in the region in a way that serves their interests, “including joint military and security operations, in countering terrorism and organised crime” groups. These are directly linked to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Iranian Kurdistan Free Life Party (PJAK). It did not take long hours before reports emerged of an escalation of Turkish and Iranian bombardment of the areas where these two organisations are deployed in the cities of Erbil and Dohuk in Iraqi Kurdistan.

Scenarios

View All
  • Morocco’s Experience of Combating Terrorist Threats: Indicators of Success and Future Possibilities

    Shereen Mohammed | 13 Oct 2020

    The Moroccan model for dealing with violent and terrorist groups, in particular Islamic State (IS) and Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, is one of very few cases of a pre‑emptive mechanism for preventing national security threats. Most Arab States have, by contrast, taken a curative approach to dealing with the consequences of terrorism (i.e. retrospectively, once the impact has grown), in particular after the 2011 revolutionary movement and the armed conflict that subsequently spread throughout several Arab States. This article will examine the “multi‑pronged pre-emptive” approach adopted by the Moroccan government, which blends political and security dimensions, especially in view of important economic factors compounded by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • The Resumption of Conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh: Geopolitical Dimensions and Likely Scenarios

    ​Ahmed Diab | 04 Oct 2020

    On 27 September 2020, after an inconclusive ceasefire period that lasted nearly three decades, military confrontations erupted between Armenia and Azerbaijan through a barrage of artillery shelling, during which heavy armour was deployed along the confrontation line separating the two countries regarding the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region and its neighboring areas. The confrontations quickly turned into an escalating military conflict between the two countries, which reinforced fears of potential destabilising repercussions in the Caucasus.

  • Participation of Islamic Action Front in Jordan’s Parliamentary Elections: Significance and Likely Scenarios

    Shereen Mohammed | 30 Sep 2020

    ​On 21 September 2020, the Islamic Action Front (IAF, Jabhat al-Amal al-Islami) party in Jordan (the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood) announced its participation in the parliamentary elections scheduled to be held on 10 November 2020, according to an IAF statement that was read by the IAF Deputy Secretary-General Wael al-Sakka. This paper analyses the implications of the IAF’s participation in the upcoming parliamentary elections, the challenges it faces, both from within it and in the surrounding environment, and the possible scenarios for the IAF’s tactics during the next phase.

  • The “October Surprise” Scenarios in the Upcoming U.S Elections

    EPC | 20 Sep 2020

    ​The concept of the "October Surprise" constitutes an integral part of the US political vocabulary during the US presidential election years. This term usually refers to the occurrence of an internal or foreign policy event only weeks before Americans go to the polls in early November, which may affect the election result. The presidential elections in November 2020 entail higher risks in case of such an event, given the severe political polarisation in the US. The presence of a small number of undecided voters in swing states is likely to determine the final outcome of the election. It is also likely that the decision of those swing voters will come in response to their automatic reactions to last-minute developments.