Research Units

Publications

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  • 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

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  • Côte d’Ivoire’s Political Landscape as the Presidential Elections Loom

    EPC | 03 Aug 2020

    On July 8, 2020, the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire (also known as the Ivory Coast) announced the death of Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly, who was the favorite to succeed President Alassane Ouattara in the elections scheduled for October 2020. Coulibaly’s sudden death marks a major turning point in the political landscape of West Africa’s economic and strategic hub, and calls for an assessment of the political horizon in Côte d’Ivoire in the run-up to the presidential elections.

  • Syrian Parliamentary Elections: Indications and Objectives

    EPC | 29 Jul 2020

    Following the recent elections for the People’s Council of Syria held on July 19, 2020, it has become clear that the regime’s sole concern is promoting its vision of how to solve the crisis and its narrative of the conflict, as though the country were not suffering a devastating decade‑long war that has seen half the population displaced and more than 90% of those remaining in Syria sink below the poverty line.

  • New French Military Tendencies to Combat Terrorism in the Sahel Region: Motivations, Opportunities and Challenges

    Hamdi Bashir | 28 Jul 2020

    Despite France’s many military counter-terrorism initiatives in the African Sahel, terrorist attacks and the influence of terrorist groups continue to rise. On March 27, 2020, nearly two months after the heads of State of France and the Group of Five for the Sahel (G5 Sahel) assembled at the Pau Summit to address this ongoing challenge, 13 States announced their support for the creation of a special European military force to support counter‑terrorism operations in the region. This has raised many questions about the drivers, opportunities, and challenges involved in the new French strategy.

  • Prospects of the Political Crisis in Mali

    EPC | 26 Jul 2020

    ​Protests escalated against the regime of Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, President of the Republic of Mali, which is experiencing a deep and multi-faceted political crisis even as the new opposition movement has centred around the leadership of Imam Mahmoud Dicko who is one of the leading religious figures.

Featured Topic

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  • Turkey’s Intervention in Libya: Determinants and Challenges

    EPC | 04 Aug 2020

    Turkey's signature with the Government of National Accord (GNA) led by Fayez al-Sarraj of two memorandums of understanding to define maritime rights and security and military cooperation between the two countries in November 2019 marked a turning point in the Turkish intervention in the Libyan arena. The operation has become a direct, open and qualitative intervention, as a result of which Turkey increased its military support for the GNA forces. In addition to providing them with sophisticated weapon systems, it also provided them with Turkish military advisers and Syrian mercenaries loyal to it. This contributed to transforming the course of the battle and the success by the GNA forces in evicting the forces of the Libyan National Army (LNA) led by Field Marshal Haftar from the cities of the West Coast, Tripoli and its suburbs, the al-Watiya air base, and the city of Tarhuna, and their retreat towards the city of Sirte and the military base of Jufra in central Libya.

  • Al-Kadhimi’s Visit to Iran: Iraqi Sovereignty in Exchange for Economic Aid

    EPC | 03 Aug 2020

    ​On 21 July 2020, Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi paid a visit to Iran. This was his first external visit after he took office. It also came after he delayed a scheduled visit to Saudi Arabia due to the hospitalization of the Saudi King Salman Bin Abdulaziz. Kadhimi’s visit to Tehran comes in the context of an Iraqi political dynamism that is different from before. This dynamism focuses on establishing Iraqi sovereignty and demanding that Iran control its loyal factions in Iraq. In return, Iraq would continue to play the role of Iran’s economic lungs.

  • Explosions in Iranian Military Sites: Accused Parties and Extent of Tehran’s Response

    EPC | 28 Jul 2020

    In June 2020, Iran experienced a series of explosions and fires that extended to military sites (including an explosion that shook the Parchin military complex, an explosion at the Natanz nuclear facility, and news of a series of explosions that extended to military sites east of the capital Tehran) and industrial zones (including an explosion in a power plant in Ahwaz in southwest Iran, a petrochemical company near Mashhad in northeast Iran, and a fire that broke out in a factory south of the capital Tehran), thereby raising serious questions about the nature of those incidents, their consequences, and the causes behind each one of them.

  • The Growing Relationship between Iran and al-Shabab Movement in Somalia: Motives and Potential Consequences

    ​Ahmed Askar | 28 Jul 2020

    In recent years, there have been increasing signs that Iran and Al-Shabaab have been growing closer. Iran is aspiring to expand its influence and its activities throughout the Horn of Africa and the Red Sea region by strengthening its ties to emerging movements and organizations, such as the Houthis in Yemen and Al-Shabaab in Somalia, and using these groups to achieve its strategic goals and create a new balance between the regional and international powers active in the region. This poses a clear threat to security and stability in the region and to these powers’ strategic interests; they have therefore been forced to work together to attempt to sever the ties between Tehran and Al-Shabaab and prevent further instability in the region.

Scenarios

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  • The “Cairo Declaration” and Egypt’s Response to Shifts in Libya: Likely Scenarios

    EPC | 15 Jun 2020

    The initiative to solve the Libyan crisis, which was announced by Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi in Cairo on 6 June 2020 in the presence of Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA), and Chancellor Aguila Saleh, Speaker of the Libyan House of Representatives, comes in a context that is characterized by events of increased momentum, whether in terms of the field developments of the conflict or the international interaction with the developments, which is considered the highest in momentum since the Berlin Conference that was held in January 2020. The Cairo Declaration does not put forward a new proposition compared to the propositions in circulation or the ones internationally supported with regard to the peaceful settlement of the conflict. It can be said that the importance of the Declaration lies in what it reflects in terms of the Egyptian interaction with the current new balances in the Libyan arena. The present paper seeks to review those new balances from Cairo’s perspective, explore the features of the Egyptian response to those shifts based on what has been revealed by the Cairo Declaration, review the determinants and considerations governing the positions of international actors, and touch upon the most prominent scenarios of the peaceful settlement or military escalation based on this Declaration.

  • Al Kadhimi’s Government in Iraq: Challenges and Chances of Success

    EPC | 27 May 2020

    Mustafa al-Kadhimi managed to form the new Iraqi government after a seven-month political crisis that broke out after the outbreak of the protests against the government of Adel Abdul-Mahdi who resigned under street pressure. Al-Kadhimi faces a number of difficult political, economic and security challenges and, most importantly, managing the crisis of US-Iranian tension in the country. So, will the Kadhimi government succeed in facing those challenges?

  • The Impact of Coronavirus Pandemic on the EU and its Future

    EPC | 19 May 2020

    Europe has become the global epicentre of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic since the end of April 2020. Despite the accelerating increase in infections and deaths in February and March in Italy, which was the first and most affected European country by the virus, and even the country with the then highest number of infections globally, the response of the European Union (EU) was extremely slow. At first, EU institutions seemed unaware of the size of the danger threatening its member states. The initial response of the EU was described as awkward, which brought it under severe criticism by the most affected countries such as Italy and Spain. French President Emmanuel Macron warned of the collapse of the EU as a political project if it does not take serious steps to support the economies of the afflicted countries.

  • Coronavirus Pandemic and Britain’s Uncertain Future after Brexit

    Mohamad Kawas | 29 Apr 2020

    The years following the referendum on Britain’s exit from the European Union (Brexit) have revealed that the “European club” is capable, despite the painful Brexit blow, of showing resilience and adeptly facing the British precedent. They have also shed light on imminent questions within the UK regarding the future, unity, stability and nature of the country that the UK aspires to be. The cornonavirus epidemic has raised the challenge to severe levels that have shaken the UK’s reputation in terms of its claim about being capable of resistance alone, without Europe, to fulfil aspirations that its EU membership had prevented.