Research Units

Publications

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  • Strategic Report - Iran / Second Edition: The Iranian Situation in 2020

    EPC | 11 Apr 2021

    Iran Strategic Report is designed to provide an impartial and objective reading of the situation in Iran. The importance of this strategic report stems from the political, geographic and social importance of Iran and the impact of its ideological orientations and alliances on regional policies, security and stability in the Gulf region and broader Middle East. Particular importance is attached to the 2020 report given its contribution to the understanding of Iran’s question and drivers of Tehran’s behavior in this potentially decisive year in the life of the Iranian revolution amidst the preparations of the forthcoming presidential elections in June 2021, which will also be pivotal for reasons the reader will find out as she/he reads the report.

  • The UAE Power-Building Model and Foreign Policy Shifts

    Dr. Ebtesam al-Ketbi | 22 Mar 2021

    The United Arab Emirates represents an ideal case to study of a small state’s effective response to strategic challenges and contemporary shifts in the Middle East. Regional and international geopolitical developments in the region since the dawn of the twenty-first century have forced radical changes in UAE foreign policy and power-building.

  • Iran and the Biden Administration: A Potential Return to Negotiations

    Dr. Ebtesam Al Ketbi | 24 Feb 2021

    Over the past four decades, the issue of relations between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the United States have dominated the Iranian political arena. Such is the extent of this preoccupation with America, that some argue it is more influential than all other objective and subjective factors in the politics and economics of the region.

  • 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.

Briefs

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  • Growing Threats to Food Security in Syria: Reasons and Response Capacity

    EPC | 14 Jul 2021

    Syria appears to be on the verge of an unprecedented food crisis during the war years. What makes matters worse is the possibility that this problem will become chronic and entrenched if solutions are not put forward that help in the recovery of the Syrian economy.

  • Raisi’s rise in Iran: Political and institutional developments in the wake of presidential election

    EPC | 07 Jul 2021

    This report sheds the light on recent political and institutional process and developments in Iran in the wake of the hardline candidate Ebrahim Raisi’s victory as president. These developments include an analysis of the latest political and institutional process, developments in the hardline and reform camps, and major trends in traditional and social media.

  • The Rise of Raisi and Iran’s Potential Role in Iraq

    Firas Elias | 01 Jul 2021

    The victory of the hardline camp’s candidate Ebrahim Raisi in Iran’s presidential election has drawn various reactions about the nature of Tehran’s potential role in Iraq due to the direct link between internal variables in Iran and the Iraqi landscape. So, what is the nature of Iran’s role in Iraq in the wake of Raisi’s rise to power? And how Tehran’s strategic priorities would be reevaluated? And what are the ramifications of all of this on the Iraqi landscape?

  • Prospects of Political Dialogue in Tunisia

    EPC | 28 Jun 2021

    A severe political crisis has erupted in Tunisia due to the statements of the President of the Republic Kais Saied rejecting the national reform initiative put forward by the Tunisian Labour Union, calling for a return to the 1959 Constitution, which enshrines a presidential system in which the President of the Republic enjoys strong powers, unlike the current constitution which was issued in 2014. This crisis has erupted in a social context prone to explosion, and has been reflected in the conflict of positions, attitudes and strategies that characterises the relationship between the Tunisian political components.

Featured Topic

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  • Iraq Political Developments: Implications for Early Elections

    EPC | 14 Jul 2021

    As the October 10th, 2021 date for Iraq's early parliamentary election winds down, several issues and developments continue to cast a shadow over the country's political trajectory and raise questions about the vote, its integrity, and possible outcomes. Among the most important of these issues is a chronic electricity crisis that worsens even more during the summer months, the fact that most civil and protest movement activists decided not to participate in the elections, and recent moves by the country's main political actors.

  • Disputed territories in Iraq: Security Dilemma and geopolitics

    Diyari Salih | 13 Jul 2021

    This paper seeks to show the geographic importance of the so-called “disputed territories” between Baghdad and Erbil and their role in shaping Iraq’s security landscape. The importance of these territories has recently increased, not only in the context of talking about ISIS ability to exploit circumstances and escalate attacks there, but also in the context of understanding the impact of the geopolitical shifts in these territories on the internal balance of power.

  • The Eastern Mediterranean-Red Sea Region: Stability Pillars and Threats

    EPC | 06 Jul 2021

    Many political, security and economic developments have combined to impose an important shift in the geopolitical map of the confluence of the three continents of the ancient world, namely Asia, Africa and Europe. This hastened the emergence of strong indications of the formation of a new strategic circle that constitutes the intersection of many international and regional interests, in the heart of which is the region of the Red Sea and Eastern Mediterranean, i.e., the two circles that were traditionally seen as independent domains before becoming more interrelated in recent years in terms of international interactions along with the geographical connection that already exists through the Suez Canal.

  • Priorities of the Syrian Regime After the Presidential Elections and the Possibility of Their Realisation

    EPC | 30 Jun 2021

    After the end of the presidential elections that took place on 26 May 2021, the Syrian regime announced a set of priorities that it would work on during the next phase. These included military, developmental and diplomatic items that are thought by the regime to constitute exits from the Syrian crisis. Realising those priorities requires high resources and costs, and political flexibility or a different political and diplomatic approach than before, which raises questions about the regime's ability to provide the appropriate conditions to achieve its priorities. This paper highlights the Syrian regime's priorities in the next stage, and discusses its ability to realise them.

Scenarios

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  • Syria: the Danger of the Transformation of the De Facto Partition into a Permanent Status

    EPC | 11 Jul 2021

    The parties controlling the areas outside the authority of the Syrian regime tend to perpetuate their presence in an attempt to create an alternative authority in those areas, taking advantage of the external protection provided by the regional and international parties, and from the situation of freezing the conflict that is taking place in Syria, in addition to possessing the resources through which they can provide services in their areas of control, which makes them a de facto authority in the absence of any prospect for a political settlement in Syria. However, this reality that has been going on for many years has produced a divisive reality in Syria, which seems likely to turn into a final form that is difficult to change, as long as this change does not comply with the political and security calculations of regional and international actors in light of the existing balance of power and their subjection to the equations of conflict and the current rules of engagement.

  • Iraq’s Elections: Scenarios

    EPC | 23 Jun 2021

    Tensions between the Iraqi government and the "Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF)" continue to run high as systematic kidnappings and assassinations by the Iran-backed militia remain unabated. This has pushed grassroots to call for boycotting the vote similar to what happened before the 2018 elections against the wishes of government politicians and parliamentarians who continue to sound the alarm over any potential deferral of the elections. This paper attempts to anticipate future scenarios for the Iraqi elections based on the current situation in the country.

  • Retired Officers' Initiative and the Political Crisis in Tunisia

    EPC | 14 Jun 2021

    A lot of controversy has been raised about a letter that was sent by some retired Tunisian officers to Tunisian President Kais Saied on 28 May 2021, between those who considered it a manifestation of the military establishment’s desire to intervene in the stifling political crisis in the country, and those who considered it one of the tactics of the Ennahda (Renaissance) Movement in the context of managing the crisis of its relationship with the President of the Republic and its break with the active political and civil actors.

  • Libyan Muslim Brotherhood Transforms into a Society: Motivations and Future Trajectories

    Ahmed Nadhif | 23 May 2021

    In a radical shift, the Libyan Muslim Brotherhood (MB) has recently announced that it has transformed into a civil society under the name of “Revival and Renewal”.1 The Libyan branch of MB was established almost 7 decades ago (1948) as an affiliate of the umbrella movement in Egypt. This announcement comes in the context of radical changes in Libya and the Arab region. This paper seeks to analyze the nature of this organizational shift by monitoring the motivations of the group, the local and regional contexts of this shift, and attempt to foresee future trajectories of the movement’s behavior and the impact of this announcement.