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
  • Emirati-Israeli peace agreement: Could it be a game-changer?

    Dr. Ebtesam al-Ketbi | 24 Sep 2020

    It is safe to say that the new peace agreement between the UAE and Israel, officially signed at the White House on September 15, 2020, represents an important strategic shift, and a fundamental turning point for the long-running conflict between Arabs and Israel.

  • Lavrov’s Visit to Damascus: Objectives and Significance

    Malik al-Hafez | 13 Sep 2020

    On September 8, 2020, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov visited Damascus for the first time since 2012, accompanied by a high-level delegation. His visit reconfirmed Moscow’s desire to consolidate its gains and its military superiority in Syria and overcome the current deadlock in the quest for a political solution to the Syrian conflict, at a time when the Assad regime is facing increasing economic restrictions in light of Washington’s recent announcement that it would be increasing the sanctions imposed against the regime under the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act (known as the Caesar Act).

  • Protests’ Crisis in the Libyan Capital: Significance and Limits of Containment

    Bilal Abdullah | 10 Sep 2020

    Since August 23, 2020, a wave of protests has swept across the Libyan capital and several western and southern cities in response to deteriorating living conditions and critical services under the Government of National Accord (GNA). Although public services have been deteriorating for a long time, political division among members of the GNA – the coalition ruling in the capital – is one of the main reasons why the warring parties have begun using the situation of popular discontent to undermine each other.

  • Will “Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham” Succeed in Gaining International Recognition?

    EPC | 10 Sep 2020

    ​The Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS, Organisation for the Liberation of the Levant), formerly called Jabhat al-Nusra (Front of the Supporters), has been intensifying its messages to the international actors in the Syrian crisis with the aim of declaring its transformation into a "moderate" faction, and even a "national liberation movement" like many of the movements that struggle against the occupiers, requiring a response from the international community to this shift regardless of HTS’s ideology as long as HTS ultimately represents – as it promotes – a significant segment of Syrians.

Featured Topic

View All
  • Can Africa become a platform for US-Turkish partnership?

    EPC | 21 Sep 2020

    The potential role Turkey could play in Africa -- mainly in the context of countering Chinese economic influence -- emerged as a question in a webinar organized by the Turkish-American Business Council (TAIK). TAIK is led by Mehmet Ali Yalcindag, a Turkish industrialist with strong connections and a business partnership with the Trump family, particularly with Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, through his ownership of Trump Towers in Turkey. Under such circumstance one has to ask pertinent questions: Is a strategy of Turkish-American cooperation to counter Chinese influence in Africa based on sound assumptions? Does Turkey have major influence in Africa? Is there strategic convergence between Turkish-American interests? As we will see the premise underpinning the feasibility of Turkish-American cooperation in Africa remains uncertain and speculative.

  • The Emirati-Israeli Peace Treaty: Potential Regional and Strategic Implications

    EPC | 16 Sep 2020

    The formal signing of the UAE-Israel peace treaty at the White House on 15 September 2020 marked a "historic moment", according to the description of US President Donald Trump, whose administration sponsored reaching this treaty. Accordingly, full diplomatic relations would begin between Abu Dhabi and Tel Aviv, and joint UAE and Israeli delegations would be involved in signing bilateral agreements in the fields of investment, tourism, communications, technology, civil aviation, health care and the environment. This is the first US-sponsored Arab-Israeli peace treaty in nearly 25 years, that is, since Jordan signed the Wadi Araba treaty in 1994. It constitutes the culmination of a long path of rapprochement between the Arab and Israeli sides.

  • Foreign Policy Making in Sudan: Determinants and Roles

    EPC | 13 Sep 2020

    The domestic balance of power in Sudan after the fall of President Omar al-Bashir obliged the creation of a political system in which there were several different poles of decision-making, both de jure (i.e. constitutionally) and de facto. This state of affairs has greatly influenced foreign policymaking over the last year, with the new reality raising a pressing question: who makes Sudanese foreign policy? Answering this question will help us deal more appropriately with this country – a country of great importance to both Arab and African affairs.

  • Japan’s Political Map after Shinzo Abe

    Mohamed Fayez Farahat | 09 Sep 2020

    On 28 August 2020, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced his resignation from his post as head of government and head of the ruling party in Japan, thus opening the way to competition for the leadership of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), which has been chaired by Abe since 2012. Given that the party has parliamentary majority, the winning candidate is not expected to face any parliamentary obstacles that would prevent him from assuming the post of prime minister. This means that the winning candidate would take over the remaining term of Abe’s government until the next parliamentary elections scheduled for October 2021.

Scenarios

View All
  • Constitutional Amendments in Algeria: Motives and Scenarios

    Shereen Mohammed | 16 Sep 2020

    Algeria is scheduled to hold a public referendum on the new constitution on November 1, 2020. Both the upper house of the Algerian parliament, the Council of the Nation, and its lower house, the People’s National Assembly, unanimously approved the final draft of a new constitution on September 10 following months of discussion between political parties and the grassroots Hirak movement over several controversial articles. The result is a constitution that draws a line under the Bouteflika era, which lasted for two decades.

  • Resumption of the Negotiating Track in Libya: Catalysts and Challenges

    Bilal Abdullah | 14 Sep 2020

    Following the ceasefire agreement reached between Fayez al-Sarraj, Chair of the Presidential Council, and Aguila Saleh, President of the House of Representatives, the conflict in Libya has come one step closer to a peaceful settlement in which politics, rather than military action, is once again seen as the solution. This comes after a meeting in Bouznika, Morocco, at which the two sides announced that they had come to an agreement on the criteria required for holding a leadership position in Libya, and that these positions would be distributed among Libya’s three historical regions.

  • Protests’ Crisis in Belarus and the Likely Scenarios

    ​Bassem Rashed | 06 Sep 2020

    The internal turmoil in Belarus has exacerbated since the announcement that the 65-year-old incumbent president Alexander Lukashenko has won a sixth term in the presidential elections on 11 August 2020. The announcement was followed by angry protests that roamed the streets of the capital Minsk, and whose repercussions spread to several other cities, rejecting the results of the elections, which were described as rigged. The protesters called on President Lukashenko to leave office and end his authoritarian rule of Belarus.

  • Establishing a “Demilitarized Zone” in the Libyan City of Sirte: Conflicting Positions and Likely Scenarios

    Shereen Mohammed | 06 Sep 2020

    During the past few weeks, some international and regional powers, such as the US, Germany and Turkey, as well as the United Nations (UN), have called for the establishment of a demilitarised zone in Sirte, as an introduction to de-escalation and the settlement of the conflict in Libya. This gained importance after the announcement by Fayez al-Sarraj, head of the Government of National Accord (GNA) and Aguila Saleh, Speaker of the House of Representatives (Parliament), of a ceasefire between the two parties to the conflict. However, there is a divergence in the positions of the local, regional and international parties towards this call, in addition to the existence of a set of issues that impede reaching an agreement between the parties to the conflict regarding the establishment of a demilitarised zone in Sirte. This opens the door to multiple scenarios regarding the dynamic geography of the Libyan conflict.