Research Units

Publications

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  • 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.

  • Iraq’s Shifting Political Landscape and Foreign Policy Trajectories

    EPC | 25 Aug 2019

    Following the defeat of ISIS in late 2017, Iraq has entered a new era. A number of key internal and external factors will determine Iraq’s future in this new epoch and will have a significant bearing on the security and stability of the entire region.

  • Troubled Iran: Causes, Contexts and Consequences

    EPC | 07 Oct 2018

    On December 28, 2017, massive popular protests erupted in the Islamic Republic of Iran, starting in Mashhad before engulfing more than eighty cities and towns across the country.

Briefs

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  • The Peace Deal in South Sudan and Prospects of Implementation

    Ayman Shabana | 25 Mar 2020

    On 13 March 2020, Salva Kiir Mayardit, the President of South Sudan, issued a presidential decree to appoint members of the Transitional Government of National Unity in accordance with the terms of the peace deal. This development paved the way for the debate between those who see it as a real step towards the implementation of the peace deal and the restoration of security and stability and those who consider it a mere response to external pressures, an attempt to buy time, and the deferral of an imminent clash because of which the country could relapse into overall civil war.

  • The Worsening Public Debt Crisis in Lebanon and How to Resolve It

    Dr Kamal Hamdan | 18 Mar 2020

    The debt crisis in Lebanon has reached unprecedented levels, pushing the Government to announce the suspension of foreign debt payments in what has been described as an “historical precedent”. This paper examines the nature of the crisis and the challenges faced, as well as possible solutions.

  • Struggle for International Highways in Syria: Calculations of Actors and Map of Control

    EPC | 17 Mar 2020

    For the last two years, the war in Syria has focused on the country’s roads, leading some to coin the term the “Highway War”, referring to the M4 and M5 international highways that link the country east to west and north to south.

  • Trump’s Attempts to Control American Intelligence Community: Motivations and Consequences

    Amr Abdel-Aty | 16 Mar 2020

    In an attempt to control the US intelligence community, whose conclusions are routinely rejected by President Donald Trump regarding substantive issues for US national security, including Russian intervention in the 2016 presidential elections, and the potential thereof in this year’s elections, Richard Grenell, the pro-Trump US Ambassador to Germany, was appointed Acting Director of National Intelligence.

Featured Topic

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  • Iraq and Risk of Spread of Coronavirus Pandemic: Measures, Consequences and Scenarios

    EPC | 24 Mar 2020

    Although according to official figures and based on monitoring the media and following social media websites, Iraq continues to rank low on the list of countries affected by the coronavirus, compared to Iran, one of the epicentres for the spread of the virus, and considering the heavy transport and human movement traffic with it, all circumstances are fit to transform that global threat into an existential threat for the Iraqi people, no less dangerous than the overrun by ISIS of large areas of the country in 2014.

  • Turkey’s Presence in the Red Sea: Forms, Objectives and Prospects

    EPC | 23 Mar 2020

    In recent decades, a new form of competition has emerged in the Red Sea region, as emerging regional powers have sought to expand their geopolitical and economic influence over a larger area of land and sea. Among them, Turkey is motivated not by some sort of major geostrategic vision, but rather by its economic and commercial interests, combined with a sense of national prestige. Competition for supremacy and prestige throughout the wider Middle East is an essential part of Erdoğan’s ambitious vision of a powerful Turkey. The Red Sea and the Horn of Africa have an important role to play in this regard, as does the wider issue of Turkey’s influence in Africa, which has significant untapped economic potential for the country.

  • China’s Experience in Confronting COVID-19: Factors of Success, Aspects of Weakness and Lessons Learned

    Mohamed Fayez Farahat | 19 Mar 2020

    Coronavirus, or COVID-19 as it has come to be known, first appeared in a Chinese city (Wuhan) in December 2019. Infections and deaths because of the virus grew at an increasing pace, which led the Chinese authorities to declare top-level emergency in many of the country’s provinces to counter the rapid spread of the disease. As a result of the tight method adopted by the Chinese government in managing the virus spread crisis, rates of infection and death began to fall remarkably starting from the third quarter of February 2020. So much so that no new infections of local origin were recorded on 19 March. This paper sheds light on some aspects of the Chinese experience in countering the spread of coronavirus, how China succeeded in managing and containing the impacts of one of the most dangerous health crises which the country has faced in its contemporary history, the most salient vulnerabilities relevant to this process, and what the world can learn from all this.

  • Iraqi-Chinese Economic Agreement: a Debate on Objectives and Benefits

    EPC | 20 Feb 2020

    Shortly before its resignation at the end of November 2019 amid wide protest movement, the government of former Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi signed a framework agreement for economic cooperation with China that envisages the financing of major infrastructure projects from Iraqi oil exported to China. The agreement stirred a political, economic and even popular debate triggered by the government's failure to present the deal to the parliament and keeping some of its clauses untold. This paper sheds light on the context of the agreement, reviews some of its known clauses, addresses political positions thereon, and discusses claims that the deal actually serves Iran.

Scenarios

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  • The Financial Action Task Force places Iran on its blacklist: Possible implications and limits of the Iranian response

    EPC | 12 Mar 2020

    At its last meeting in February, Iran was placed on the blacklist of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), thus becoming the second country, after North Korea, to be placed on that list. The placement of Iran on the list came after several stages of deferral of the respective decision and granting Iran a grace period to enact laws that ensure financial transparency, combating terrorism and anti-money laundering, after the Iranian government failed to enact those laws due to the objection of the hard-line current which prevented the adoption of the bills at the Expediency Discernment Council of the System.

  • Mohammed Allawi Fails to Form Government in Iraq: What’s Next?

    EPC | 09 Mar 2020

    Iraq's several-month long political stalemate is now back to square one after Iraqi Prime Minister-designate Mohammed Allawi withdrew his candidacy for the post on March 1st. Soon after the announcement, Iraq's caretaker Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi threatened a "voluntary absence" if no alternative to his government is found. Meanwhile, political blocs remain at loggerheads over a candidate who can fill the political vacuum and calm an angry street.

  • What if the U.S. and Taliban Sign a Peace Agreement?

    Mohamed Fayez Farahat | 20 Feb 2020

    In a remarkable turn of events, the two parties to Afghanistan's 19-year conflict, the United States (U.S.) and the Taliban, decided to sit at the same table for direct talks aimed at nailing down a "peace deal". This qualitative shift is partly necessitated by massive human and material costs incurred by the two parties since 2001 without either of them being able to resolve the conflict militarily. Nor did the political system that was built in Afghanistan after the removal of the Taliban regime succeed in proving political or economic or security efficiency, which kept the Taliban alive and kicking to this day.

  • Iranian Scene Expectations for 2020

    EPC | 05 Feb 2020

    Over the next two years, Iran is likely to see harsh political and economic conditions; it is awaiting a parliamentary election station in 2020, punctuated by the prospect of a return to protests. The country will undergo a political transition from Rouhani to another president in 2021, and the likelihoods of a having a political transition at the level of the supreme leader are increasing. Iran is reeling under tough US sanctions and a deepening economic crisis, which spurs internal conflicts over power and resources. Given the peculiarity of Iranian-American relations, the remainder of President Trump's term is a period of labor and awaiting that leaves its impact on shaping the main features of any future political process in Iran.