Research Units

Publications

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  • 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.

  • 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.

Briefs

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  • Renewal of Border Dispute between China and India: Why Now?

    Mohamed Fayez Farahat | 01 Jun 2020

    In May 2020, China and India once again clashed at various points along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) that marks the unofficial border between the two countries, primarily in the Ladakh region (on May 5 and 6) and at Naku La in the Sikkim region (on May 10). Although minimal violence occurred, the significance of the clashes should not be overlooked, as the situation has the potential to escalate into a large-scale military conflict.

  • Rising IS Activity in Mozambique in Light of the Spread of Coronavirus: Risks and Possible Scenarios

    Hamdi Bashir | 31 May 2020

    Cabo Delgado province in northern Mozambique has been witnessing an escalation in attacks by Islamic State (IS) since March 2020 at a time when the government is mobilizing its efforts and resources to fight the corona epidemic and counter its possible consequences. This raises a number of questions about the limits of control by IS and its capacity to expand, the challenges facing the government in combating terrorism, the possible risks of the expansion by the terrorist organization in Mozambique and neighbouring countries, and the possible scenarios for the efforts of combating IS.

  • Return of the Controversy over Control of the Lebanese-Syrian Border: Entanglements and Complexities

    Mohamad Kawas | 27 May 2020

    Debate has returned anew in Lebanon over the existence of serious and increasing international interest in controlling the border with Syria. There has been an increase in positions that shed light on the smuggling phenomenon through 161 corridors on Lebanon’s eastern border, constituting the largest waste outlet of the country’s economic resources.

  • The Impact of Covid-19 Pandemic on the Upcoming U.S Presidential Elections

    Amr Abdelatty | 18 May 2020

    The COVID-19 pandemic constitutes an unprecedented challenge for the US presidential elections. It coincides with the middle of the first of three scheduled steps to hold them, namely the choice by each party of a candidate through the primary elections or caucuses. This has led some states to delay their primary elections till the summer, in the hope that circumstances will get better for voters to go to the polls.

Featured Topic

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  • Economic Crisis in Iraq: Consequences and Available Choices for Al-Kadhimi’s Government

    EPC | 28 May 2020

    With the major lockdown of living and economic fields due to the spread of the COVID-19 virus, experts expect a major economic recession in the world that would be the worst since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Iraq is one of the countries of the world that suffer from the implications of both the health and economic crises because of the corona epidemic, in addition to the financial crisis as a result of the fall in oil prices. All this coincides with exceptional conditions experienced by Iraq since the outbreak of protests at the beginning of October 2019 and the escalation of the US-Iranian conflict on its soil last year. This paper sheds light on the dimensions of the economic crisis experienced by Iraq, and discusses the options before the new Kadhimi government to counter this challenge.

  • National Development Fund of Iran: Savings Estimation and Expected Scenarios

    EPC | 27 May 2020

    There is a significant disagreement in the estimation of the savings size of the National Development Fund of Iran (NDFI). The gap of this disagreement gets even wider between internal and external sources. According to reports released by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 2018, the Fund’s savings stand at 91 billion dollars. However, according to other reports released by the same institution in 2019, the size of the NDFI’s savings is 85.5 billion dollars. Estimates of internal sources appear to be completely different. While sources in the NDFI have announced that the government paid it 170 billion dollars as of 2013, the Research Centre of the Iranian Parliament underlined in a 2014 report that the former government sweeped the NDFI’s savings which, in that year, did not exceed 17 billion dollars. This is supported by figures released by the NDFI. On the other hand, official sources have indicated that the NDFI’s savings fell to nearly 22 billion dollars in September 2013, and subsequently to 12 billion dollars in October 2017.

  • Returning to the Mechanisms of the Nuclear Agreement: US Attempts to Prevent Iran from Obtaining the Right to Weapons under the Agreement

    EPC | 20 May 2020

    In October 2020, the ban on trade in conventional weapons with Iran imposed under article 5 of Annex II of the nuclear agreement — which prohibits all countries from trading in such weapons with Iran — will come to an end. The ban was scheduled to last for five years from the day that the agreement came into effect, ending in October of this year. The various parties to the agreement are ramping up their political maneuvers, however, as the US administration and the remaining parties to the agreement appear to hold incompatible positions regarding the end of the embargo.

  • The Impact of US and Russian Oil Policies on the Future of the Oil Markets

    EPC | 19 May 2020

    The policies adopted by the leading countries in the oil market influence the shape of the market and how it responds to changes. In March 2020, Russian policy drew the country into a price war with Saudi Arabia, leading to a sharp drop in crude oil prices. In response, the USA changed its short-term approach in order to protect the US shale oil industry, by pushing for an end to the Russian–Saudi price war and the completion of the OPEC+ deal, which was concluded on April 12. The deal is evidence of the many overlapping interests that these countries share, which enabled them to reach a deal on a number of policies despite having different objectives for the oil market.

Scenarios

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  • 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.

  • Future of Somalia’s Ruling System in Light of Upcoming Presidential Elections

    Ahmad Askar | 06 Apr 2020

    Somalia is on tenterhooks following the approval by Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo of a new elections law, based on the principle of “one person, one vote”. Views among the country’s political forces vary, with the law already having faced a wave of criticism and calls for its reconsideration on the grounds that it is not suited to the current political, economic, and security conditions. The government and the political opposition in Somalia are highly polarized at a time when the country is preparing to hold its first direct elections at the end of 2020. Such polarization has led to further speculation about the future of the elections and of the president’s regime in the coming period.