Scholars and commentators grappling with causalities and processes leading to armed conflict in Syria have touched on an array of factors and catalysts of social conflict and violence. In light of the multitude of explanatory narratives, differences between causes of conflict escalation and causes of conflict perpetuation have been conflated, and distinctions between causes and unintended consequences were obfuscated. With a dearth of knowledge of ongoing transformations on the ground, commentators have resorted to pre-existing narratives to project Syria’s socio-political future, reinforcing that the current moment is utterly chaotic and hardly legible due to the scale of destruction and disintegration, and engendering a view of the past as dynamic but the present as stagnant. In other words, the extant literature imposes a retrospective and deterministic outlook on society and politics in Syria— characterizing the Syrian context by a past full of dynamism, a disrupted and chaotic present, and a future that remains suspended. This approach excludes exploration of how Syria is transforming and confines the discussion about the country’s alleged illegible future either to narratives of perpetual violence or to pre-existing and overstated historical references of authoritarianism, political Islam, and/or geographic segmentation
In 2010, a coalition called al-Iraqiyya, led by a secular Shi’a, Ayad Allawi, and composed of mostly Sunni parties, won a plurality in the Iraqi election. The coalition, however, did not secure the majority necessary to form the government. Instead, a grand Shi’a coalition formed after the election, the National Alliance, gained the majority. Former prime minister Nouri al-Maliki secured his second term in office as the head of “national unity” government, a euphemism for a government distributing its ministerial positions mainly based on ethnic and sectarian affiliation. When negotiations began about al-Iraqiyya’s positions in the government, a controversy ensued regarding whether it should be considered a Sunni coalition and given the “Sunni share” of positions, or continue to be identified, as its leader wanted, as a cross-sectarian coalition, an identification that was difficult to quantify in the ethno-sectarian formula of power sharing. In the end, the Sunni parties in the coalition took off the “cross-sectarian” hat and resigned themselves to recognizing their “Sunnism” in order to receive their share of power.
The Network of European Institutes for Advanced Study (NeTIAS) elected unanimously at its annual meeting on April 26th 2018 in Budapest its new President Nadia Al-Bagdadi, director of IAS CEU and Professor at the Department of History at CEU. Last week IAS CEU hosted and co-organized the annual meeting of directors and representatives of some 21 European Institutes and the conference of EURIAS fellows. Nadia Al-Bagdadi leads IAS CEU, which is also member of UbIAS and most recently of CHCI, since 2015.
In June 2014, the Sunni “jihadi” group that called itself the Islamic State (IS) took over Iraq’s second largest city, Mosul, in a shockingly easy operation. As the Iraqi army collapsed and its troops deserted, IS rapidly marched southward threatening to invade Baghdad and the Shiʿi shrine cities
Since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003, the name of Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the Grand Shiʿi cleric, has come to prominence. Sistani emerged as a key player in the processes that constituted and sustained the post-2003 Iraqi political order, as manifested in key events such as the writing of constitution or the mobilization against the Islamic State
The SFM Research Project presented its current research findings to the audience of distinguished experts on the Middle East from an academic, political and diplomatic background and engaged in a stimulating debate on which margins are currently striking in the Middle East
Prof Aziz Al-Azmeh delivered a Keynote Speech at Rice University and University of Houston's Conference on Anti-Sectarianism on December 1, 2018
This article written in Arabic and published by Alarabi al-Jadid, argued that the war against ISIS and the events that followed the Kurdish independence referendum were parts of a broader dynamic in which a new form of Shi’a-dominated nationalism is emerging
In the wake of the September 25 referendum in Kurdistan, the Iraqi government announced on October 15 that it began a military deployment to reestablish authority in Kirkuk in coordination with the Peshmerga.
Monday’s referendum in Kurdistan resulted in a situation whereby all parties lack good options. To be sure, Masoud Barzani, the leader of Kurdistan Region Government (KRG), achieved some immediate political gains. He managed to mobilize his base by calling for and conducting the referendum despite international objections.
تتنــاول هذه الدراســة تجربة اعتمــاد نظام الديمقراطية التوافقية فــي العراق بعد عام 2003 ، وهــي تنطلــق مــن محاولــة فهــم النظــام التوافقــي واألســس النظريــة التــي قــام عليهــا، ّ والخصائــص التــي تمي ّ ــزه من األنظمــة الديمقراطيــة األخرى، ومن ثــم مقارنة ذلــك بالنظام ّ الذي تم اعتماده في العراق والمدى الذي تنطبق عليه صفة التوافقية.
PATEL, David: Myths related to Sykes-Picot
PURSLEY, Sara: Iraq's Borders and the Legend of the Artificial State
لجلسة السابعة بعنوان "دور القوى الكردية في التحولات السياسية في العراق" من مؤتمر "العرب والكرد: المصالح والمخاوف والمشتركات"29/4/2017 - 1/5/2017 (الدوحة)
In the aftermath of the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani emerged as one of the most influential voices in Iraq
The US has struck the Syrian airbase used to launch a suspected sarin gas attack against Khan Sheikhun that killed more than 80 civilians
This paper argues that ‘Peace Infrastructures’ in Syria have disguised hegemonic power relations as seemingly ‘neutral’ and ‘innocent’ initiatives that promote tolerance, coexistence and Islam
Professor Aziz Al-Azmeh in an interview with MiddleEast4Change.org drawing an overview of political, economic and social events in the Middle East over the past quarter century