Throughout the twentieth century, religion acted as a primary source of political conflict in Syria. Since 2011, the importance of religious concerns has increased. The Assad regime has worked to simultaneously stir sectarian feelings and heighten fears among minorities. This has brought questions of the protection of minorities and religious freedoms to the forefront of post-war considerations. What can be done to neutralize religion as an element of political conflict in post-war Syria and what role can supra-constitutional principles play?
Iraq’s modern political experience has laid foundations based on sectarian and ethnic tensions. The quota system, as an agreement between opposing forces, has permitted the dominance of the majority in government institutions and ended up undermining the very principle of separation of powers. Political actors, bolstered by Iran’s increasing influence inside Iraq, have used the Constitution, the state of emergency and the anti-terrorism law to target Sunni communities and promote Iran’s religious and national security interests in Iraq. This discrimination was heightened with the arrival of the Islamic State, further contributing to a more sectarianized country, and crippled the functioning of Iraqi national institutions
The vast majority of voters in the long-awaited referendum of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq were in favour of independence. This position is a clear declaration of the growing difficulty of co-existence of Kurds with the Iraqi federal government. However, the aftermath of the referendum brought to the fore the ongoing rivalry between Erbil and Sulaymaniyah along the line of the symbolic borders of the civil war. It also gave Baghdad an opportunity to further meddle in internal Kurdish rifts
The Center for Strategic Studies (CSS) at the University of Jordan (UJ) ranked the top Think Tank in the Middle East and North Africa for the second year in a row. CSS, also ranked number (128) among the most important Think Tanks in the world (Non-US) which registers improvements from last year by 5 positions
The American University of Beirut's Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs held a panel discussion in partnership with the Open Society Foundations 'Civil Society Actors Influencing Policy-Making in the Arab World'
مع بدء روسيا أولى ضرباتها الجوية المعلنة في سوريا في ٣٠ أيلول/ سبتمبر ٢٠١٥، لم تعد مناقشة السياسة الروسية في العالم العربي ترفًا، بل باتت محطّ اهتمام متزايد يتطلب المزيد من الجهود البحثيّة والإحاطة والمتابعة لفهم دوافع سياسة الكرملين في المنطقة، فما هو الدور الذي يؤديه عاملا القومية والدين في تحديد دوافع سياسة الرئيس فلاديمير بوتين؛ وما هي تداعيات هذه السياسة، المصحوبة بتدخل عسكري مباشر، على إعادة صياغة تحالفاتها الداخلية والدولية، لا سيما في ظل الانكفاء الأميركي؟
Prof Aziz Al-Azmeh participated at the ARI Workshop "Rebuilding Security in Fragmented Societies" where over 25 experts in security in the Middle East and representatives of donor organizations met in Paris to discuss the way forward from the fragmentation witnessed by the security and political orders in the region’s countries in conflict
The 136-page book, titled Out of the Inferno? Rebuilding Security in Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen, represents a distinct contribution to the field of security studies in the Middle East and offers an insight into the dynamics of insecurity as experienced by Arab societies when the state is up for grabs between competing groups.