This is a report on the two-day academic conference that was co-sponsored by AUB’s Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs, and Princeton University’s Mamdouha S. Bobst Center for Peace and Justice, in addition to the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies Workshop on Arab Political Development with the collaboration of the Project on Middle East Political Science, and the Woodrow Wilson School for Public and International Affairs
In recent years, tribes in Syria and Iraq have had to cope with severe changes and regional challenges, among them the rise and expansion of jihadist movements. In that light, the discussion about the transformation of tribes has become increasingly relevant. From here, a series of questions arises: What are the similarities and differences between today’s tribes and those of the past? What remains of tribal Asabiyyah and its sovereignty over land and inhabitants? How did this affect the relationship of tribes to external structures, namely the state, local authorities and even globalized forces?
Before 2011, the Syrian diaspora worldwide was estimated at 18 million people who migrated over more than a century and have mostly contributed actively to their host communities. This old diaspora has now increased with the wave of Syrian refugees who fled - and continue to flee - Syria because of the ongoing conflict. Over the past seven years, seven million Syrians - not all registered refugees – have fled the country out of a total population of 24 million before the conflict
The Syrian crisis is a complex environment for aid agencies wishing to move funds for humanitarian purposes into the country, or through neighbouring states supporting regional humanitarian efforts. The combination of counter-terrorist financing legislation and international sanctions have made it very difficult for humanitarian organisations to move and access funds. The largest Syrian banks are under sanctions by the United States, the European Union and other states, and the banking system in areas outside of government control has largely been destroyed
Without a pre-defined security plan, no political authority is likely to control the countries living in fragmented security and political orders in the MENA region, says the Arab Reform Initiative in a new book, urging for the adoption of cooperative security as a way out of the conflicts of the region
On 29 June 2018, the Arab Reform Initiative (ARI) convened a group of 30 distinguished international speakers, senior representatives of international organizations, government officials, and leading scholars to explore emerging trends in the Arab world and discuss experiences in mediation and conflict resolution
ثمة "صراع ناعم" يدور بين روسيا وإيران على الأرض السورية، بدأ يتبلور حين قررت روسيا التدخل عسكرياً عام 2015 لجانب النظام السوري المتداعي. تقدم مبادرة الإصلاح العربي دراسة حصرية مكونة من جزءين حول طبيعة هذه العلاقة في مناطق سيطرة النظام، حول الألية التي تعتمدها القوات الروس للتأسيس لتواجد مستدام، من تثبيت لقواعدها العسكرية وهيكلة للجيش السوري بما يتناسب مع رؤيتها (الجزء الأول)، إلى تحييد تدريجي للدور الإيراني الذي يعتمد أصلاً على تفعيل دور الميليشيات (الجزء الثاني، ينشر لاحقاً(.
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