Sanctions are back – with a vengeance

By Megan Wang|October 1, 2018|Insight|

The ‘success’ of the latest bout of US sanctions on Iran hinges on third party responses and domestic conditions in Iran. Hassan Hakimian explains ‘The Iran sanctions have officially been cast’ tweeted President Trump three months after he signed an executive order in May announcing the US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal. He went on to boast the return of ‘the most biting sanctions ever imposed’, as if sounding

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China’s One Belt, One Road initiative

By Megan Wang|June 1, 2018|Insight|0 comments

The potential future gains (both economic and political) from the OBOR project stand to benefit China and the nations of the Middle East. But the project is not without risks. Sarah Hsu explains China’s One Belt, One Road (OBOR) programme has been welcomed in the Middle East. OBOR’s land-based and maritime silk roads cross both over and through the region. The land-based road passes through Istanbul and Tehran, as well

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What to expect from El-Sisi’s second term?

By Megan Wang|April 6, 2018|Insight|0 comments

Increased repression, encroachment into commercial activity and widespread discontent. In the run up to the election, Maged Mandour outlines what we can expect from El-Sisi’s next term With the advent of the Egyptian Presidential election (26-28 March), more accurately described as a de-facto referendum, one can start to piece together the primary features of El-Sisi’s next term. The behaviour of the regime before the elections, during which a number of

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Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates: new regional alliances and the Palestinian struggle

By Megan Wang|January 27, 2018|Insight|0 comments

Adam Hanieh lists signs of growing cooperation between Israel, Saudi Arabia and the UAE and the ramifications for Palestine The 6 December announcement by US President Donald Trump to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the US embassy to the city has thrown Middle East politics into renewed turmoil. Political and religious leaders around the world have condemned the move, with hundreds of protests organised in major

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Tunisia: seven years later

By Megan Wang|January 27, 2018|Insight|0 comments

Since 2011, Tunisia has been shaped by the instability in Libya, a weak economy, a toughening political environment and a growing strain of authoritarianism. But the vitality of the revolution is not yet completely lost. George Joffé explains It is now almost seven years since Tunisia led the way in the Arab Awakening by forcing an end to the autocratic Ben Ali regime and introducing a democratic political system in

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The persistent challenge of ‘Islamic exceptionalim’

By Megan Wang|January 27, 2018|General|0 comments

Hadi Enayat explains the basis of Islamic exceptionalism and the ways in which it has been debate in light of recent events The notion of national or civilisational ‘exceptionalism’ was first used in connection with the USA to explain everything from its propensity for democracy to its apparent resistance to secularisation. The concept of ‘Islamic exceptionalism’ has a more recent pedigree dating back to the 1990s with the publication of

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The mutation of the Turkish state: the long view

By Megan Wang|January 25, 2018|SOAS Centenary|0 comments

Deniz Kandiyoti situates the failed July coup in the context of a long-running struggle between different Islamic political actors to colonise the Turkish state apparatus On the night of 15 July 2016, the citizens of Turkey were jolted by the realisation that a military coup was unfolding in real time. In the days following the failed coup, clarity was in short supply. Gaps and inconsistencies in the accounts provided by

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The contours of Middle East politics and its study

By Megan Wang|January 25, 2018|SOAS Centenary|0 comments

Charles Tripp examines how former master narratives in the study of MENA are being dismantled, mirroring political developments on the ground Studying the politics of the Middle East and North Africa has always had its dramatic side – driven both by events and developments in the region, but also by the excitement of new ways of thinking about power. In this it is hardly exceptional. Nevertheless, during the past few

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A president in control of the executive, legislature and judiciary

By Megan Wang|June 8, 2017|Insight|0 comments

Gamon McLellan assesses April’s referendum in Turkey and the powers President Erdoğan will now wield Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had long aspired to become executive president. Such a presidency was discussed but rejected in 1982 when the present Turkish constitution was drafted, but later attracted support from President Turgut Özal, and even, in 1997, from Fethullah Gülen, the preacher accused of master-minding the July 2016 failed coup. It has now been

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West Asia and the Global Environment Outlook

By Megan Wang|February 13, 2017|Insight|0 comments

Iyad Abumoghli provides an overview of the current state of the environment in West Asia and explores ways to reverse the damaging trends The Global Environment Outlook in its 6th edition, GEO-6 for West Asia, is part of a global process that aims to review and assess the state of the global environment, identify global and regional priorities, review policies and options, and to chart the outlook on priority environmental issues

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