Despite the attention the upcoming Kurdish referendum has attracted, it is unlikely that it will result in any significant political change, much less outright independence for Iraqi Kurdistan.Read More
These articles represent the views of the authors only, and do not constitute the positions of UCLA, the International Institute, or the Center for Middle East Development. Readers are invited to offer alternative perspectives to hinkis[at]international.ucla.edu.
In celebration of the release of our most recent CMED Routledge series publication, Reconstructing the Middle East, we’ve compiled a list of noteworthy Middle East reads recommended by the CMED team and affiliates.Read More
In the first presidential debate, Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump remarked that "ISIS happened a number of years ago in a vacuum." The term "vacuum" was most likely a slur on the current administration's foreign policy; however, if we understand it as a reference to the lack of governance in areas of the Middle East then the statement is not entirely untrue. In fact, ISIS and Al Qaeda's efforts to present themselves as quasi-governments capable of social welfare provision draws our attention to a phenomenon that probably deserves more attention than it receives: the use of social welfare provision by radical Islamist groups as a means of consolidating political control.Read More
With the hierarchical structure and old guard of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt facing strong push-back from a younger revolutionary faction and a new ideological imperative, there is a chance we might see a permanent fissure that will lead the group on a downward trajectory for the foreseeable future.Read More
On September 2015, The International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence (ICSR) came out with a report detailing the experiences of Islamic State (IS) defectors. The Centre gave key recommendations on how to deal with returning fighters. Though the recommendations are helpful, they fall short in one key regard: addressing the specific rehabilitation needs of returning fighters.Read More
For the past five years, the country of Syria has transformed into a battlefield. Today, no one is truly safe. Terrorist, government, and rebel factions are massacring innocent people, and President Bashar al-Assad is drafting all young men to his security forces. Sammar Smesme exposes the appalling reality of everyday life for Syrians and shares interviews with her cousins—one living near Damascus and the other in a refugee camp.Read More