The Future of the State in the Middle East (2019-2021)

This project explored the future of the state in the Middle East through the lens of current security and governance dynamics.

The project linked research to the priorities of Western policymakers, so as to support policy formation that is grounded in local dynamics rather than theoretical understanding of statehood.

While it may appear that the MENA region is moving back to being dominated by the same form of authoritarianism that prevailed before 2011, the way the state wields power in many countries has changed significantly since then.

The rise of new actors that straddle the line between ‘state’ and ‘non-state’, in other words hybrid, actors, means that the future of state authority in the region is uncertain. Despite this shift in key stakeholders, Western policy seems to continue to rely on the Westphalian model in understanding the state in the region.

This project aimed to:

  • Bridge the gap between Western stakeholders and experts from the region to strengthen policy-making;
  • Build the capacity of policymakers in the West to formulate relevant and actionable economic, political, security and developmental policies towards the MENA region.

The project was supported by the Carnegie Corporation New York.