A ceremony marking the reopening of Benghazi port on 1 October 2017. Benghazi’s commercial port reopened after a three-year closure due to the conflict in the city. Photo: Abdullah Doma/AFP/Getty Images.
Research paper

Libya’s War Economy: Predation, Profiteering and State Weakness

12 April 2018
As Libya's war economy persists, prospects for the restoration of functioning central governance become more distant.
Ships destroyed during fighting for Aden in 2015, Mualla Port, Aden, February 2016. Photo: Peter Salisbury.
Research paper

Yemen’s Southern Powder Keg

27 March 2018
An unintended consequence of the civil war is that the south of the country is rapidly moving towards outright autonomy. If a breakaway effort were to occur before the end of the war, it would undermine the UN-led peace process.
A Yemeni boy checks damage following a mortar attack in the city of Taiz, February 2016. Photo: Ahmad al-Basha/AFP/Getty Images.
Research paper

Yemen: National Chaos, Local Order

20 December 2017
Yemen has become a ‘chaos state’ – a nominal entity that exists largely as lines on a map and as a concept in newspaper reports and policymaker briefings.
Syrian people in Jarablus district in Syria after the area is freed from ISIS during Operation Euphrates Shield. Photo: Cem Ozdel/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images.
Research paper

Post-ISIS Governance in Jarablus: A Turkish-led Strategy

26 September 2017
Turkey’s capacity to ensure the sustainability of its successes against ISIS depends largely on improving governance in Jarablus.
The then Saudi Defence Minister and Deputy Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, arrives for a press conference in Riyadh, on 25 April 2016. Photo: FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP/Getty Images.
Research paper

Vision 2030 and Saudi Arabia’s Social Contract: Austerity and Transformation

20 July 2017
Saudi Arabia's ambitious economic reform project promises to disrupt the traditional social contract in a number of ways, which is bound to have political ramifications for the country.
Supporters of Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr hold flags and shout slogans during an anti-corruption demonstration in Baghdad, Iraq, on 16 September 2016. Photo: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images.
Research paper

Iraq After the Fall of ISIS: The Struggle for the State

4 July 2017
In the absence of a representative and accountable government and state institutions, attempts to forge a strong Iraqi nation are doomed to fail.
International Affairs

The practice and culture of smuggling in the borderland of Egypt and Libya

1 July 2017
People demonstrate outside the offices of ISIS (ISIL) in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on 6 January 2014. Photo: Mohammed Wesam/AFP/Getty Images.
Research paper

Local Community Resistance to Extremist Groups in Syria: Lessons from Atarib

1 June 2017
A sole focus on defeating ISIS in Syria militarily will likely further enable al-Nusra, which has been able to exploit the power vacuum where its rival has collapsed. 
Damaged buildings in old Aleppo’s Jdeideh neighbourhood on 9 December 2016. Photo: George Ourfalian/AFP/Getty Images.
Research paper

Western Policy Towards Syria: Applying Lessons Learned

15 March 2017
Over the past six years, there has been a significant gap between the West’s rhetoric and its actions in Syria. Western policymakers must learn from their mistakes to form a more effective strategy.
Syrian boys sit in the back of a vehicle driving towards signs bearing Arabic and Kurdish writing, with a poster of Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Öcalan in Syria’s northeastern Hassaka province, July 2015. Photo: Getty Images.
Research paper

Governing Rojava: Layers of Legitimacy in Syria

8 December 2016
Failure to move past security and stability-based arguments will greatly diminish the long-term prospects for the survival of the Rojava project.
The Iraq and Syria border, located between the Iraqi city of Rabia and the Syrian city of Al-Yarubiyah. Photo: Eddie Gerald/Getty images.
Research paper

Syria, Iraq and the Struggle for Power: Intertwined Futures

24 November 2016
The establishment of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) has permanently changed the political and security landscape in Iraq and will remain a force to be reckoned with for the foreseeable future.
The Dubai skyline at sunset, 4 April 2016. Photo: KARIM SAHIB/AFP/Getty Images.
Research paper

Ruling Families and Business Elites in the Gulf Monarchies: Ever Closer?

3 November 2016
If the Gulf monarchies pursue the top-down, neo-liberal reforms that have been announced, these are likely to foster tensions related to the definition of the new social contract.
Taghmees Social Kitchen, one of an emerging breed of organic civic initiatives in Jordan, holds a session on food and food justice in solidarity with the worldwide ‘March on Monsanto’ movement. Amman, 26 October 2013. Photo: Razan Fakhoury.
Research paper

New Social Enterprises in Jordan: Redefining the Meaning of Civil Society

28 September 2016
The emergence of new forms of civil society in Jordan has the potential to help strengthen social solidarity, encourage more active and informed engagement by citizens, and could help support a smoother transition to a functioning democracy.
Tomatoes displayed for sale in the central food market in Qamishli during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, 2016. Photo: Kani Mohammad – Rojava Photo.
Research paper

Kurdish Self-governance in Syria: Survival and Ambition

15 September 2016
The strategic gains of the local administration in Rojava could provide an important model for conflict resolution in the region – it must be represented in talks to bring about a lasting settlement in Syria.
The aftermath of a suicide bombing inside a Shia Muslim mosque in the Saudi Gulf coastal town of Qatif, 400 km east of Riyadh, on 22 May 2015. Photo: HUSSEIN RADWAN/AFP/Getty Images.
Research paper

Moving Target: UK–GCC Relations and the Politics of ‘Extremism’

14 September 2016
UK cooperation with Gulf countries to counter ‘extremism’ is problematic, and risks inadvertently bolstering repression.
The rubble of a traditional mud house pictured in the early evening, Old City, Sana'a, 26 September 2015. Copyright, Peter Salisbury 2015.
Research paper

Yemen: Stemming the Rise of a Chaos State

25 May 2016
While Yemen may not be a Western policy priority today, the growing humanitarian crisis and the rise of jihadist groups will soon force it further up the international policy agenda.
Students chat on Habib Bourguiba Avenue in Tunis, Tunisia, on 14 November 2014. Photo: FETHI BELAID/AFP/Getty Images.
Research paper

Young Arab Voices: Moving Youth Policy from Debate into Action

13 May 2016
The global interconnectedness of youth activism and the interrelated nature of the problems to be addressed need to be reflected more in policies targeting young people.
Syrian men making copper pots. Damascus, February 2016. Photo: Louai Beshara/AFP/Getty Images.
Research paper

Salvaging Syria’s Economy

15 March 2016
While any meaningful reconstruction programme will require considerable external financial support, the reluctance of Western powers to challenge Assad has left his regime in a strong position to dictate terms, writes David Butter.
The World Today

Is Algeria losing its head?

11 December 2015
Rumblings as president remains hidden from view
The World Today

Middle Eastern regional rivalries

11 December 2015
The complexity of Middle Eastern politics plays into terrorists’ hands. Detente between Iran and Saudi Arabia is required before Gulf States are likely to share western priorities in Syria