The election campaign grinds on, trying our patience but nevertheless riveting us to our sofas every night for the spectacle. Though the media dress it up as competing "narratives," much of it is performance art. We have been set up for it by "reality" television — unpredictable, exciting, appalling — starring the man himself, Donald Trump.
Aasim M. Husain, Ford M. Fraker, Edward Burton, Karen E. Young, Ausamah Abdulla Al Absi
AASIM M. HUSAIN, Deputy Director of the Middle East and Central Asia Department, International Monetary Fund
What I thought I'd do today in the time that was allotted to me is talk a bit, first, about what the impact of low oil prices on the GCC economies has been, what policy responses the countries have taken, and what the macroeconomic implications of low oil prices are. Then I will turn quickly to the long-term policy agenda in each of the six countries.
Jerome H. Kahan
Saudi Arabia and the other members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) — the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar — closely followed negotiations between Iran and the five Security Council members plus Germany (P5+1) that led to agreement on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), unofficially known as the Nuclear Deal. In commenting on this outcome, an experienced former U.S.
Saudi Arabia, with the largest economy in the Arab world, is deeply dependent on oil exports (approximately 75-80 percent of total revenues). Largely due to high oil prices during most of the last decade, Riyadh was able to establish itself as one of the strongest and fastest-growing economies in the Middle East. According to a recent report by McKinsey Global Institute, the Saudi economy in 2003 was the twenty-seventh largest in the world; by 2014, it had risen to number 19.
Giorgio Cafiero and Adam Yefet
Shortly after the UK voted to leave the European Union (EU) in June's historic Brexit referendum, there was much social-media buzz about the Sultanate of Oman holding its own "Oxit" referendum.
In recent decades, a broad range of tools, collectively known as "transitional justice," have been developed to help individuals and societies heal from the effects of past violence. Throughout history, violent conflict and government repression have frequently led to widespread violations of human rights. In most cases, the perpetrators of such abuses have not been held accountable for their deeds, and victims have rarely seen justice done.
Lebanese politics is often, if not exclusively, articulated through the concept of "consociational" democracy. While most observers also agree that this system has been inadequate in containing instability and violence, there is little questioning of its basis. Arguments fall into two categories: either the country is seen as prone to instability and conflict because the consociational model doesn't work well enough, or the consociational model itself is flawed.
Pelin Telseren Kadercan and Burak Kadercan
During the summer of 2013, as hundreds of thousands of protesters took to the streets to criticize Mohammed Morsi's Freedom and Justice Party for its increasingly autocratic and "Islamic" posture, the Egyptian military under General Sisi toppled the government and suspended the constitution. By contrast, what did not happen in Turkey when hundreds of thousands of protesters took to the streets in June 2013 to criticize then Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Justice and Development Party (JDP) attracted little attention.
The rockets that landed in the Damascus suburbs on August 21, 2013 — immediately regarded by the Obama administration and the news media as a nerve-gas attack — brought the United States to the brink of war with the Assad regime. President Barack Obama stepped back from launching cruise missiles only at the very last moment, August 30, according to the most detailed account of the episode.1
Virtually from the inception of the nuclear age, policy makers, intelligence experts and scholars have engaged in a robust debate about ways to prevent nuclear terror. The recent emergence of Islamist jihadi groups that are known to be searching for nuclear or radiological material has given the debate a tone of urgency. At the same time, the supply side of the equation has grown from sporadic and inchoate attempts at smuggling to a more organized market in fissile and radiological material.
David G. Kibble
The edition of Dabiq, the online magazine of the Islamic State (IS), that followed the horrific Paris attacks (130 dead) glorified the work of what it called the "eight knights" who carried out the killings. It rejoiced, too, in the downing of a Russian airliner (224 dead), picturing the homemade bomb it said caused the crash.
Sadiq al-Husna | independent Scholar
The Pasdaran: Inside Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, by Emanuele Ottolenghi. Foundation for Defense of Democracies Press, 2011. 132 pages. $9.99, paperback.
Iran's Revolutionary Guard: The Threat That Grows While America Sleeps, by Steven O'Hern. Potomac Books, 2012. 288 pages. $29.95, hardcover.
Iran Unveiled: How the Revolutionary Guards Is Turning Theocracy into Military Dictatorship, by Ali Alfoneh, AEI Press, 2013. 272 pages.
In Captive Society, Saeid Golkar takes on the challenge of trying to explain Iran's Basij to a Western audience. This is a particularly difficult task given the shadowy nature of the inner workings of the Islamic Republic.
Michael Gunter, a veteran of Kurdish studies, in The Kurds: A Modern History, revisits their continuing struggle for recognition and statehood.
The historical interpretation of events concerning the Ottoman Empire during the early twentieth century remains a subject of much debate, and circumstances surrounding the empire's collapse during World War I are complex.
It is difficult to find anyone more qualified to analyze the complex American-Israeli relationship during the past seven decades than Dennis Ross. As director of policy planning in the State Department under president George H.W.
Ambassador and former assistant secretary of defense Chas Freeman is a knowledgeable and well-regarded analyst of the Middle East. His latest work continues a narrative of U.S.