Summer 2024 Middle East Policy is Free for All Readers

  • Middle East Policy

    Middle East Policy has been one of the world’s most cited publications on the region since its inception in 1982, and our Breaking Analysis series makes high-quality, diverse analysis available to a broader audience.

Full-text analyses and book reviews covering issues from conflict and alliances to Islamism and democratic processes are available to everyone, even without subscription, until August. 

Middle East Policy is excited to announce that all articles in its newly published Summer 2024 issue are free to read! Featuring analyses from experts around the world, the journal’s 160th publication explores the many elements of politics and war in Israel and Palestine, Turkish President Erdoğan’s struggle to stay in power, the influence of Russia on regional states’ reactions to the Ukraine war, and more, providing comprehensive analysis of key issues facing the Middle East from experts around the world. 

The free-to-read window will close July 31, 2024. 

Check out the Summer 2024 issue of Middle East Policy using this link:  

Middle East Policy is consistently rated among the top publications covering Middle Eastern & Islamic studies. Since 1982, the quarterly journal has provided policymakers and the public with credible, comprehensive analyses of political, economic, and cultural issues pertaining to US-Middle East relations. We combat disinformation by publishing high-quality research by top scholars and public officials.  

Here’s a look at the articles in the Summer 2024 issue: 

Lessons for Israel’s Gaza War In America’s Strategic Blunders, by Mahmood Monshipouri 

  • The United States’ mistakes in Afghanistan and Iraq could provide a learning opportunity for Israel, illustrating that an extended overreliance on force often fails to address key issues and exacerbates extremist ideology and recruitment. 
  • Israel’s use of excessive force in Gaza has bolstered the previously unpopular Hamas inside and outside of Gaza; reliance on military means and continued resistance to negotiation means Israel is failing to seek a political solution to the inherently socio-political conflict behind the war. 
  • Jerusalem has several options to end the war, but unless it works towards a peace-oriented solution that recognizes the right of Palestinians, Hamas will not be destroyed. 

The Impact of Factional Discourse On the Palestinian National Cause, by Munther Saeedi, Oqab Jabali, Muath Ishtaiyeh, Abed Alkhaleq Esa, and Mohammad Dabous 

  • In a recent study—completed prior to the ongoing Gaza war—researchers found that university students are experiencing high degrees of cynicism due to the divisive discourse between Fatah, the ruling party in the Palestinian National Authority, and Hamas. 
  • The ongoing conflict and rhetoric divert attention from significant social issues, including the Israeli occupation, socioeconomic inequality, access to service, and democratic rights. It has also reduced Palestinian trust in government all around. 
  • Divisive discourse has reached beyond the governmental level and is increasingly impacting family and friend relations; however, responses indicated that there is still strength in national identity and community interests over self-interests. 

Israeli Hydro-Hegemony and the Gaza War, by Peter Seeberg 

  • Jordan and the Occupied Territories share the Jordan River Basin with Israel, but a growing power imbalance has significantly reduced their capacity to obtain sufficient supply.  
  • Israel has successfully developed desalinization technology and water recycling that has placed it in a position of relative stability and power that gives Jerusalem no incentive to solve the Palestine issue. 
  • Jordan has reached agreements with Israel for water access in the past, but the supply is still limited, and the Gaza war has negatively impacted any potential negotiations. 
  • Both Gaza and the West Bank have suffered from critical water shortages and contamination for decades, but the recent war has significantly harmed Gaza’s water supply, with 95% of the population unable to access clean water. 

The Middle East and the Ukraine War: Between Fear and Opportunity, by Jeffrey Mankoff 

  • Middle Eastern states have remained largely silent on the Ukraine war as they recognize that Russia’s presence in the region is well established and expanding and positive relations may benefit them. 
  • Moscow offers regional states a valuable alternative to the US and is often willing to provide arms and other support when Washington doesn’t. While states acknowledge that Russia cannot replace the US or even China, relations with Moscow are still valuable. 
  • Russia’s primary interest in the Middle East is protecting friendly authoritarian regimes, a favorable approach for many regional governments. 

The Practice of Friendship Balancing: Russia-Israel Relations, 2015 to 2021, by Chen Kertcher and Dima Course 

  • Russia and Israel are engaging in “friendship balancing,” as they have conflicting interests but do not want to risk the deterioration of relations. The two states have worked to develop practices to mitigate disputes and promote cooperation despite differences. 
  • Russo-Israeli relations are partly based on a shared identity and culture, with significant emigration to Israel after the fall of the USSR, and interest in avoiding conflict. 
  • Despite supporting opposing sides during the Syrian Civil War, Israel and Russia managed to continue cooperation through structural mechanisms. By allowing Israel to carry out bombings as long as Jerusalem provided sufficient warning and avoided harming Russian assets, the two parties successfully avoided conflict. 

Unlikely Alliances: How the Wars in Karabakh And Gaza Shape Northwest Asian Security, by Emil A. Souleimanov 

  • Ongoing conflicts in the Levant and post-Soviet South Caucasus have upset regional relationships and threaten escalation into a cross-regional war.  
    • Azerbaijan’s military victories over the Armenia-occupied republic of Nagorno-Karabakh and cooperation with a Turkish-Israeli duo has antagonized Iran into fearing for its security.  
    • Armenia lost Russian support with a redirection toward Ukraine and is increasingly fearing major military confrontation between Azerbaijan and Iran. 
  • Ongoing escalation as a result of the Gaza war may push Israel into a larger armed conflict and place already vulnerable states in precarious positions.   
  • To mitigate Iran, relations between Baku and Tehran must be normalized; otherwise, Azerbaijan may find itself caught in the crossfire of an Iran-Israeli conflict. 

Do Turkey’s 2024 Local Elections Signal the End of Erdoğan’s Reign?, by M. Hakan Yavuz and Rasim Koç 

  • The victory of the opposition Republic People’s Party marked long-term President Erdoğan’s greatest electoral defeat ever; the authors argue that this outcome was the result of disapproval of Erdoğan and his party more than approval of the opposition. 
  • Two decades of his centralization of government has resulted in neutralized institutions, destruction of checks and balances, and a lack of judicial independence or rule of law. 
  • The municipal election results offer Turkey an opportunity to reunite the country’s many diverse groups around a shared vision for the country. 

Constitution Making and Enduring Challenges To Democracy in Turkey, by Ayşe Y. Evrensel 

  • Throughout history, constitutional revisions have been made to serve the political elite and fail to create long-term objectives or broad-based political discourse because they are more responsive than proactive. 
  • Top-down constitutional processes create advantages for incumbents because of a history of weak democratic traditions. 
  • Erdoğan, following the narrowest presidential election yet in 2023, is once more facing the consequences of a poorly designed constitution, as his decades of revisions have left the armed forces unable to interfere with a democratically elected government. 

Ten Years After: Revisiting the Ouster Of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, by Ebtisam Hussein 

  • Hussein argues that the Muslim Brotherhood chose to engage in conflict with armed forces in 2013 because of a history of persecution, a broad base of support, and a fear of losing power.  
  • But the group ignored signs that it needed to coordinate with the military to avoid confrontation. 
  • The Egyptian military has long held privileged status and demonstrated its capacity to oust governments, so failure to compromise would mean the demise of any regime, including the Muslim Brotherhood. 

Muslim Brotherhood Memoirs: Prison as a Link among Hostile Groups, by Liad Porat 

  • The Muslim Brotherhood, following significant arrests under former Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser, came to dominate the prison system and used it as a platform to promote the ideological struggle against the regime and gain relevance. 
  • Within the prisons were also contained Jewish and communist activities that enjoyed a sense of solidarity that promoted cooperation against a common “absolute enemy.” 



The Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict: Historical and Political Perspectives, by M. Hakan Yavuz and Michael Gunter; reviewed by Umut Uzer 

The Struggle for Supremacy in the Middle East: Saudi Arabia and Iran, by Simon Mabon; reviewed by Guo Juanwugao 

Humane: How the United States Abandoned Peace and Reinvented War, by Samuel Moyn; reviewed by A.R. Joyce 

  • Middle East Policy

    Middle East Policy has been one of the world’s most cited publications on the region since its inception in 1982, and our Breaking Analysis series makes high-quality, diverse analysis available to a broader audience.

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