Democratic transition continues to elude Arab countries and Arab republicanism has lost much of its meaning, as presidential power is increasingly being bequeathed from father to son.
Iran's domestic political turmoil has seemingly caused it to back out of an agreement with the P5+1 to send its processed uranium out of the country. The United States and its allies must now redouble efforts to make sure that Iran does not try to make nuclear weapons
The Obama administration must engage in a new type of dialogue with the Middle East, one modeled after the process used to improve relations with the Soviet bloc, if it wants to have any chance of impacting political reform in the region.
A unity government has been formed in Lebanon following the electoral defeat of the Hezbollah-led coalition in June. However, in order to stabilize the fragile country, the new government must succeed in instituting economic, political, and security reforms.
Any effective U.S. diplomatic approach to Iran must involve other countries in the Gulf, but Washington will not succeed if it continues to strive for an anti-Iranian alliance. A normalization of relations between Iran and its neighbors is an important and attainable step for reintegrating Iran into the international community.
Rather than endlessly discussing ruling elites, opposition movements, and civil organizations from a reductionist framework centered on democracy and human rights, researchers must push their analysis outside the realm of conventional thinking.
Yemen’s Islamist Congregation for Reform party (Islah) faces deep internal divisions on key issues, and its fractious composition prevents it from developing a clear parliamentary platform, leaving the party with no clear path toward the reforms it seeks.
While it is a positive development that a functional, democratic and pragmatic country like Turkey is playing a larger role in the Arab and Islamic world, it could also mean the beginning of a new round of confrontations if no progress is made in the Arab-Israeli peace process.
Without dramatic improvement in the Arab world at all educational levels, unemployment, illiteracy, and income inequality will continue to worsen, and the region will remain a danger to itself and its neighbors.
The bulk of development security sector aid in Palestine, Lebanon, and Yemen has consisted of military training and equipment. The West should adopt a comprehensive approach to aid where security reform is only one part of a broader reform strategy.
Tunisia appears stable, but only because of systematic media censorship and a lack of information about human-rights violations. The international community would do a real service for the country if they encouraged true reform.
While Tunisian President Ben Ali’s reelection to a fifth term is a foregone conclusion, the international community must press him to institute real political change and move beyond a superficial illusion of pluralism.
Events of the last months in Algeria have shown that the less the state engages in dialogue with the street, the more the street will resort to violence and abandon the tools of voting and peaceful demonstrations.
The Russian, Israeli, Iranian and U.S. positions on Iran’s nuclear ambitions are open to several interpretations. The most realistic endgame scenario to best serve the chief interests of all players is one in which Iran maintains the ability to produce a nuclear weapon but refrains from testing one.
Western governments must make educational aid a priority or they risk allowing extremist madrasas to win the hearts and minds of the Arab world.
The Obama administration has demonstrated its ability to introduce major foreign policy changes despite some powerful opposition at home, marking a victory for their advocacy of diplomacy in form and substance.
While Barack Obama has re-launched Israeli-Palestinian talks and begun negotiations with Iran, the Arab world has remained virtually absent.
In the wake of the global financial crisis, the Saudis cannot be comforted to know that their economic fortunes are so closely related to events beyond their borders. The Saudi leadership will look to the G20 process to help make these markets less volatile and easier to navigate.
If the Yemeni central government cannot fully control its territory, violent extremists will have a space to regroup and launch new attacks. Yemen's problems potentially threaten the region and the international community.
Although it has begun to move out of isolation, Libya still faces an underdeveloped infrastructure and poor social services, coupled with high unemployment rates.