Yezid Sayigh

Senior Fellow
Carnegie Middle East Center

Yezid Sayigh is a senior fellow at the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut, where he leads the program on Civil-Military Relations in Arab States (CMRAS). His work focuses on the comparative political and economic roles of Arab armed forces and nonstate actors, the impact of war on states and societies, and the politics of postconflict reconstruction and security sector transformation in Arab transitions, and authoritarian resurgence.

Yezid Sayigh is a senior fellow at the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut, where he leads the program on Civil-Military Relations in Arab States (CMRAS). His work focuses on the comparative political and economic roles of Arab armed forces and nonstate actors, the impact of war on states and societies, and the politics of postconflict reconstruction and security sector transformation in Arab transitions, and authoritarian resurgence.

Previously, Sayigh held teaching and research positions at King’s College London, the University of Cambridge, and the University of Oxford, as well as visiting positions or fellowships at Harvard University, Brandeis University, the American University of Beirut, and the School of Oriental and African Studies. From 1998–2003, he also headed the Middle East program of the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London. Sayigh was also an adviser and negotiator in the Palestinian delegation to the peace talks with Israel and headed the Palestinian delegation to the multilateral peace talks on Arms Control and Regional Security from 1991–1994. From 1999, he provided policy and technical consultancy on the permanent-status peace talks and on Palestinian reform.

Sayigh is the author of numerous publications, including most recently Owners of the Republic: An Anatomy of Egypt’s Military Economy (2019); Dilemmas of Reform: Policing in Arab Transitions (March 2016); Crumbling States: Security Sector Reform in Libya and Yemen (June 2015); Missed Opportunity: The Politics of Police Reform in Egypt and Tunisia (March 2015); The Syrian Opposition’s Leadership Problem (April 2013); Above the State: The Officers’ Republic in Egypt (August 2012); “We serve the people”: Hamas policing in Gaza (2011); and Policing the People, Building the State: Authoritarian transformation in the West Bank and Gaza (2011). He is the author of the award-winning Armed Struggle and the Search for State: The Palestinian National Movement, 1949-1993 (Oxford, 1997).

More >
  • Is Cairo Going to War?
    • June 22, 2020

    Is Cairo Going to War?

    The Egyptian military may intervene in neighboring Libya, but it likely wants to avoid a major confrontation.

  • Relinquishing the Driver's Seat
    • April 24, 2020

    Relinquishing the Driver's Seat

    Egypt’s military has allowed civilians to lead the coronavirus response, but some things are troubling.

  • What’s Happening in Idlib?
    • February 29, 2020

    What’s Happening in Idlib?

    The dramatic escalation in the governorate may hide a high-risk Russian negotiation tactic.

  • Alone at the Top in Egypt
    • July 29, 2019

    Alone at the Top in Egypt

    The military has no interlocutors with which to negotiate a transition toward broader participation in national decisions.

  • The Warrior Prince
    • October 24, 2018

    The Warrior Prince

    Mohammed bin Salman will weather the Khashoggi murder, his tightening grip over Saudi security explains why.

  • Past the Crossroads
    • October 20, 2017

    Past the Crossroads

    The Kurdish referendum on independence may have delayed such an outcome for many years.

  • Aiding or Abetting?
    • April 04, 2017

    Aiding or Abetting?

    In an exchange, Yezid Sayigh and Michel Duclos discuss the conditions of economic assistance to a postwar Syria.

  • Safely Ambivalent
    • January 30, 2017

    Safely Ambivalent

    Donald Trump’s plan for refugee zones in and around Syria will not materialize.

  • Where Next?
    • December 19, 2016

    Where Next?

    The Syrian regime has several military options as it advances after the Aleppo victory.

  • Smoke and Mirrors
    • October 20, 2016

    Smoke and Mirrors

    A safe zone is not a Turkish aim in Syria, but aid to opposition groups will continue.

Education

PhD, War Studies, King’s College London 
BSc, Chemistry, American University of Beirut 

Languages
  • Arabic
  • English
  • French
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