Yezid Sayigh

Senior Fellow
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 post-conflict 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 post-conflict 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 Dilemmas of Reform: Policing in Arab Transitions (March 2016); Haidar al-‘Abadi’s First Year in Office: What Prospects For Iraq? (September 2015); 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).

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  • 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.

  • The Return of Egypt’s Military Interest Groups
    • December 21, 2015

    The Return of Egypt’s Military Interest Groups

    Lack of an overall strategy for Egypt’s economic development is enabling multiple military interest groups to pursue their own separate and potentially conflicting agendas.

  • The War Over Syria's Gas Fields
    • June 08, 2015

    The War Over Syria's Gas Fields

    Over the last year the Islamic State gained control of a substantial portion of Syria's energy resources and infrastructure, providing leverage over the regime and depriving it of much needed revenue.

  • After Palmyra: Military and Economic Targets of the Islamic State
    • June 04, 2015

    After Palmyra: Military and Economic Targets of the Islamic State

    With the recent capture of the city of Palmyra, the Islamic State has reasserted its anti-Assad credentials and put another tremendous economic strain on the Syrian government.

  • The Middle East in 2015: What to Watch
    • December 29, 2014

    The Middle East in 2015: What to Watch

    Carnegie scholars assess the Middle East in the year ahead, including potential game changers that could have a big impact for the future of the region.

Education

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

Languages
  • Arabic
  • English
  • French
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