In Realist theory power, whether economic or military, is the “currency” of nation-states. Yet, when viewing developments in the MENA, this distinction fails to take into account the great influence of sub-national and non-state actors. Such groups in many cases challenge and in a few cases exceed the “power” of the nation-state in which they share territory. Among others, one such example is that of the Iranian backed political party Hezbollah, which operates within Lebanon.Read More
These articles represent the views of the authors only, and do not constitute the positions of UCLA, the International Institute, or the Center for Middle East Development. Articles are primarily written by UCLA undergraduate students.
To discuss the future of the Middle East, and in particular to counter and isolate Iran, the Trump administration recently held a conference in Warsaw, Poland. What did this conference tell us about US-European and Israeli-Arab Relations though?Read More
The Trump Administration’s Middle East “Peace Plan,” has been in its “pre-launch” phase for nearly two years. The plan itself serves as a representation of Trump’s global foreign policy. This diplomatic strategy should come as no surprise to us as, after all, it is the first sentence of chapter two in the Art of the Deal. But does this method translate well for international relations?Read More
Despite the attention the upcoming Kurdish referendum has attracted, it is unlikely that it will result in any significant political change, much less outright independence for Iraqi Kurdistan.Read More
In celebration of the release of our most recent CMED Routledge series publication, Reconstructing the Middle East, we’ve compiled a list of noteworthy Middle East reads recommended by the CMED team and affiliates.Read More
In the first presidential debate, Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump remarked that "ISIS happened a number of years ago in a vacuum." The term "vacuum" was most likely a slur on the current administration's foreign policy; however, if we understand it as a reference to the lack of governance in areas of the Middle East then the statement is not entirely untrue. In fact, ISIS and Al Qaeda's efforts to present themselves as quasi-governments capable of social welfare provision draws our attention to a phenomenon that probably deserves more attention than it receives: the use of social welfare provision by radical Islamist groups as a means of consolidating political control.Read More
With the hierarchical structure and old guard of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt facing strong push-back from a younger revolutionary faction and a new ideological imperative, there is a chance we might see a permanent fissure that will lead the group on a downward trajectory for the foreseeable future.Read More