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.
Afghanistan and opium share an ancient history together. However, with opium sales and use booming, Afghanistan and the drug trade have never been as intertwined as they are today. What are the causes of the exponential rise in Afghan opium cultivation and what can be done to curb it?Read More
Iranian president Hassan Rouhani is widely regarded by both the international community and his citizens as Iran's first moderate leader in recent history. His presidential agenda includes many liberal tenants like advancing human rights in Iran and finding a solution to the decade long nuclear dispute. However, the political power and conservatism of his superior, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, has created an interesting dynamic between old versus new in Persian Politics.Read More