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The Rise and Fall of the New Arab Public Sphere
by Marc Lynch
“Arab politics will be torn for many years to come between the restless, critical power of the public sphere and the determined efforts of regimes, states, and old elites to maintain their domination.” Third in a series on public spheres around the world.
How Syria Fell to Pieces
by Samer Abboud
“With major regional powers in disagreement over how to solve the Syrian conflict . . . military and political stalemate continues, along with the territorial fragmentation of the country, the proliferation of networks of violence, and a humanitarian catastrophe that will have generational consequences.”
Egypt’s Revolution Turned on its Head
by Emad El-Din Shahin
“Sisi’s focus on fighting terrorism has shifted the nation’s political narrative from democracy and freedom to security and war . . .”
Lebanon’s Perilous Balancing Act
by Tamirace Fakhoury
“Although its dysfunctional governance patterns predate the recent wave of turmoil in the region, the war in Syria has unsettled Lebanon’s precarious equilibrium.”
The Middle East’s Spreading Morass
by Augustus Richard Norton
“Many of the Arab states see the uprisings, the Iraq war, and the rise of ISIS as fundamentally related. All of these issues are complicated by the Iran deal.”
Perspective: Iran’s Uncertain Course After the Deal
by Kevan Harris
The latest political realignment in the Islamic Republic resulted in détente with the West even as regional upheaval has drawn Tehran into overextended military interventions. While Iran’s future is uncertain, it is definitely not a hegemon in the making.
Books: A Bold Call for Middle Eastern Feminism
by Valentine M. Moghadam
In her new book, Mona Eltahawy argues that a sexual revolution is needed in the region to overcome religious ideologies that oppress women’s rights. Without progress toward gender equality, broader political reforms are bound to fail.
ISIS and the Third Wave of Jihadism
by Fawaz A. Gerges
“There is no simple or quick solution to rid the Middle East of ISIS because it is a manifestation of the breakdown of state institutions and the spread of sectarian fires in the region.”
The Saudi Thermidor
by Frederic Wehrey
“Saudi Arabia has emerged as the most vigorous stalwart of what can best be described as the reactionary period of the Arab uprisings—their 'Thermidorian' phase.”
The Silent Victory of the Israeli Settlers’ Movement
by Ami Pedahzur
“The visions of the Jewish settlers and the Palestinian Islamists regarding the future of the contested land are the epitome of fundamentalism, since they are not only mutually exclusive but also unyielding.”
Turkey at a Tipping Point
by Jenny White
“By pulling the levers of suspicion and social polarization, Erdogan appeals to the conservative nationalist core of his supporters, but he is out of touch with a large part of the population.”
Kurdish Nationalism’s Moment of Truth?
by Michael Eppel
“Prolonged instability and violence or state collapse in Syria and Iraq, as well as major changes in Turkish attitudes, may produce the right conditions for the establishment of a Kurdish state or new autonomous regions.” Third in a series on resurgent nationalism around the world.
Perspective: Obama’s Middle East Headaches
by Augustus Richard Norton
Barack Obama has tried to reduce American involvement in the region, but events keep pulling him back in. Iraq and Syria are spiraling out of control, while allies only make things worse.
Books: Syria in the Abyss
by Max Weiss
A new book by journalist Reese Erlich offers a tour of the hell that Syria has become, and an explanation of how it got there. To bring peace, he argues, foreign intervention must end.