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Recent Publications

Middle East Brief
The Limits of Morocco's Attempt to Comprehensively Counter Violent Extremism
Mohammed Masbah

Middle East Brief
Lebanon's Civil Society as an Anchor of Stability
Jeffrey G. Karam

Middle East Brief

Lebanon's Hostility to Syrian Refugees
Nils Hägerdal

Middle East Brief
The Iranian Economy Two Years after the Nuclear Agreement
Nader Habibi

Middle East Brief
Trump's Jerusalem Declaration and "The Ultimate Deal"
Shai Feldman and Khalil Shikaki

Middle East Brief
The Communal Fracturing of the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood
David Siddhartha Patel

Crown Center


Middle East Brief
The Limits of Morocco's Attempt to Comprehensively Counter Violent Extremism
Mohammed Masbah, Marilyn and Terry Diamond Junior Research Fellow at the Crown Center

After terrorist attacks in 2003, Morocco launched an ambitious and wide-ranging strategy to counter violent extremism. Intended to both target existing terror groups and address the roots of radicalization, this comprehensive strategy sought to combine security measures with efforts to improve socioeconomic conditions and promote the state’s moderate interpretation of Islam. In this Brief, Mohammed Masbah assesses this strategy and finds that...Read More


Middle East Brief
Lebanon's Civil Society as an Anchor of Stability
Jeffrey G. Karam, Former Visiting Research Scholar at the Crown Center

Lebanon’s political system is often described as weak and perennially at risk of collapse. The sudden resignation of Prime Minister Saad Hariri in late 2017 was just one example of how regional crises threaten to destabilize Lebanon’s government. In this Brief, Jeffrey G. Karam challenges this conventional wisdom and argues that...Read More


Wednesday, April 18, 2018 - Brown Bag Seminar
The Locust and the Starling: An Environmental History of Borders in the Modern Middle East
Sam Dolbee, Junior Research Fellow at the Crown Center

The transition between the Ottoman Empire and the post-Ottoman states of the Middle East is a momentous one, the effects of which are still felt. Typically, this event is explained in terms of new national identities and new borders. This presentation takes a different approach to that familiar story of transition by following locusts...Read More


Middle East Brief
Lebanon's Hostility to Syrian Refugees
Nils Hägerdal, Junior Research Fellow at the Crown Center

No formal refugee camps exist in Lebanon to house the approximately 1-2 million Syrian refugees in the country. Laws there make it difficult for them to maintain legal status, limiting access to formal employment, the justice system, and public services...Read More


In the News: March 26, 2018 - Foreign Policy
Everyone Loves Israel Now
Shai Feldman, Judith and Sidney Swartz Director of the Crown Center
Tamara Cofman Wittes, Senior Fellow in the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution

Perhaps the most surprising thing about the Arab world today is how relatively uncontroversial Israel has become. During 11 days of travel through Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, we heard the Israeli-Palestinian conflict mentioned only once. This is a dramatic shift from decades during which hostility to Israel served as perhaps the most important unifier of often fractious Arab governments...Read More


In the News: March 15, 2018 - Brandeis NOW
Rethinking Revolutions
 
Revolutions in the Middle East, Latin America and the Caribbean in the 20th century are often examined in comparison with revolutions in France or Russia. What if they were examined with greater focus on how they interacted with each other instead? That’s the approach that Assistant Professor of History Gregory Childs and Charles Goodman Professor in Middle East History Naghmeh Sohrabi have taken with “Forgotten Dreams and Misplaced Revolutions,” a year-long John E. Sawyer Seminar on the Comparative Study of Culture...Read More


A Special Report
Saudi Arabia and Kuwait: A Trip Report
Shai Feldman, Judith and Sidney Swartz Director of the Crown Center
Tamara Cofman Wittes, Senior Fellow in the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution

From February 15-25, 2018, the Crown Center's research team and members of its Advisory Board traveled to Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. The trip included structured dialogues, individual meetings with experts and government officials, interactions with members of civil society, and a special journey to the southern region of Saudi Arabia adjacent to the Yemen border...Read More


NEW DATE: Wednesday, April 11, 2018 - Brown Bag Seminar
Cost of Governing: Morocco’s Party of Justice and Development after 2011
Mohammed Masbah, Junior Research Fellow at the Crown Center

Since 2011, the Islamist Justice and Development Party (PJD) has led Morocco's coalition government. Despite increasing the number of its representatives in parliament in 2015 and 2016, due to pressures from the palace and other coalition partners, the PJD was forced to make concessions to continue its rule...Read More


Wednesday, March 7, 2018 - Brown Bag Seminar
Prisons, Politics, and Public Life in Modern Iran
Golnar Nikpour, Neubauer Junior Research Fellow at the Crown Center

This talk traces the history of the prison in modern Iran. Examining the expansion and centralization of the Iranian penal and criminal codes in the Pahlavi era (1925-1979), Golnar Nikpour argues that the Iranian prison system becomes a public space for questions of ethics, rights, citizenship, and political belonging and un-belonging...Read More


Middle East Brief
The Iranian Economy Two Years after the Nuclear Agreement
Nader Habibi, Henry J. Leir Professor of the Economics of the Middle East at the Crown Center

January 16, 2018 marked two years since the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action – the nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1 – lifted international nuclear-related sanctions. Although the agreement was expected to bring significant economic benefits to Iran, the weeks leading up to this anniversary witnessed Iranians protesting in the streets of many cities against continued economic hardship....Read More


Middle East Brief
Trump's Jerusalem Declaration and "The Ultimate Deal"
Shai Feldman, Judith and Sidney Swartz Director of the Crown Center
Khalil Shikaki, Goldman Senior Fellow at the Crown Center

The recent storm created by President Donald Trump's declaration that the U.S. recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's capital drew attention away from an important interview that the president's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, gave at the Saban Forum a few days earlier. There, for the first time, Kushner explained the premises and the underlying logic of the Trump administration's preparations to launch negotiations leading to an “ultimate deal”...Read More