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Recent Publications

Working Paper
The Economic Legacy of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Nader Habibi

Middle East Brief
“Resetting” U.S.-Egypt Relations
Abdel Monem Said Aly & Shai Feldman

Middle East Brief
Is Hezbollah Confronting a Crisis of Popular Legitimacy?
Eric Lob

Middle East Brief
The Syrian Baath Party and Sunni Islam: Conflicts and Connivance
Thomas Pierret

Book
Arabs and Israelis: Conflict and Peacemaking in the Middle East
Abdel Monem Said Aly, Shai Feldman, Khalil Shikaki

 

Crown Center


Working Paper
The Economic Legacy of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Nader Habibi is the Henry J. Leir Professor of the Economics of the Middle East at the Crown Center, Brandeis University.

In June 2013, in a surprise election result, Hasan Rouhani, a pragmatic cleric succeeded Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as Iran's president. During his eight year presidency Ahmadinejad's radical foreign policy statements received considerable attention in the international media. Inside Iran, however, it was his economic policies that engendered the most contentious debates. In this Working Paper, Prof. Nader Habibi evaluates the legacy of Ahmadinejad’s presidency ... Read More


April 7, 2014 - BBC
Will Iran price hikes fuel discontent?
Nader Habibi,  Henry J. Leir Professor of the Economics of the Middle East, quoted by the BBC

"The real price of utilities has declined, and as a result, the cost of government price subsidies has sharply increased. The [Iranian] government is faced with large budget deficits. The price adjustments for utilities were inevitable." ... Read More


April 1, 2014 - Deutsche Welle
'You can keep buying time'
Senior Fellow Khalil Shikaki discusses the opportunities and consequences of extending the current Israeli-Palestinian negotiations ... Read More


Middle East Brief
“Resetting” U.S.-Egypt Relations
Abdel Monem Said Aly, Senior Fellow at the Crown Center
Shai Feldman, Judith and Sidney Swartz Director of the Crown Center

Since the ousting of President Mohammad Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood regime on June 30, 2013, US-Egypt relations have been on the worst negative trajectory seen since President Anwar Sadat reconciled with the United States nearly four decades ago. In this Brief, Dr. Abdel Monem Said Aly and Prof. Shai Feldman explore the growing rift between Washington and Cairo ... Read More

See also the corresponding editorial by Abdel Monem Said Aly and Shai Feldman in The National Interest.


Video - Panel Discussion
1914 and the History of the Middle East: Reassessing the First World War and Its Impact on the Region
Watch an in-depth discussion on how new findings have changed our understanding of World War I and how the war dramatically transformed the Middle East. ... Watch the Full Event


March 24, 2014
Naghmeh Sohrabi awarded the competitive Mellon New Directions Fellowship
Naghmeh Sohrabi, Associate Director for Research at the Crown Center was awarded the competitive Mellon New Directions Fellowship from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The fellowship is awarded to ten scholars nationally for training in subjects outside their specialization. ... Read More


Middle East Brief
Is Hezbollah Confronting a Crisis of Popular Legitimacy?
Eric Lob, Junior Research Fellow at the Crown Center

Since the battle of Qusayr and Hezbollah's direct military involvement in the Syrian crisis, analysts have pondered whether Hezbollah's actions resulted in a crisis of legitimacy for the party in Lebanon. In this Brief, Dr. Eric Lob argues that the roots of this crisis are multi-varied and date earlier than recent events suggest. ... Read More


The National Interest - March 8, 2014
Iran Deal: Keeping Israel On Board
Shai Feldman, Judith and Sidney Swartz Director of the Crown Center
Oren Setter, Research Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

The recent launching by the P5+1 of negotiations of a comprehensive deal with Iran regarding its nuclear program poses serious dilemmas for both the U.S. and Israel given the enormous stakes involved. ... For Israel, the stakes in these negotiations are even higher—it sees itself as the primary target of a future Iranian nuclear force and regards such a capability as an existential threat. Read More


Al-Monitor - February 18, 2014
Rouhani takes on privatization in budget
Amir Hossein Mahdavi, Graduate Research Assistant at the Crown Center; & Ali Reza Eshraghi, Iran Program Manager at the Institute for War and Peace Reporting

On Feb. 10, the Iranian parliament, or Majlis, approved the proposed budget for the year 1393 (March 21, 2014, to March 20, 2015). The numbers are not the most striking aspect of this budget. Rather, it is the punctuality of the administration's handing the budget to the Majlis on time that speaks volumes. ... Read More


Middle East Brief
The Syrian Baath Party and Sunni Islam: Conflicts and Connivance
 Thomas Pierret, Lecturer in Contemporary Islam at the University of Edinburgh

Since the beginning of the Syrian uprising in March 2011, religion has occupied an increasingly central role in the opposition. In this Brief, Dr. Thomas Pierret explores the issue of sectarianism in Syria ... Read More


Al-Monitor - February 5, 2014
Iran nuclear talks could benefit from shift in Israel
Quote by Shai Feldman, Judith and Sidney Swartz Director

"...there is 'a body in the Israeli professional level that is open to the possibility that the interim agreement with Iran is the equivalent of the disengagement agreements [between Israel] and Egypt' after the 1973 Middle East war.' The nuclear deal, Feldman said, may be 'the first step toward a fundamental change and may lead to a reassessment by Iran of its overall regional posture. While the evidence is still thin, openness to the possibility exists' in Israel." ... Read More


VOA News - February 5, 2014
Mideast Wary Over Iraq-Iran Plan to Unite in Oil Market
Quote by Nader Habibi, Henry J. Leir Professor of the Economics of the Middle East at the Crown Center

"'The cooperation between Iran and Iraq is more than just oil because both governments are Shi'ite-dominated governments, and they share some strategic interests,'...'So I am sure other countries in the region are closely watching the level of cooperation between Iran and Iraq.' For now, though, experts like Habibi expect Iran to keep the focus on oil. 'Especially because Iran has economic problems and the government is more focused on trying to resolve those issues and improve the economic conditions,' he said. 'And that requires a more moderate foreign policy.'" ... Read More


New Crown Book
Arabs and Israelis: Conflict and Peacemaking in the Middle East
Abdel Monem Said Aly, Shai Feldman and Khalil Shikaki

This ground-breaking new university textbook is the first on the Arab-Israeli conflict to have been co-authored by a Palestinian, an Israeli, and an Egyptian representing a broader Arab perspective. ... Read More.