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Recent Publications

Middle East Brief
Post-Revolution Egyptian Foreign Policy
Abdel Monem Said Aly

Middle East Brief
A Comprehensive Nuclear Deal with Iran: Not Mission Impossible
Seyedamir Hossein Mahdavi

Middle East Brief
The Road to Rule of Law in the Arab World: Comparative Insights
Eva Bellin

Middle East Brief
Stabilizing Gaza-Israel Relations: What Would It Take?
Shai Feldman and Khalil Shikaki

Middle East Brief
Deciphering Abdel Fattah el-Sisi: President of Egypt’s Third Republic
Abdel Monem Said Aly

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

Crown Center


Middle East Brief
Post-Revolution Egyptian Foreign Policy
Abdel Monem Said Aly, the Chairman of the Board, CEO, and Director of the Regional Center for Strategic Studies in Cairo and a Senior Fellow at the Crown Center

In the wake of the 2011 revolution, Egypt has experienced two radical transformations in its leadership and, correspondingly, in its foreign policy agenda. In this Brief, Abdel Monem Said Aly examines the foreign and national security policies of Abdel Fattah el-Sisi ... Read More


Middle East Brief
A Comprehensive Nuclear Deal with Iran: Not Mission Impossible
Seyedamir Hossein Mahdavi, a former member of the Central Council of Mujahedin Inqilab, a reformist party in Iran, and in 2013-14 was a researcher at the Crown Center.

As the November 24 deadline for a comprehensive agreement between Iran and the P5+1 to resolve the nuclear conflict nears, analysts have become increasingly pessimistic about the prospects of reaching such an agreement. In this Brief, Seyedamir Hossein Mahdavi challenges this 'common wisdom.'... Read More


In the News - October 10, 2014
'Grand Bargain' in Yemen, Iraq Latest Sign of Iran-Saudi Arabia Thaw
Nader Habibi, Henry J. Leir Professor of Economics of the Middle East at the Crown Center, Brandeis University

In September, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met with his Saudi counterpart, Saud al-Faisal, in New York in the latest attempt under Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to reduce the prevailing hostilities between Tehran and Riyadh. So far it appears the Saudi leadership has responded positively ... Read More


Middle East Brief
The Road to Rule of Law in the Arab World: Comparative Insights
Eva Bellin, Myra and Robert Kraft Professor of Arab Politics at the Crown Center and the Department of Politics at Brandeis University

The uprisings that swept the Arab world in 2011-2012 were sparked by many catalysts. Not least among them was the desire to put an end to arbitrary rule and install what political analysts call “the rule of law." In this Brief, Eva Bellin examines ... Read More


In the News - September 2014
New Understandings of the Yemini Civil War
Asher Orkaby, Junior Research Fellow at the Crown Center

Asher Orkaby explores two elements of Yemeni Civil War in The Yemeni civil war and the UN Yemen Observer Mission (ODI HPG Working Paper, September 2014) and The Yemeni Civil War: The Final British–Egyptian Imperial Battleground (Middle East Studies, September 2014).


Open Position
Faculty Position in the Modern Middle East

The Crown Center invites applications for an open-rank (tenured or tenure-track) faculty position in the modern Middle East. Priority will be given to scholars with expertise in one or more of the following three areas: (a) Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States; (b) Syria and Lebanon; (c) Turkey. ... Read More


September 2014 - Diplomatist
Libya: One Step Forward, Two Steps Backwards
Jean-Louis Romanet Perroux, Junior Research Fellow at the Crown Center

Jean-Louis Romanet Perroux lays out the key elements that led to the current crisis in Libya. ... Read More


September 11, 2014 - Al-Ahram
Victory and Defeat
Abdel Monem Said Aly, Chairman of the Board, CEO, and Director of the Regional Center for Strategic Studies in Cairo, Chairman of Al-Masry Al-Youm and a Senior Fellow at the Crown Center

We were students at the time of the June 1967 defeat. In spite of the magnitude of the loss, Egyptian people were set on resistance. It was a collective resolve and it was translated into practical measures that were immediately set into motion. ... Read More


September 8, 2014 - The National Interest
The 2014 Israel-Hamas War: A Preliminary Net Assessment
Shai Feldman, Judith and Sidney Swartz Director of the Crown Center

On August 26, after more than fifty days of fighting, the latest phase of the Israel-Hamas War ended with an Egyptian-mediated ceasefire. The following are a number of early reflections on this recent explosion of Palestinian-Israeli violence: ... Read More


Crown Center Annual Kickoff Event - August 27, 2014
Flashpoints in the Middle East

Did you spend the summer wondering what is going on in the Middle East? Then watch the lively and engaging panel discussion with Crown Center scholars on these and other hot button issues in the Middle East today. ... Watch Here


August 25, 2014 - Iran Matters
Is the lack of clarity about the Iran-Russia oil-for-goods deal intentional?
Nader Habibi, Henry J. Leir Professor of the Economics of the Middle East at the Crown Center, Brandeis University

Nader Habibi unpacks the possible motivations for the mixed signals from Moscow and Tehran regarding a proposed oil-for-goods deal between the two countries. Both countries, he argues, face domestic opposition to the deal but want to maintain the possibility of a deal as a hedge against tightening Western sanctions. ... Read More


Middle East Brief
Stabilizing Gaza-Israel Relations: What Would It Take?
Shai Feldman, Judith and Sidney Swartz Director of the Crown Center
Khalil Shikaki, Director of the Palestinian Center for Political and Survey Research and a Senior Fellow at the Crown Center

The 2014 Gaza-Israel War has created an opportunity to launch a more stable paradigm between Gaza and Israel, and between Israelis and Palestinians more broadly. In this Brief, Shai Feldman and Khalil Shikaki present the elements required to transform a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas into a lasting de-escalation processes. ... Read More

This Brief is an expanded version of the article"Stability Is Still Possible in Gaza. Here's How.," The National Interest, August 8, 2014.


July 22, 2014 - World Politics Review
Strategic Posture Review: Israel
Shai Feldman, Judith and Sidney Swartz Director of the Crown Center

Israel’s threat environment has changed dramatically in recent years, so much so that the change can be characterized as transformative if not revolutionary. This is especially the case when compared to the regional environment Israel faced during its first decades, the 1950s and 1960s, when its defense doctrine was first articulated and its force structure was first conceived. ... Read More


Middle East Brief
Deciphering Abdel Fattah el-Sisi: President of Egypt’s Third Republic
Abdel Monem Said Aly, Chairman of the Board, CEO, and Director of the Regional Center for Strategic Studies in Cairo and a Senior Fellow at the Crown Center

On June 8, 2014 Field-Marshall Abdel Fattah el-Sisi was sworn in as Egypt’s fifth president amid monumental challenges to Egypt's path towards democracy and economic prosperity. As a result, many commentators have already declared him as doomed to fail. In this Brief, Dr. Abdel Monem Said Aly attempts to decipher the meaning of Sisi’s ascent to Egypt’s presidency by ... Read More


12th GCSP/Crown Center/GRC Annual Conference
The Middle East and North Africa: Change and Upheaval 2014

The Crown Center is a cosponsor of the 12th GCSP/Crown Center/GRC Annual Conference: "The Middle East and North Africa: Change and Upheaval 2014". Read the post conference report here.


July 14, 2014 - The National Interest
Five Early Lessons from the Israel-Hamas War
Shai Feldman, Judith and Sidney Swartz Director of the Crown Center

Israel and Hamas are currently locked in an escalating violent confrontation neither sought. As the clash is still ongoing, with no end currently in sight, it is way too early to reach any definitive conclusions about it. However, five preliminary assessments help explain why the conflict broke out, what's shaping it, and what's too soon to tell. ... Read More


July 4, 2014 - PRI's The World
On the 4th of July, one Iraq scholar reflects on a country still struggling to find peace
An interview with Crown Center Junior Fellow David Siddhartha Patel

Patel has been researching and writing about holy Shiite shrines in Iraq for years and he says as ISIS captures territory across the country, any attack on these sites could trigger a major regional tension. ... Read the full interview


June 27, 2014 - Jerusalem Post
Palestinian Affairs: Abduction Politics
An interview with Crown Center Senior Fellow Khalil Shikaki

The kidnapping and the IDF crackdown on the West Bank that followed it will boost Hamas’s popularity among Palestinians, Dr. Khalil Shikaki, Director of the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, told The Jerusalem Post this week. ... Read the full interview


Middle East Brief
"Worried" or "Valiant"? The Dialectic Between Iran’s Nuclear Negotiations and its Domestic Politics
Seyedamir Hossein Mahdavi, Research Assistant at the Crown Center

For years, public discussions of Iran's nuclear program and the negotiations surrounding it were considered to be off limits in the Iranian political sphere. But in recent months and as the negotiations with the P5+1 continue, not only have these discussions become a matter of public debate, they have realigned the political elite along a nuclear fault line. In this Brief, Seyedamir Hossein Mahdavi examines this new dialectic between Iran's foreign and domestic politics by ... Read More



Middle East Brief
Can Rouhani Revitalize Iran’s Oil and Gas Industry?
Nader Habibi, Henry J. Leir Professor of the Economics of the Middle East at the Crown Center,Brandeis University

Soon after his victory in the June 2013 election, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced that reforming and revitalizing Iran's oil and gas sector would be one of his government’s top priorities. In this Brief, Prof. Nader Habibi evaluates this reform program by analyzing the developments in Iran's oil sector under Ahmadinejad, providing a detailed account of the reforms proposed and implemented by Rouhani, and ascertaining the possible challenges facing these reforms within the oil ministry and the broader political landscape. ... 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.