The Crown Center for Middle East Studies is committed to conducting balanced and dispassionate research of the modern Middle East that meets the highest academic standards.

The Center seeks to help make decision- and opinion-makers better informed about the region. The scope of the Center’s research includes the 22 members of the Arab League as well as Turkey, Iran, and Israel. The Crown Center’s approach is multi-disciplinary in its study of the politics, economics, history, security, sociology, and anthropology of the region’s states and societies. 

Upcoming Events

Politics of Modern Middle Eastern Art

January 22, 2020

A Brown Bag Seminar with Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi, an Emirati columnist and researcher on social, political and cultural affairs in the Arab Gulf States. Sultan is also the founder of the Barjeel Art Foundation, an independent initiative established in 2010 to contribute to the intellectual development of the art scene in the Arab region by building a prominent and publicly accessible art collection in the United Arab Emirates.

Recent News and Publications

Middle East Brief 131 (Summary) — Tunisian women have gained many new legal rights since the overthrow of President Ben Ali in January 2011, including the right to marry non-Muslims, mandated parity with men in elected bodies, and a comprehensive law against all forms of gender-based violence. This expansion of women's rights surprised many Tunisians who thought that the country's existing "pro-women" policies, often described as the most progressive in the Arab world, would be rolled back after the revolution, particularly as the Islamic party, Ennahda, was gaining political and electoral power.

Middle East Brief 130 (Summary) — The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) plays a prominent role in carrying out the Islamic Republic’s foreign policy agenda. Noting this, the Trump administration has targeted the IRGC as part of its maximum pressure policy on Iran, recently announcing that the U.S. will designate it as a Foreign Terrorist Organization. In this Brief, Maryam Alemzadeh describes the inherently informal nature of the IRGC and the notable degree of freedom that it possesses to embark on actions that go against centrally devised policies.

The National Interest — A few days after President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, unveiled the U.S. economic peace plan in Bahrain, Trump addressed the topic during a press conference at the end of the G20 summit in Japan. The president said that there would never be an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement if one is not negotiated during his presidency. He also opined that there is a “very good chance” his proposal for solving the decades-long conflict could succeed.

Middle East Brief 129 (Summary) — Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s announcement in February 2019 that he would run for a fifth term triggered the rise of a mass protest movement known as the Hirak. The Hirak brought together diverse and fractious political currents in peaceful demonstrations that, less than seven weeks later, led to Bouteflika’s ouster after 20 years in office. Yet protests continued, demanding deeper changes to the political system and hindering the military’s attempt to engineer a rapid transition. In this Brief, Thomas Serres links the durability of Algeria’s revolutionary movement.