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Crown Center


Middle East Brief
The Evolution of Iran's Police Forces and Social Control in the Islamic Republic
Saeid Golkar, Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

In late June 2018, demonstrations and strikes spread throughout Iran. This unrest followed a widespread wave of protests that began in the final days of 2017 and continued into January. Both sets of protests started over economic issues, but soon turned to political and social concerns. Despite their dramatic spread, however, these recent protests...Read More


Middle East Brief
Drugs and Drug Policy in the Islamic Republic of Iran
Golnar Nikpour, Neubauer Junior Research Fellow at the Crown Center

After the 2001 U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan, Iran, which lies on drug trafficking routes from Afghanistan to Europe, experienced a dramatic increase in the number of drug users. Over the years, the Islamic Republic's response to the crisis has moved away from draconian measures, including capital punishment. Most recently, the country amended strict drug trafficking laws...Read More


In the News: June 12, 2018 - The Conversation
Iran's mild response to unprecedented truckers' strike could be due to Trump's influence
Nader Habibi, Henry J. Leir Professor of the Economics of the Middle East at the Crown Center

Last month, the Trump administration backed out of the 2015 deal his predecessor made with Iran that traded giving up nuclear ambitions for sanctions relief. The U.S. is expected to soon tighten the screws even further by imposing the "strongest sanctions in history" in an effort to limit Iran's missile program as well as...Read More


In the News: June 8, 2018 - University World News
Graduates push school leavers out of low-skill jobs
Nader Habibi, Henry J. Leir Professor of the Economics of the Middle East at the Crown Center
GholamReza Keshavarz Haddad, Visiting Research Scholar at the Crown Center

In recent years Iran’s labour market has failed to generate adequate employment for the growing number of university graduates. As a result, not only has the unemployment rate among university graduates sharply increased, but a growing number of university graduates who have found employment are working in occupations that do not require university skills...Read More


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