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 multidisciplinary in its study of the politics, economics, history, security, sociology and anthropology of the region's states and societies.


Crown Center Analyses on Hamas and Israel

Seated on a stage from left to right: Michal Ben-Josef Hirsch, Khalil Shikaki, Shai Feldman, and Abdel Monem Said Aly

The Crown Center is dedicated to sharing balanced and dispassionate research on the Middle East. Please see the Crown Center analyses which delve into the roots and evolution of the conflict between Hamas and Israel.

Image credit: Craig Bailey/Perspective Photo

Latest Middle East Brief

Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, and head of the Council of Senior Religious Scholars, Sheik Abdul-Aziz Al-Sheik, prays at the Imam Turki bin Abdullah mosque during Eid al-Fitr morning prayers in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Sept. 9, 2010.

In recent years, Saudi Arabia has seen rapid social transformations driven by the country’s crown prince and de facto ruler, Mohammed bin Salman (commonly known as MBS). These initiatives have included the promotion of what MBS calls “moderate Islam” and the arrest of Saudi preachers in ever increasing numbers for allegedly promoting extremism and destabilizing the Saudi state. In our latest Middle East Brief, Raihan Ismail assesses how the relationship between the ruling family and religious establishment has changed under MBS and what recent trends within Saudi religious circles can tell us about the status of the Saudi Salafi/Wahhabi religious tradition in the kingdom. Ismail argues that while state-clerical conflict is not new, and religious institutions remain intact, MBS has effectively subdued the religious establishment and reduced its capacity to challenge his social reforms.

Image credit: AP Photo/Hassan Ammar, File

Counter/Argument: A Middle East Podcast

Counter/Argument: A Middle East Podcast

Counter/Argument: A Middle East Podcast is produced by the Crown Center for Middle East Studies at Brandeis University. Through conversations with scholars and practitioners encompassing a variety of disciplines and perspectives, each episode will debunk key misconceptions about the contemporary Middle East. "Counter/Argument" is committed to a balanced and dispassionate approach to the region and to making scholarship more widely accessible. Available wherever you get your podcasts.

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Image credit: Chae Lee