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

All Spring 2020 events have been cancelled.

March 12, 2020


Recent News and Publications

Middle East Brief 134 (Summary) — Jordanian society is often described in terms of a native Transjordanian tribal population supporting the Hashemite monarchy against a larger population of Palestinians. In this Brief, Yazan Doughan argues that this constellation of identities was the product of a particular historical moment in the kingdom’s history—1967-1989—and that a new form of Jordanian patriotism has come to replace it in recent years. This new patriotism, expressed in the language of economic and human rights and commitment to the homeland, rather than allegiance to the person of the King, was a product both of the state’s liberalization of the economy and of the nationalization of politics since the 1980s. During Jordan’s “Arab Spring” of 2011-12, Doughan found that activists utilized this language as they sought to claim popular sovereignty against a king whom they accused of corruption, leading previously disparate groups—including so-called regime loyalists—to join the popular movement for reform, known as the Hirak. The Brief concludes by addressing what this change in civic patriotism says about the willingness of the current generation of Jordanian activists to call for revolution.

February 27, 2020

In the News (Summary) Throughout five years of war, Yemeni women have engaged in a broad range of activities that contribute to social cohesion and informal peacebuilding in their communities. While they may not always describe their work in such terms, women are already laying foundations for sustainable peace through everyday practices that have the capacity to help transform the landscape of women’s rights in the post-war period.

Middle East Brief 133 (Summary) — The peace treaty signed between Israel and Jordan twenty-five years ago, often referred to as the Wadi Araba Treaty, was meant to usher in an era of friendly relations and cooperation between the two countries, open the way for reconciliation between Israel and the wider Arab world, and place Jordan in a position to mediate a fair settlement between the Jewish state and the Palestinians. Today, little remains of those lofty promises and Israeli-Jordanian relations remain a "cold peace." In this Brief, Dror Zeevi explores the domestic, bilateral, and regional issues that contributed to this impasse.

January 17, 2020

Crown Conversations (Summary) — The Crown Center for Middle East Studies is pleased to announce the inauguration of a new publication series titled Crown Conversations. Drawing on the wealth of regional expertise at the Crown Center, this series will focus on recent developments in the Middle East with two goals: to draw attention to aspects of ongoing events that are overlooked in the U.S. news media and to provide insights into the wider regional and global implications of the news. Our first Crown Conversation, "Iran, Iraq, and Lebanon after Soleimani," was organized and edited by Naghmeh Sohrabi and David Siddhartha Patel and features Maryam Alemzadeh, David Siddhartha Patel, and Kelly Stedem. It focuses on the targeted killing of Iranian General Qasim Soleimani and others by a U.S. drone strike in Iraq on January 3, 2020 and its short- and medium-term effects on domestic politics in Iran, Iraq, and Lebanon.

December 20, 2019

From the Director's Desk (Summary) — North Korea and Iran have posed the toughest challenges to recent U.S. efforts to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons. Using basically the same tools, the U.S. has failed to stop North Korea from acquiring them but succeeded—at least so far—in stopping Iran. In a speech to the National War College in December, Crown Family Director Gary Samore discussed and contrasted the two cases, focusing on the motivations of the regimes to acquire nuclear weapons, the vulnerability of each economy to international pressures, and U.S. non-proliferation objectives and options. He analyzes what President Trump’s shift to top-down personal diplomacy with North Korea and a "maximum pressure" campaign on Iran have accomplished to date and options going forward.