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

December 7, 2022, 11:00am-12:15pm EST
"Saharanism: Intellectual and Literary Histories of a Desert-focused Imagination"
Brahim El Guabli in conversation with Samia Henni

February 1, 2023, 11:00am-12:15pm EST
"To Which Victor Go the Spoils? Predicting 'The Day After' Regimes Fall"
Peter Krause

March 1, 2023, 11:00am-12:15pm EST
"How Even Failed Protests are Politically Significant: Insights from Jordan"
Jillian Schwedler

March 29, 2023, 11:00am-12:15pm EDT
"One War, Two Countries: Syria and Ukraine"
Deborah Amos

April 19, 2023, 11:00am-12:15 EDT
"Exportability and Commitment: Arabic Literature in the Euro-American Market"
Hosam Aboul-Ela

Catch up on past seminars over at our YouTube channel.

Recent News and Publications

October 3, 2022

Crown Conversations 15 (Summary) — In April, the two main warring parties in Yemen—the Houthi movement and the Government of Yemen—agreed to a two-month truce brokered by the United Nations that has since been extended twice. After the initial truce, Yemeni President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi handed power to an eight-member Presidential Leadership Council, a development that many Yemenis and observers hope will lead to an end of almost eight years of war in the country. In this Crown Conversation, we spoke with Yasmeen al-Eryani and Stacey Philbrick Yadav about efforts to end the war, the importance of inclusion in peacebuilding, and the myriad ways in which conflict and international humanitarian efforts have changed the nature of research in Yemen.

August 19, 2022

Middle East Brief 149 (Summary) — The question of Iran's nuclear capabilities has been a major issue in US foreign policy for several decades. While many analysts have probed the politics of decision-making inside the Iranian regime, the technical dimensions of Iran's nuclear program are less understood. In our latest Middle East Brief, Gary Samore discusses what Tehran would need to do to build a nuclear bomb—and how quickly it could do it. Samore presents three possible scenarios in which Iran might obtain nuclear capabilities: breakout, sneak out, and creep out. US foreign policy towards Iran will only be effective, Samore suggests, if we accurately understand the technical foundations of Tehran’s nuclear aspirations.

August 12, 2022

Announcements (Summary) — We are happy to announce the publication of the 2nd edition of the ground-breaking textbook, Arabs and Israelis: Conflict and Peacemaking in the Middle East by Abdel Monem Said Aly, Shai Feldman, and Khalil Shikaki. Feldman is the founding director of the Crown Center for Middle East Studies and returns to the Center this September as the first holder of the Raymond Frankel Chair in Israeli Politics and Society. Said Aly and Shikaki are both founding senior fellows of the Crown Center. Originally published in 2013 by Palgrave MacMillan, the 1st edition of Arabs and Israelis: Conflict and Peacemaking in the Middle East was the first-ever textbook on the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict co-authored by an Egyptian, an Israeli, and a Palestinian. The book is based on the three scholars' years of team-teaching "Conflict and Peacemaking in the Middle East" in Brandeis University's Politics Department. The new edition, published by Bloomsbury (London), is substantially revised and updated to include the signing and aftermath of the 2020 Abraham Accords and the eruption of the May 2021 Fourth Israel-Hamas War.

July 28, 2022

Announcements (Summary) — We are pleased to announce that the Raymond Frankel Foundation has made a generous gift of $3 million to the center to establish the Raymond Frankel Chair in Israeli Politics and Society. Shai Feldman, the founding director of the Crown Center, will serve as the first Frankel chair-holder.

July 8, 2022

Crown Conversations 14 (Summary)After the Jasmine Revolution of 2011, the Islamist movement Ennahda reemerged in Tunisia and frequently has been the largest party in the parliament and kingmaker in coalition governments. Consequently, it has borne the brunt of many Tunisians' growing disenchantment with their post-revolutionary political system. Since President Kais Saied's power grab in July 2021 and subsequent dissolution of parliament, Ennahda and its leader, Rached Ghannouchi, have tried to oppose the coup without triggering a violent crackdown by the state or alienating allies and party members. Nonetheless, in the lead-up to a national referendum scheduled for July 25 to approve a new draft constitution, Tunisian courts imposed a travel ban on Ghannouchi and froze various Ennahda leaders' bank accounts. In this Crown Conversation, the third in a series on Tunisia, we spoke with Andrew F. March—who has interviewed Ghannouchi extensively and is co-writing a book with him—about the history of Ennahda, how it has responded to Saied's actions, and where the movement goes from here.