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Recent Publications

Middle East Brief
Implementing Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030: An Interim Balance Sheet
Nader Habibi

Middle East Brief
Trump's Peace Plan: Engagement or Swift Rejection?
Shai Feldman and Khalil Shikaki

Middle East Brief
How Saudi Suburbs Shaped Islamic Activism
Pascal Menoret

Middle East Brief
The Return of Geo-Economics and the Emergence of Co-Prosperity Zones in the Middle East
Abdel Monem Said Aly

Middle East Brief
Fragmentation and Localization in Yemen's War: Challenges and Opportunities for Peace
Stacey Philbrick Yadav

Middle East Brief
How Oil and Demography Shape Post-Saddam Iraq
David Siddhartha Patel

Crown Center

In the News - May 13, 2019
Regional Consequences of Saudi Arabia's New Approach toward Iraq
Nader Habibi, Henry J. Leir Professor of the Economics of the Middle East at the Crown Center

Up until late 2014, Saudi Arabia viewed Iraq’s Shia-dominated government as an ally of its regional rival, Iran. Saudis had strongly opposed the U.S. 2003 invasion, which removed Saddam Hussein’s Baath regime and led to the empowerment of the Shias. For twelve years (2003-2015) the Saudi government funded Sunni parties and armed the Sunni militant groups that engaged in violent campaigns against Shia targets...Read More


Special Announcement - May 8, 2019
Charles (Corky) Goodman Chair in Middle East History Naghmeh Sohrabi Receives the Michael L. Walzer '56 Award for Teaching

What students had to say about Sohrabi: "Professor Sohrabi brought incredible enthusiasm and passion to a course that made everyone genuinely want to read 200 pages and prepare themselves for class. It was never about a grade in her classroom. It was about learning. She cares very much about all of her students, and she challenges them to learn and keep learning in a respectful and exciting way."...Read More


Middle East Brief - April 2019
Implementing Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030: An Interim Balance Sheet
Nader Habibi, Henry J. Leir Professor of the Economics of the Middle East at the Crown Center

Launched in April 2016 and closely associated with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Vision 2030 is an ambitious set of economic and social initiatives aimed primarily at transforming the economy of Saudi Arabia. The conventional wisdom among journalists and analysts is that a series of crises and policies – including massive Saudi intervention in the war in Yemen and the assassination of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi – have hurt Vision 2030...Read More


Brown Bag Seminar - May 1, 2019
Are Separatists the New Spoilers in the Middle East?
Ariel I. Ahram ('01), Associate Professor in the School of Public and International Affairs at Virginia Tech

In the wars in Yemen, Syria, and Libya, separatist militias have played critical roles in sustaining local orders as national politics unravelled as well as in fighting ISIS and other radical Islamist groups. In this talk, Ariel I. Ahram explains that while efforts are underway to end the fighting in each of these countries, conflict resolution efforts typically exclude such separatist actors. Ahram argues that...Read More


Special Announcement - April 15, 2019
Changes in Leadership at the Crown Center

Shai Feldman, the founding director of Brandeis University’s Crown Center for Middle East Studies and professor of politics, has been named the next president of Sapir College, near Sderot, Israel. Effective September 1, 2019, Feldman will take a leave from Brandeis University and the Crown Center to assume this exciting and challenging role...Read More


Middle East Brief - April 2019
Trump's Peace Plan: Engagement or Swift Rejection?
Shai Feldman, Crown Family Director of the Crown Center and Professor of Politics at Brandeis University
Khalil Shikaki, Goldman Senior Fellow at the Crown Center and Director of the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PCPSR) in Ramallah

The Trump administration plans to unveil its detailed proposal for peace between Israel and the Palestinians sometime after the April 9th Israeli elections. Will the so-called "ultimate deal" be dead on arrival or could it lead the two sides to re-engage in serious negotiations based upon the plan's details and conditions for implementation? In this Brief, Shai Feldman and Khalil Shikaki identify factors critical to the success of Trump’s initiative. They examine...Read More