Working Papers

The Gaza Equation: The Regional Dimension of a Local Conflict

The paper provides historical and political context to current diplomatic and humanitarian developments in the Gaza Strip, and investigates the present and the future of the area. Special attention is given to the political, economic and security dimensions, as well as the relationship between this area and the broader region. The conclusions linger on whether [...]

Russian Policies Towards the MENA Region

Russia wields its influence in pursuit of important state interests. As in the Soviet era, contemporary Russia declares ambitious goals and pursues them in a desperate effort to play a decisive role in world politics. The overall objective of Russian foreign policy is to become a world power, and gaining influence over the MENA region [...]

Embeddedness of the MENA in Economic Globalization Processes

MENA countries’ integration in processes of economic globalization has trailed behind many emerging markets in Asia, but also Latin America. This applies especially to the “bunker states” and “bully praetorian states” of the Arab republics and Iran, less so to Lebanon and the “globalizing monarchies” of the GCC, Morocco, and Jordan and even less to [...]

Religion and Politics. Religious Diversity, Political Fragmentation and Geopolitical Tensions in the MENA Region

Motivated by the need to inform the enduring and unresolved debates about religion and politics in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, this report focuses on the relation between social change and religious diversity and the challenges this poses for the state–religion relationship. It also draws attention to the pluralization of the religious [...]

Military Factors in the Mena Region: Challenging Trends

Although the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has witnessed a long series of conflicts since the end of the Second World War, it is now in the unprecedented situation where nearly all MENA states are involved to a certain extent in ongoing conflict (e.g. in the Iraq–Syria area; Libya; Yemen). MENA states are [...]

Material Factors for the Mena Region: Energy Trends

This report analyses the key energy factors and trends shaping the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region’s energy landscape. The unsustainable increase in energy demand, driven by population and economic growth, is exerting considerable pressure on governments in the region to institute significant policy changes and demand-side measures as well as energy mix diversification [...]

Environmental Factors in the MENA Region: A SWOT Analysis

The MENARA study area has undergone significant transformation over twenty years decades, resulting from a combination of ideational and material factors. In this report, we examine the magnitude, distribution and trends in key environmental and energy factors that materially affect the economic, social and political profile of the MENA region. We do this by conducting [...]

Demographic and Economic Material Factors in the MENA Region

The Middle East and North Africa is one of the world’s most rapidly transforming regions, politically, economically, demographically and environmentally. Despite largely declining total fertility rates, the momentum of absolute population growth will mean that the region surpasses China in terms of total population by 2090. Land degradation, water stress and trends of urbanisation will [...]

Global identities: Embedding the Middle East and the North Africa Region in the Wider World

This paper outlines the ways in which the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has been embedded in global identity processes and structures in the post-2011 period. It assesses MENA social and political developments in relation to global ideational and identity factors. Important among these is the imagined yet increasingly widespread and pernicious idea [...]

Challenging the State in the Middle East and North Africa: the role of identities

Since independence, states in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region have been dominant players in shaping the regional order. The purpose of this paper is to explore and define challenges to the state and their role in shaping identities in the MENA region, and to evaluate their regional roots. The paper emphasizes two [...]