Working Papers

The Governance of Migration and Border Controls in the European-North African Context

Against the backdrop of the growing leverage that MENA states have been acquiring vis-à-vis Europe on the issue of migration and border controls over the last decade, this paper identifies a number of trends in the responses of MENA states on these issues. By providing examples from the western Mediterranean, especially North African countries, it [...]

Regional Powers and the Production of Insecurity in the Middle East

What impact have regional powers had on shaping regional order in the Middle East? What role will they play in the future of the regional system? Following the US-led invasion of Iraq and the failure of the USA to establish regional order, the area has witnessed a series of attempts by regional states to project [...]

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 [...]