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2012

20 December 2012
"Syria and the EU. The crisis in Syria and the international sanctions with a focus on Syrian-EU relations" - analysis by Peter Seeberg

The Syrian crisis in 2011-2012 has seen a reaction from regional and international actors, where restrictive measures against the Syrian regime have been brought into play. Also the EU has in rounds of tightening sanctions attempted to influence the tragic development in Syria. The EU has thereby – confronted with the clampdown on the Syrian opposition by the Syrian armed forces – given up on years of efforts aiming at entering deals with Syria, that never included the Ba’ath regime into the group of ENP-states, with which the EU gradually develops closer cooperation. The sanctions by the EU, the US, the Arab League, Turkey etc. are putting increasing pressure on the Syrian regime and the elite around it. It is the ambition of this article to describe and analyze the sanctions and discuss to which degree they have influenced the situation in Syria. Furthermore the article seeks to shed light on strategic regional and international dimensions of the sanctions against Syria with a focus on the EU as actor vis-à-vis a MENA-region in transition.

20 December 2012
"The Ideational Underpinning of Planning in the Gulf countries" - analysis by Martin Hvidt

Research on the content of the current development plans published by the governments in the GCC countries (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates) show a striking similarity in the conception of the developmental challenges the countries are facing and not least in the means to overcome these problems. This paper aims to identify the ideational input underpinning the planning effort in these countries, in an effort to explain these similarities.

13 December 2012
"2012 Nobel Prize Winner European Union as a Civilian Power in the Middle East?" - analysis by Dr. Martin Beck

Since the 1970s, the self-image of European foreign policy towards the Middle East has been shaped by the approach of a “civilian power.” This image has received prominent external support when the Norwegian nobel committee awarded the EU the nobel prize for peace in October 2012. An ideal “civilian power” is supposed to base its foreign policy on values of democracy and peace. Yet, in terms of European policy towards the Middle East, both inconsistencies in the approach and realities on the ground in the Middle East as well as a hostile international environment resulted in policies that mostly did not correspond to the ideals of a civilian power. The recent cataclysms in the Arab Middle East, as triggered by toppling decade-long authoritarian leaders, particularly Ben Ali of Tunisia and Mubarak of Egypt, are both a challenge and an opportunity for reconciliation between Europe and the Arab Middle East.

4 December 2012
"Israeli-Palestinian conflict" - interview with Martin Beck

 Martin Beck was interviewed in Globus on Radio 24syv (from 2:00-20:00).

20 November 2012
"Hezbollah and the Syrian uprising" - analysis by James Sater

Due to Lebanon’s multi-sectarian composition and relatively liberal political system, the country is often viewed as a mirror of contemporary Arab politics. As much as this remains true in 2012, the uprising in Syria is pushing the fragile political balance to breaking point. This analysis of contemporary events and Hezbollah’s domestic position with regards to the Syrian uprising underlines the fragility of Lebanese domestic politics. It aims to illustrate that the position of one protagonist, Hezbollah, has substantially been weakened over the past 12 years, and that the Syrian uprising has therefore the potential of substantially radicalizing all Lebanese political groups.

20 November 2012
"The new democracies in the North Africa and the Middle East? New challenges for the EU" - article by Peter Seeberg

Peter Seeberg has an article on page 4 in theArab-EU QuarterlyAutumn 2012.

22 October 2012
"Challenges concerning industrial cluster building in Jordan" - analysis by Nasim Barham

The establishment of Industrial clusters is considered a strategy for initiating regional development and enhancing enterprise competitiveness. They enable knowledge transfer, networking, cooperation, com-petition and enhance productivity. Clusters combine the interaction between private firms of producer and provider with public organiza-tions and research institutions. However, since the 1980s, the establishment of industrial estates in Jordan did not lead to effective interaction between the firms even by interrelated industries. The external economies generated by industrial agglomeration are still the main factor steering the strategy of industrialization. This strategy reached the stage of lock-in despite the worldwide enormous changes in industrial paradigms. The industrial, as well as the social structure, presented themselves as the main obstacles hindering the transition to competitive industry and to establishment of a successful industrial cluster. The following article discusses the main results of the field research con-ducted during the first half of 2011. The cluster analysis applied is based on individual enterprises located in the King Abdullah Industrial Estate, east of the capital city of Amman.

22 October 2012
"Palestinians back on the political stage?" - analysis by Dr. Martin Beck

The Arab Spring significantly increased the coverage of Arab politics in international mass media. Yet, the “usual suspect” that regularly captures the headlines of world affairs in past decades—politics in the occupied Palestinian territories—has been remarkably absent from the headlines of reports on the Arab Spring. Yet, recently, the Palestinians appear to be back on the political stage.

27 September 2012
"The Arab Revolts and the strategic relations between the EU and the MENA region – the case of Egypt - analysis by Peter Seeberg

This paper analyzes the perspectives of the in many ways surprising development in Egypt since early 2011 for the strategic relations between Egypt and the EU. First of all existing bilateral agreements between the EU and Egypt will be discussed and to which degree changes are in the pipeline as a result of the political changes in Egypt and the Middle East following the Arab revolts. Furthermore significant strategic agreements which Egypt has entered with regional partners in the Middle East are discussed in the context of Egyptian-European relations. Finally it is the ambition to discuss to which degree we will see changes of foreign and security policy relations between Egypt and the EU after the fall of the Mubarak regime and the start of an unclear but significant transformation process.

23 June 2012
"Is an Islamist democracy emerging in North Africa?" - by Peter Seeberg

The Arab Spring represents a repoliticization of a region which for years had an image of unshakeable authoritarianism attributed to it. According to Peter Seeberg, Islamist parties have largely benefit from the new active public sphere because they represent the only well-organized alternative to the authoritarian regimes. This Brief analyses the evolution of Islamist movements in several countries and how the emergence of a new wave of Political Islam challenges the traditional policies of the EU and its member states.

17 June 2012
The Diverse Facets of Land Grabbing with Special Reference to the Middle East - by Nasim Barham

This article discusses recent agricultural transitions in the Middle East and the related phenomenon known as “land grabbing".

8 May 2012
Is Good Water Governance Possible in a Rentier State? The Case of Jordan - by Nasim Barham

This paper discusses the water problems in Jordan and the obstacles hindering the application of national water policies.

8 May 2012
Provincialization of Europe and the Middle East? Migration, regional competition and the global perspective - by Peter Seeberg

In this article, Associate Professor Peter Seeberg discusses the development towards a so-called provincialization of Europe.

18 April 2012
The Arab Spring: Restructuring of Internal and External Political Relations – Current Views of Arab Thinkers - by Nasim Barham

While intellectuals and politicians in the Arab countries widely agree on the causes for the uprisings in the Arab countries the past year, opinions differ when it comes to expected outcomes. This articles outlines the current ongoing debate among Arab intellectuals.

2 April 2012
Migration and non-traditional security issues in the MENA-region. The case of pre-revolt Syria - af Peter Seeberg 

The article describes and analyzes the Syrian migration to Lebanon and the Gulf, taking its theoretical point of departure in the concept of non-traditional security. Furthermore the article focuses on to which degree the migration phenomenon can be seen as an expression of transnational integration.The article has been presented as paper for the workshop “Migration, security and foreign policy in the Mediterranean”, held in Amman, 17. November 2011.

7 February 2012
What is Islamism and how does it manifest itself in politics? - Interview with Dietrich Jung

Dietrich Jung debunks the popular belief that Islamism is a militant and violent strife for an Islamic order, using Turkey as an example. The entire programme by British Council can be viewed here.

7 February 2012
How will Islamist groups impact the formation of new governments following the Arab Spring? - Interview with Dietrich Jung

Dietrich Jung unpacks the role that Islamist political parties might play in the governments formed after the Arab Spring. The entire programme by British Council can be viewedhere.

9 January 2012
Islamist Politics after the Spring: What do Salafist parties want? - by Dietrich Jung

In the recent elections in Arab countries, Islamist parties performed very well. While this was expected from the political representatives of the Muslim Brotherhood, the success of Salafist parties came as a surprise. This essay briefly analyses the ideology of Egypt’s most important Salafist party, Al-Nour, and gives a tenta-tive suggestion on the future role of Islamist parties in Arab politics.

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