9. December 2015
The Arab Uprisings Five Years After - Martin Beck
The article attempts to critically discuss political change as triggered by the Arab uprisings, which started five years ago. On the one hand, it is shown that the Arab world, which with few exceptions was until then characterized by consolidated authoritarian regimes, became politically more colorful. On the other hand, not all Arab countries to which political transformation is often attributed are undergoing deep political change. Moreover, in some countries—particularly Syria, Yemen, and Libya—transformation processes are overarched and deeply shaped by a high degree of political violence.
7. December 2015
The Press Conference at which High Representative Federica Mogherini and Commissioner Johannes Hahn presented the revised ENP took place only a few days after the terror attack in Paris. This was probably a part of the reason why they so emphatically emphasized the security dimension. Added to that a more explicit focus on partnership can be identified in the document, implying a new focus where the notion of neighbourhood seems to be toned down. The partnership will focus on soft values and promote common values and interests – and furthermore the focus will be on working together on security sector reform, border protection, tackling terrorism, radicalisation and crisis management. This is, given the recent developments in Mediterranean migration and not least the terrorist attacks in Paris, Beirut etc., quite understandable and underlines security as significant dimension of EU’s foreign policy.
27. November 2015
The New Kingmakers of Turkey: The “Conservative Moderns” - Mehmet Ümit Necef
This increase of nine points from 41% at the elections on 7 June 2015 corresponds to a gain of 4.5 million voters. The election analyses show clearly that the AKP attracted voters from all other parties. However, the most important achievement of the party seems to have been convincing the former AKP vot-ers, who had abstained at the June elections, to vote for the party again in No-vember. The article discusses how the AKP attained this and presents an analy-sis of the abstainers. It would appear that there has emerged a new group of people in Turkey defined by terms such as “new conservative moderns” and “democratic conservatives”, which will in the near future by all accounts have a great impact on who will sit in the government.
10. November 2015
Lebanon is very often presented as just the passive receiver of repercussions of the Arab Uprisings 2010/11, particularly the refugee crisis created by the Syrian civil war. Although Lebanese socio-political actors were indeed not at the forefront of the Arab Uprisings, some social movements used the region-wide politicization of Lebanese key issues such as corruption and sectarianism for political mobilization to combat the shortcomings of the Lebanese political system. The present article analyzes the most recent of these movements: “You Stink.”
29. October 2015
A Dead Boy on a Beach - Kirstine Sinclair
On 2nd September 2015, the attempt to escape the Syrian civil war and pursue better life opportunities in Canada went horribly wrong for the Kurdi family. Their boat capsized on the Mediterranean and three of four family members drowned. Only the father of the family survived. The death of the family’s three-year-old made headlines and created international stir as the body of the boy – Aylan Kurdi – was photographed, first, lying on a Turkish beach and, later, as it was picked up by a Turkish gendarme. Within 24 hours, the photo of the boy was referred to as a symbol of the Syrian refugee crisis.
2. October 2015
The dramatic incidents in Greece and Italy, from where thousands of refugees are escaping towards Austria, Germany or Sweden has once again underlined that there is a lack of consensus and feeling of common responsibility among the European countries and in a year where an ambitious attempt has been launched at revising the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) it seems obvious, if not necessary, to place migration and mobility at the heart of a new ENP.
29. September 2015
Who Started the War Between the Turkish State and the PKK - Erdogan or the PKK? - Mehmet Ümit Necef
The article analyses two fundamental narratives about who broke the truce since 2012 between the Turkish state and the PKK (Kurdistan’s Workers’ Party). The first one explains the resumption of armed clashes with reference to the President Erdogan’s unfulfilled ambition of being a president with extraordinary powers. The other framework stresses the PKK’s ambitions of establishing a “Western Kurdistan” (“Rojava”) in Northern Syria by maintaining and fortifying its privileged position as the Western world’s most trusted ally in the fight against IS (Islamic State).
1. september 2015
Regional security in the Middle East - what is that we seek? - Pinar Bilgin
The ‘Middle East’ is defined in multiple ways. The classic text quoted by almost every one writing on the subject is an article by the historian Roderic Davison (1960) entitled ‘Where is the Middle East?’ The political scientist Nikki Keddie (1973) asked an even more controversial question: ‘Is there a Middle East?’ There has been, in other words, some controversy regarding the definition of the ‘Middle East’ as a region and/or its delineation. Is Iran included? How about Turkey? Is not MENA a better designation?...
4. August 2015
This news analysis takes as its point of departure the Danish parliamentary election campaign in June 2015 and the discussions of whether or not Denmark is to be regarded a multicultural country or not. Both Prime Minister candidates seemed to think Denmark neither is nor should be multicultural. In the current contribution, Kirstine Sinclair argues that more than one understanding of multiculturalism were at play in the debate.
27. July 2015
Will a Quato Plan for Asylum Seekers Work - and Why not ? - Peter Seeberg
The article describes the recent situation in the Mediterranean, where the number of asylum seekers arriving from countries south and east of the Mediterranean Sea is increasing significantly, and discusses the perspectives of a plan by the European Commission, which will redistribute the migrants arriving mainly in Italy and Greece, so that all 28 EU member states will take their part of the responsibility.
27. July 2015
Compared with its neighbour Dubai, Oman opened up very late to tourism, for fear of infrastructural and socio-cultural unpreparedness. In 1995, the “Vision Oman 2020” stipulated the diversification of the national economy away from oil. For the first time, it also proposed serious policies encouraging the development of tourism.
27. July 2015
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took the occasion of a meeting with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier in May, 2015 to accuse the Palestinians of launching a campaign aimed at the delegitimization of Israel. This verbal attack focusing on delegitimization is not an isolated event, but is part of a trend that has become rather common in recent years.
27. July 2015
“The June Earthquake”: Why Did the AKP Lose Many Votes at the June Elections? – Mehmet Ümit Necef
The elections on June the 7th can be seen as the most important rupture in the AKP’s nearly total dominance of Turkish parliamentary politics and its ability to form single party governments uninterrupted since its election victory in October 2002. Ali Bayramoglu, a prominent political analyst writing in the pro-AKP newspaper Yeni Safak, described the result as “The June Earthquake”.
9. June 2015
Ataturk is mentioned only once The Last Letter from the Gallipoli Campaign 1915 - Mehmet Ümit Necef
The article analyzes the controversy created by the film Son Mektup (The Last letter) between moderate Islamists and secularists about how to explain the victory at the Battle of Canakkale in 1915, as Turks call the Gallipoli Campaign, and the role of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk in the war.
9. June 2015
Indian Ocean Rim Cooperation An Omani Perspective - Steffen Wippel
Since the mid-1990s, the Indian Ocean has been experiencing increasing economic cooperation among its rim states. Middle Eastern countries participate in the work of the Indian Ocean Rim Association. Notably Oman is a very active member of this organisation and has established manifold economic links with countries of the region.
29. May 2015
The present article deals with the Arab League’s plan to set up a joint military force. What factors led to this plan? Is the initiative likely to endure? Beyond these two analytical questions, the article also raises the normative issue of the desirability of the Arab military force.
7. May 2015
New information have occurred in the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL), exploring the alliances prior to and after the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri in 2005.
6. May 2015
This news analysis takes as its point of departure the terror attacks in Copenhagen on 14th and 15th February 2015. After describing the factual details of the attacks, we shall take a closer look at the debate which followed the attacks in printed, visual and social media.
6. May 2015
Book Review Being Muslim in South Asia Diversity and Daily Life - Gry Hvass Pedersen
Up to one-third of the world’s Muslim population lives in the countries of South Asia, making it an important region when researching on Muslims and Muslim societies within a global perspective. The anthology under review provides both a good introduction for new scholars in the field and interesting new perspectives on the diversity of South Asian Muslims and the conditions they face for researchers already familiar with the region.
25. februar 2015
Tangier Morocco in Transnational Flows and Networks - Steffen Wippel
The port of Moroccan city Tangier is experiencing impressive growth in container throughput in the last couple of years. Connecting several parts of the world, this expanding port relies on the corresponding infrastructure.
2. February 2015
Cap au Sud Course South for Morocco s Economy - Steffen Wippel
International and national media are currently showing increased attention to Morocco’s economic presence in sub-Saharan Africa. After a brief survey of the country’s trade relations and economic agreements across the Sahara, the paper focuses on Moroccan investment and firm cooperation, illustrated by strategic sectors such as finance, telecommunication and air transport.
22. January 2015
Quo vadis Palestine - Martin Beck¨
Recent events related to Palestine have brought the Palestinian issue, which had received fairly low attention during the heyday of the Arab Spring, back to the center stage of Middle Eastern politics.
19. January 2015
Refugees in Jordan and the Regional Turmoil - Peter Seeberg
Taking its point of departure in the first UNHCR 2015-update on the refugee situation in Jordan the article discusses the recent development in Jordan, where regional turmoil for years has resulted in involuntary mass influx of refugees.