Are the principles of tolerance and pluralism that underpin progressive visions of political community under threat? In this essay, the authors discuss the rising tide of Islamophobia and anti-immigrant sentiment in Germany, East Asia, and elsewhere.
Russian President Vladimir Putin surprised observers when he announced on March 14 that he is going to begin withdrawing Russian military forces from Syria. MEI’s Randa Slim has worked extensively with all parties on the Syrian conflict, including Russian participants, as the institute’s Director of Track II Dialogues. She discusses with MEI’s Senior Editor, Antoun Issa, the meaning of Putin’s decision.
Iraqi Kurdish journalist Mohammed A. Salih explores the impact of low oil prices on Iraqi Kurdistan. Deepening economic and financial crises in Iraq’s Kurdish region are likely to impose limitations on the semi-autonomous region’s quest for statehood. However, this does not suggest that a rapprochement between the Kurds and federal authorities in Baghdad is imminent. If unaddressed, a prolonged state of economic crisis and budget deficits will also add more strain on the ability of the Kurdistan Regional Government (K.R.G.) to finance the costly war against the Islamic State, otherwise known as ISIS, which could potentially affect morale within Kurdish peshmerga ranks.
Qatar’s recent cabinet reshuffle marks the latest step in the tiny emirate’s shift away from its high-profile regional activities under former emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, to the more discreet role of his son and current emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani.
Saudi Arabia has come under intense scrutiny in recent months. Much of it centers on its more assertive and less accommodating foreign policy, as manifested in its unprecedented military campaign in Yemen.
Gonul Tol, director of MEI's Center for Turkish Studies, delivered the following testimony at a hearing of the U.S. House of Representatives' Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats on February 3, 2016.
This essay explores the complexity of the change process to civilianize Myanmar. It demonstrates that the new Myanmar leadership’s intent to enter into a social contract with its citizens requires an analysis of the mechanisms of social control, which is the evolution of the means of power rather than its nature. The essay shows how the model of totalitarian normality has functioned in practice in Myanmar for over five decades marked by ongoing ethnic conflicts, sectarian violence and ruthless repression of civil society.