The Center for International and Regional Studies publishes various types of research throughout the academic year, including:

Submissions: Please see submission guidelines. Papers should be sent to By submitting work to CIRS, the author agrees to the following Copyright Agreement.

Publication Highlights
Fred Lawson CIRS Occasional Paper 14

Implications of the 2011-13 Syrian Uprising for the Middle Eastern Regional Security Complex CIRS Occasional Paper 14 is authored by Fred H. Lawson. The paper focuses on the new configuration of the Middle Eastern regional security complex (RSC) in the context of the large-scale popular uprisings that broke out across the Arab world in the winter of 2010-11. Foreign policies adopted between 2000 and 2010 by the Ba‘thi regime in Damascus, the leaderships of Hizbullah and HAMAS, and the Israeli government to parry overlapping internal and external threats created an unprecedented patchwork of strategic rivalries and alignments. Large-scale popular unrest in Iraq and Egypt in early 2011, along with the outbreak of full-scale civil war in Syria later that same year, generated an even more intricate web of interstate security dynamics. The reconfigured RSC that emerged out of the “Winter of Arab Discontent” is only beginning to be explicated, and can best be addressed by tracing the connection between domestic political conflicts and shifts in external belligerence and alignment across the region.


Social Change in Iran Summary ReportThis Summary Report details the CIRS research initiative on "Social Change in Post-Khomeini Iran" and critically examines some of the most important topics within contemporary Iran, focusing on its social, cultural, economic, and political domains. A few recent efforts have been undertaken by scholars to engage in in-depth research on domestic development within Iran. In line with this body of nascent scholarship, CIRS launched an empirically grounded research initiative aimed at studying the variety of changes and developments currently underway in Iranian society. Through this multi-disciplinary, empirically-based research initiative, our goal is to present a comprehensive study of contemporary Iranian society.


Newsletter 15, Fall 2013, contains information about all CIRS news, activities, publications, and research initiative efforts over the Fall 2013-2014 semester. On the cover story, Seyyed Hossein Nasr, University Professor of Islamic Studies at George Washington University, and one of the most important and foremost scholars of Islamic, Religious, and Comparative Studies in the world today, gives an interview on the relationship between religion and the environmental. 


Dorraj Entessar CIRS Occasional Paper 13"Iran's Northern Exposure: Foreign Policy Challenges in Eurasia" is authored by Manochehr Dorraj and Nader Entessar. The paper analyzes Iran’s evolving interest and geopolitical challenges to its foreign policy in Central Eurasia. As an emerging regional power with its own political agenda, perception, and calculus of its interests, Iran uses identity politics and shared cultural and religious values, where appropriate, to forge closer relations with Central Eurasian countries. This paper concentrates on religious, political, economic, and strategic variables affecting Iran’s foreign policy decisions in Central Eurasia.


Qatar: Small State, Big PoliticsIn Qatar: Small State, Big Politics (Cornell University Press, 2013), Mehran Kamrava, Director of CIRS, writes that the Persian Gulf state of Qatar has fewer than 2 million inhabitants, virtually no potable water, and has been an independent nation only since 1971. Yet its enormous oil and gas wealth has permitted the ruling al Thani family to exert a disproportionately large influence on regional and even international politics. 

Arabic Cambodia Summary Report استثمارات دول مجلس التعاون الخليجي في الأراضي الزراعية بالخارج: حالة كمبوديا
This Arabic-language Summary Report examines Cambodia as a case study of Gulf-state land investments in developing country agriculture to develop a long-term prognosis for this going abroad strategy. The report is part of the larger CIRS study on Food Security and Food Sovereignty in the Middle East.