arabic

"Transitional Justice in the Middle East and North Africa," CIRS Arabic Summary Report no. 16 (Doha, Qatar: Center for International and Regional Studies, 2018).

ألقت الاحتجاجات التي اندلعت في بعض بلدان الشرق الأوسط ابتداءً من ديسمبر 2010 بظلالها على المشهدين السياسي والاجتماعي في المنطقة. فقد أزيح بن علي في تونس ومبارك في مصر والقذافي في ليبيا عن مناصبهم واحداً تلو الآخر في غضون أشهر قليلة، رغم أن ذلك لم يكن يخطر ببال أحد. وحتى يومنا هذا، شهدت مصر وليبيا وتونس واليمن إزاحة قادتها الأقوياء، والتهمت نيران الحرب الأهلية المستمرة سوريا، وهز العنف والصراع البحرين، كما تعرضت بلدان أخرى في المنطقة إلى الاضطراب والتعبير عن الغضب الشعبي بدرجات متفاوتة. دول الشرق الأوسط هذه مازالت تشهد عمليات تحول سياسي وتغيير اجتماعي. وتعتمد الصيغة السياسية التي ستتشكل في نهاية المطاف في كل دولة على سياقها وجدولها الزمني. وسيبقى مجهولاً إن كانت أنظمة وهياكل حوكمة مختلفة تمام الاختلاف ستحل محل سابقاتها أم لا. ولكن، يمكن القول مع شيء التأكيد إن مفهوم حقوق المواطنين بالعدالة والكرامة كان موضوعاً مشتركاً يجسّد كل هذه النضالات والاحتجاجات الجماهيرية الحاشدة، ويعبر عنها على مستوى المنطقة بأكملها. وغالباً ما تتعامل المجتمعات التي تمر بمرحلة تحول من أنظمة حوكمة قديمة إلى جديدة، ولاسيما المجتمعات التي أطاحت بأحد أشكال الحكم الاستبدادي، مع قضية التصالح مع الماضي قبل أن تتمكن فعلياً من بناء مستقبل جديد. وتبيّن التجارب التي حدثت في مناطق أخرى من العالم، حيث أطاحت الحركات السياسية بأنظمة الحكم الديكتاتورية أن بناء سلام قابل للاستمرار في أوضاع ما بعد الحرب يستلزم أن يكون المواطنون واثقين من وجود الهياكل الشرعية التي تعوّضهم عن الظلم الذي لحق بهم في الماضي. لقد برزت أهمية مفهوم إدارة العدالة أثناء فترة التحول السياسي في بناء السلام، التي أطلق عليها عموماً اسم “العدالة الانتقالية”، في الفترة التي أعقبت الحرب العالمية الثانية، ولكنها اكتسبت زخماً كبيراً ابتداءً من ثمانينات القرن العشرين وما تلاها.

Annual Report 17-18

The 2017-2018 CIRS Annual Report contains information about all the activities, research initiatives, publications, lectures, and events that CIRS organized throughout the year. Highlights include the publication of ten new CIRS books, as well as the initiation of new research initiatives and grant awards.

Jonathan Benthall

Jonathan Benthall, "The Rise and Decline of Saudi Overseas Humanitarian Charities," CIRS Occasional Paper no. 20 (Doha, Qatar: Center for International and Regional Studies, 2018).

This paper records and interprets the rise and decline of Saudi overseas humanitarian charities, with special reference to the International Islamic Relief Organization (IIRO or IIROSA). Founded in 1975, IIROSA grew as a vehicle for a distinctively Saudi version of Islamic humanitarianism. By the mid-1990s, IIROSA was the world’s largest Islamic charity. Following the dismissal of its secretary general in 1996, and the crises of 9/11 and the Al-Aqsa Intifada, which cast a cloud to varying degrees over nearly all Islamic charities, IIROSA’s activities were reduced but efforts were made to revive them. In 2017, however, the kingdom’s new policy of centralization, and its disengagement from the “comprehensive call to Islam,” resulted in a remodeling of IIROSA’s role in support of the kingdom’s diplomatic interests but marginalized and stripped of religious content.

arabicsummaryreport

"Youth in the Middle East," CIRS Arabic Summary Report no. 15 (Doha, Qatar: Center for International and Regional Studies, 2018).

تعرّضت منطقة الشرق الأوسط وشمال أفريقيا خلال النصف الثاني من القرن العشرين إلى موجة ديموغرافية شهدتْ نموّاً غير مسبوق في أعداد سكانها الشباب. وأشعلت هذه الطفرة الشبابية جدالات ونقاشات محلية ودولية، بشأن ما ستفرضه فئة الشباب من تحديات، وما ستوفره من فرص للمنطقة. وقد أوضحت الانتفاضات العربيّة واقع القدرات الكامنة لدى الشباب، سواء كعوامل تغيير إيجابي في المنطقة، أو كعوامل اضطرابات فيها. ومع اندلاع القلاقل، فإنّ ثمّة حاجة لتوسيع إدراكنا الجماعي لطبيعة حياة الشباب، ولدراسة العوامل التي تؤثر على طبيعة انتقالهم إلى مرحلة النضج. وتتمحور السردية المتعلقة بالشباب في الشرق الأوسط عادةً حول مسألتي تهميشهم وإقصائهم اجتماعياً وسياسياً واقتصادياً. والحال، فإن شباب الشرق الأوسط عاشوا عقوداً من الحكم الاستبدادي والاضطراب السياسي، ناضلوا خلالها لتحقيق آمالهم وطموحاتهم الخاصة بالمواطنة، والعيش الكريم، والمشاركة الاجتماعية والسياسية. ونظراً لاستمرار أزمة الوظائف في الشرق الأوسط، حيث يواجه الشباب ارتفاعاً عاماً في معدلات البطالة؛ وحيث فعالية سوق العمل، لا سيما بين الشابات، لا تزال منخفضة على نحو صادم، يبقى من المهمّ فهم إقصاء الشباب اقتصادياً، ومختلف الوسائل التي يمكن من خلالها معالجة ذلك الوضع.

socio

Mehran Kamrava, guest ed., "Leading the Faithful: Religious Authority in the Contemporary Middle East," CIRS Special Issue of Sociology of Islam 6, no. 2 (June 2018).

The post-2011 Middle East has witnessed an increasing politicization of religious authority across the Middle East and among almost all faith communities. Unfolding political and social developments, along with steadily shifting posture and functions of the state vis-à-vis the various religious communities has propelled religious leaders into the role of their communities’ political protectors as well as chief liaisons with state leaders and institutions. Particularly in times of instability and crisis for the community, or even during less chaotic periods of change and transition, the role of religious leaders becomes all the more instrumental in multiple ways. This special issue examines the nature, societal positions, and travails of the Middle East’s various religious communities in the aftermath of the 2011 Arab uprisings, focusing specifically on the role, composition, and functions of their leadership. 

TenYearReport

The 2007-2017 CIRS Ten-Year Report contains information about all the activities, research initiatives, publications, lectures, and events that CIRS organized over the past ten years. Highlights include the publication of a total of 25 CIRS books, as well as the initiation of 32 research initiatives and 24 grant awards.

A Holistic Assessment of the Water-for-Agriculture Dilemma in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Ameen Kim and Hans van der Beek, "A Holistic Assessment of the Water-for-Agriculture Dilemma in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia," CIRS Occasional Paper no. 19 (Doha, Qatar: Center for International and Regional Studies, 2018).

Prior to the emergence of the oil industry and the subsequent rapid agricultural expansion of the 1970s, there has been little to no concern about water for agriculture in Saudi Arabia since prehistoric times. However, a rapid expansion—a so-called “agricultural revolution”—introduced rampant use of highly water-consuming irrigation systems, mainly by center pivots, without any limitation. This has greatly compromised the future of nonrenewable water availability for agriculture. Current measures to alleviate the dilemma of water scarcity and sustainable agricultural development for the country have been challenging not only due to technical difficulties, but also because of overarching ideological and political factors. Based on the concluding findings in this article, a holistic approach combining both technical and sociopolitical recommendations is proposed, and is presented for alleviating the predicament.

Newsletter 22

CIRS Newsletter 22 was published in Spring 2017. This newsletter highlights all activities including the latest research initiatives, publications, faculty research, as well as conference participation and exhibitions.

Social Currents in North Africa

"Social Currents in North Africa," CIRS Summary Report no. 23 (Doha, Qatar: Center for International and Regional Studies, 2018).

Social Currents in North Africa is a multi-disciplinary analysis of the social phenomena unfolding in the Maghreb today. The contributors analyse the genealogies of contemporary North African behavioral and ideological norms, and offer insights into post-Arab Spring governance and today’s social and political trends. The book situates regional developments within broader international currents, without forgoing the distinct features of each socio-historical context. With its common historical, cultural, and socio-economic foundations, the Maghreb is a cohesive area of study that allows for greater understanding of domestic developments from both single-country and comparative perspectives.  This volume refines the geo-historical unity of the Maghreb by accounting for social connections, both within the nation-state and across political boundaries and historical eras. It illustrates that non-institutional phenomena are equally formative to the ongoing project of post-colonial sovereignty, to social construction and deployments of state power, and to local outlooks on social equity, economic prospects, and cultural identity.

Inside the Arab State

Mehran KamravaInside the Arab State (Oxford University Press/Hurst, 2018).

The 2011 Arab uprisings and their subsequent aftermath have thrown into question some of our long-held assumptions about the foundational aspects of the Arab state. While the regional and international consequences of the uprisings continue to unfold with great unpredictability, their ramifications for the internal lives of the states in which they unfolded are just as dramatic and consequential. States historically viewed as models of strength and stability have been shaken to their foundations. Borders thought impenetrable have collapsed; sovereignty and territoriality have been in flux. Inside the Arab State adopts a multi-disciplinary approach, examining a broad range of political, economic, and social variables. It begins with an examination of politics, and more specifically political institutions, in the Arab world from the 1950s on, tracing the travail of states, and the wounds they inflicted on society and on themselves along the way, until the eruption of the 2011 uprisings. The uprisings, the states' responses to them, and efforts by political leaders to carve out for themselves means of legitimacy are also discussed, as are the reasons for the emergence and rise of Daesh and the Islamic State. This book examines some of the central questions facing observers and scholars of the Middle East concerning the nature of power and politics before and after 2011 in the Arab world. The focus of the book revolves around the very nature of politics and the exercise of power in the Arab world, conceptions of the state, its functions and institutions, its sources of legitimacy, and basic notions underlying it such as sovereignty and nationalism. Read more at Oxford University Press.