Research Initiatives

Research Initiatives

The Evolving Ruling Bargain in the Middle East

The Evolving Ruling Bargain in the Middle East project will scrutinize the ways in which domestic political arrangements in the Middle East are evolving, and how the authoritarian bargains are being challenged. CIRS will probe some of the existing analytical assumptions and develop new understanding of the drivers of change in the Middle East.

Middle Eastern experts, scholars, and laymen were equally caught off guard by the startling political upheaval that rippled through the Arab world like a contagious disease in early 2011. While the situation is still in flux and one cannot draw conclusions as to what will ultimately emerge, the unexpected nature of these Arab uprisings has certainly provoked debate around some of the existing assumptions of the domestic politics of the region. Over the years a robust body of scholarship has developed focusing on the durability of authoritarian rule in the Middle East, and the remarkable resilience of the regimes in power. Much of this analysis has been based on the rigorous study of the patterns of socio-political behavior in the Middle East, both at the regional level of analysis as well as that of individual states, and in particular on the carefully crafted “ruling bargains” between regimes and their citizens.

Click here to read more about another related CIRS research initiative, "The New Arab State: Actors, Institutions, and Processes."

The Evolving Ruling Bargain
  • Click here to read about "The Evolving Ruling Bargain in the Middle East" Working Group Meeting I
  • Click here to read about "The Evolving Ruling Bargain in the Middle East" Working Group Meeting II

As part of its Research and Scholarship initiatives, CIRS organizes several ongoing Working Groups that convene in Doha to examine a variety of international issues. The primary purpose of CIRS research initiatives is to fill in existing research gaps, and to contribute towards furthering knowledge on the prevailing issues related to security, economic stability, and the political realm of the region. Each of these projects involves some of the most prominent scholars of the Middle East and the Gulf region. Each scholar participating will be working on a specific sub-topic, under the overarching subject.

Ruling"The Evolving Ruling Bargain in the Middle East," CIRS Summary Report no. 9 (Doha, Qatar: Center for International and Regional Studies, 2013).
  • Read Mehran Kamrava's discussion on political Islam in "Coming to Terms with Political Islam," The Daily Star, August 26, 2013.
  • Read about The Arab Spring 18 Months Later: More Questions Than Answers  
  • Read about Sudan and the Arab Spring

beyondMehran Kamrava, ed., Beyond the Arab Spring: The Evolving Ruling Bargain in the Middle East (Oxford University Press/Hurst, 2014).