Research Initiatives

Research Initiatives

Geopolitics of Natural Resources in the Middle East

This research initiative explores the geopolitics of natural resources in the Middle East. Hydrocarbons, petroleum and now increasingly natural gas, have long dominated discussions of the Middle East’s natural resources, particularly in terms of their impact on domestic, regional and international politics. Little concerted attention has been paid to the broader environmental parameters of the Middle East. This initiative constitutes an attempt to expand the focus to include the region’s many other natural resources, for example land, air, water, and food, but also study the regional environment as a whole, rather than merely the resources extracted from it. As such it adopts a holistic approach, attempting to integrate the study of the region’s diverse natural resources, its environmental constraints, and their various impacts on geopolitics.

Click here to read more about another related CIRS research initiative, "Water and Conflict in the Middle East."


Harry Verhoeven, ed., Environmental Politics in the Middle East (London: Oxford University Press/Hurst, 2018).

Environment "Environmental Politics in the Middle East," CIRS Summary Report no. 24 (Doha, Qatar: Center for International and Regional Studies, 2018).

  • Click here to read about Working Group Meeting I
  • Click here to read about Working Group Meeting II

As part of its Research & Scholarship initiatives, CIRS organizes several ongoing Working Groups meetings 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.

Geopolitics & Natural Resources