Research Initiatives

Research Initiatives

Pluralism and Community in the Middle East

Scholars and policy makers, struggling to make sense of the ongoing chaos that is the Middle East, have been focusing their attention on the possible causes for the escalation of both inter-state and intra-state conflict. This region bears the legacy of multiple imperial excursions and has traditionally demonstrated pronounced ethno-linguistic richness, religious diversity, and a depth of cultural intermingling. The region has historically hosted multiple populations with distinctive ethnic and linguistic identities, preserved in previous eras under the loosely structured administrative bodies of different empires that were, as a result of their sprawling geography, multiethnic, multilingual, and multicultural. In order to explore some of these areas mentioned above, the CIRS research initiative “Pluralism and Community in the Middle East” will adopt a multi-disciplinary approach. Over the course of the year, a small number of scholars will be invited to take part in an in-depth, scholarly analysis aiming to address the critical gaps in the current literature. The final outcome of this project will be in the form of an edited volume.

Scholars and policy makers, struggling to make sense of the ongoing chaos that is the Middle East, have been focusing their attention on the possible causes for the escalation of both inter-state and intra-state conflict. This region bears the legacy of multiple imperial excursions and has traditionally demonstrated pronounced ethno-linguistic richness, religious diversity, and a depth of cultural intermingling. Three of the world’s major monotheistic religious traditions originated within the borders of the modern Middle East, allowing for the historic development of common foundations and exchange between them, but periodically also leading to friction and competition. The region has historically hosted multiple populations with distinctive ethnic and linguistic identities, preserved in previous eras under the loosely structured administrative bodies of different empires that were, as a result of their sprawling geography, multiethnic, multilingual, and multicultural.

Click here to read more about another related CIRS research initiative, "Nation Building in Central Asia: Legacies, Identities, and Institutions."

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

Geopolitics Natural Resources

pluralismFirat Oruc, ed., Sites of Pluralism: Community Politics in the Middle East (Oxford University Press/Hurst, 2019).