Research Initiatives

Research Initiatives

Weak States in the Greater Middle East

The Weak States in the Greater Middle East project offers a critical analysis ‎of current definitions and terminology of weak and fragile states, scrutinizing the political ‎implications of the prevailing discourse within the setting of the broader Middle East. This project examines the causes and consequences of the "fragility" of states from Afghanistan and Pakistan in the east to Sudan and Libya in the west.

A growing body of literature within the social science disciplines has developed over the last few ‎decades around the concept of “state failure”. Initially, the scholarship focused on the poor ‎economic performance of certain states, highlighting their weaknesses in delivering efficient ‎economic growth and fostering development. Performance indicators pointed to inadequate and ‎poorly functioning institutional structures, and the limited ability of weak states to provide ‎material and physical well-being to their citizenry.

Weak States
  • Click here to view the "Weak States in the Greater Middle East" Working Group Meeting I
  • Click here to view the "Weak States in the Greater 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.

Working Group Meetings

Click here to read more on the edited volume of academic articles that were delivered at the research initiative.

Fragile Politics

The CIRS Summary Report no. 11 titled, Fragile Politics: Weak States in the Greater Middle East, details the findings of the larger CIRS research initiative on "Weak States in the Greater Middle East." It begins with a critical analysis of current definitions and terminology of weak and fragile states, scrutinizing the political implications of the prevailing discourse within the setting of the broader Middle East. Employing multidisciplinary perspectives, the researchers study the causes and implications of conceptual notions of state fragility across the region in relation to areas such as politics and security, economics and natural resources, intra- and inter-state relations, migration and population movements, and the broader regional and global political economies. Click on the links below to access the summary report in Arabic and English,

Fragile Politics