Research Initiatives

World Regions: The Middle Eastern Pivot

Co-Sponsored with the Stony Brook Institute for Global Studies.

A new research initiative on world regions and civilizations was jointly launched by CIRS and the Stony Brook Institute for Global Studies (SBIGS). Integration of social theory and regional studies is a major project of SBIGS, and the pioneering volume on this subject, Social Theory and Regional Studies in the Global Age has just been published in the Institute’s Pangaea II: Global/Local Studies with SUNY Press. This volume highlighted the promise of civilizational analysis/multiple modernities, and within it, singled out two concepts for further analysis: that of world regions and regional unity, on the one hand, and the civilizational constituents of power and the geopolitics of regional divides, on the other.

Healthcare Policy and Politics in the Gulf States

CIRS launched a multi-disciplinary research initiative that explores the economic, political, and social implications of healthcare management in the region. Rapid changes to the environment and lifestyle of the Gulf over the course of mere decades have completely changed the health profile of the region. In order to promote rigorous, academic exploration of this subject, CIRS launched a research project on the topic of “Healthcare Policy and Politics in the Gulf States.” The purpose of the CIRS research initiative is to determine the economic, political, and social implications of healthcare management in the region. Employing a multi-disciplinary perspective this project examines existing conditions of healthcare systems in the GCC, identifies the existing challenges and pressures on the countries and societies, and assesses how through their policymaking apparatus is attempting to meet these challenges.

Social Currents in the Maghreb

This research initiative investigates variations in social movement mobilization in the five countries of the Maghreb before, during, and after the Arab Spring. It also examines contemporary social and cultural trends present throughout society. CIRS launched a research initiative on “Social Currents in the Maghreb” in order to investigate variations in social movement mobilization in Tunisia, Libya, Morocco, Mauritania, and Algeria before, during, and after the Arab Spring. The project also examines contemporary social and cultural trends evident throughout Maghrabi society. The research initiative comprises a series of tightly-focused, empirically-grounded studies that focus on both comparative and single-country case studies that examine social movements and currents in North Africa.

The Evolution of Gulf Global Cities

This research initiative examines dynamics of urban configurations in the Gulf region (the GCC, Yemen, Iraq and Iran) to understand the city as a political, cultural and social space. By engaging with urban sociologists, social geographers, political scientists, city planners, and architects, this multi-disciplinary research project links macro-level knowledge of urbanization and modernization projects in the Gulf, with the micro-level understanding of everyday spaces of living and human interaction.

Transitional Justice in the Middle East

This multi-disciplinary project examines unfolding experiences of transitional justice across the Middle East in the post-uprising era. Transitional justice has received significant scholarly attention in many other parts of the world, focusing on authoritarian regimes moving toward democracy. While there has been limited academic exploration of transitional justice in relation to the Middle East, recent events in the region have reinvigorated interest in the topic. CIRS launched a multi-disciplinary research initiative on “Transitional Justice in the Middle East.” This project examines unfolding experiences of transitional justice across the Middle East in the post-uprising era.

The State and Innovation in the Gulf

CIRS has undertaken a multi-year research initiative titled “The State and Innovation in the Gulf.” Our goal is to explore questions related to the topic of innovation in the Gulf region through empirically-grounded, theoretically informed research proposals. 

Arab Migrant Communities in the GCC

The Arab migrant communities present in the Gulf have been a neglected area and merit further scholarly discussion and focus. In line with this,CIRS launched a multi-disciplinary research initiative entitled "Arab Migrant Communities in the GCC" that explores questions related to the topic.

Media and Politics

The Politics and the Media in the Post-Arab Spring Middle East research project explores the role of traditional and new media across the Middle East before, during, and after the events of the Arab Spring.

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.

Social Change in Post-Khomeini Iran

The Social Change in Post-Khomeini Iran research initiative examines some of the most important topics within contemporary Iran, focusing on its social, cultural, economic, and political domains. Through this multi-disciplinary, empirically-based research initiative, our goal is to present a comprehensive study of contemporary Iranian society.