Several new publications focus on Iraq:

  • Getting out of Iraq and restoring the U.S. reputation are necessary steps toward a new strategy of global engagement and leadership, contends former presidential candidate Bill Richardson in “A New Realism” (Foreign Affairs, vol. 87, no. 1, January/February 2008).
  • In “Iran’s New Iraq,” Ray Takeyh contends that the United State needs to transcend its visceral suspicions of Iran and recognize that it may be a source of stability in post-war Iraq (Middle East Journal, vol. 62, no. 1, Winter 2008).
  • Higher education reform in Iraq can only be achieved through a comprehensive program with sustained support from foreign governments, international bodies, and non-governmental organizations, asserts Imad Harb in “Higher Education and the Future of Iraq” (United States Institute of Peace, Special Report no. 195, January 2008).
  • In Wad’ al-‘ulum al-ijtima’iya fi al-jami’at al-’iraqia (The State of Social Sciences in Iraqi Universities), researchers outline the challenges of teaching social sciences in Iraqi universities and the need for comprehensive higher educational reform (Baghdad: Iraq Institute for Strategic Studies, January 2008).

New publications on Palestine and the Arab-Israeli conflict include:

  • In the Congressional Research Service report, “The Egypt-Gaza Border and its Effects on Israeli-Egyptian Relations,” Jeremy M. Sharp concludes that Israeli-Egyptian tensions over border security are likely to continue, as Hamas’s breach of the Egypt-Gaza border poses real security risks to Israel (February 1, 2008).
  • In Israeli Counter-Insurgency and the Intifadas: Dilemmas of a Conventional Army, Sergio Catignani analyzes the conduct of the Israel Defense Forces’ counter-insurgency operations in the West Bank and Gaza during the two major Palestinian uprisings ( New York: Routledge, January 2008).
  • Asset markets in Israel and Palestine respond positively to peace initiatives and the electoral success of politicians who negotiated settlements, demonstrate Asaf Zussman, Noam Zussman, and Morten Nielsen in “Asset Market Perspectives on the Israeli-Peace Conflict” (Economica, vol. 75, no. 297, February 2008, 84-115).
  • Israeli security restrictions and continued interference from Iran and Syria have exacerbated the Palestinian Authority’s failure to govern effectively, according to Michael Eisenstadt  in“The Palestinians: Between State Failure and Civil War,” (Washington Institute for Near East Studies, Policy Focus no. 78, December 2007).
  • As Hamas seeks to consolidate its rule and restore stability to Gaza, it must moderate its approach to dealing with Gaza’s powerful clans and families, concludes a recent report by the International Crisis Group (“Inside Gaza: The Challenge of Clans and Families,” Middle East Report no. 71, December 20, 2007). Click here for Arabic.

Two new publications focus on Jordan:

Recent publications on Morocco include:

  • Recent parliamentary elections in Morocco demonstrated King Muhammad’s commitment to democratization and the limitations of the Party of Justice and Development, argues Lisa Storm in “Testing Morocco: The Parliamentary Elections of September 2007,” (Journal of North African Studies, vol. 13, no. 1, March 2008, 37-54).
  • The Winter 2008 issue of al-Majalla al-‘arabiya lil ‘ulum al-siyasiya (Arab Journal of Political Science), published by the Center for Arab Unity Studies in Beirut, includes a special report on Morocco’s political system, elections, and democratization process.
  • In “Morocco’s Elections: The Limits of Limited Reform,” Michael McFaul and Tamara Cofman Wittes conclude that the recent parliamentary election in Morocco highlighted popular dissatisfaction with the political process and the limited reach of Islamists (Journal of Democracy, vol. 19, no. 1, January 2008).
  • In “Morocco: Pressing for Progress on Anti-Corruption,” Edouard Al-Dahdah and Florence Brillaud describe Morocco’s recent anti-corruption legislations and call for the anti-corruption agenda to keep moving forward (MENA Governance News and Notes, World Bank, vol. 1, no. 2, January 2008).
  • In “Morocco’s 2007 Elections: A Social Reading,” Samir Ben-Layashi contends that the Justice and Development Party’s heavily-Islamized agenda and social conservatism alienated it from the majority of Moroccan society (Middle East Review of International Affairs, vol. 11, no. 4, December 2007).

Recent publications on Libya include:

  • In “Redefining the Libyan revolution: the changing ideology of Muammar al-Qaddafi,” Ronald Bruce St. John examines the ideological impact of Qaddafi’s recent reforms and his rapprochement with the West (Journal of North African Studies, vol. 13, no. 1, March 2008, 91-106).

  • According to Ronald Bruce St. John in “The Changing Libyan Economy: Causes and Consequences,” Libya’s socioeconomic reforms and liberalization are increasingly threatened by its resistance to political reform (Middle East Journal, vol. 62, no. 1, Winter 2008).

  • The shift in Libya’s nuclear policies illustrates a recent trend toward post-revolutionary real-politik in foreign and security policy, contends Malfrid Braut-Hegghammer in “Libya’s Nuclear Turnaround: Perspectives from Tripoli” (Middle East Journal, vol. 62, no. 1, Winter 2008).

  • Despite some improvements in recent years, serious human rights abuses persist in Libya, according to a recent Human Rights Watch report (“Libya: Rights at Risk,” January 1, 2008). Click here for Arabic.

Recent publications on Sudan include:

  • Amnesty International’s latest report, “Displaced in Darfur—A Generation of Anger,” outlines the current state of insecurity in the Darfur refugee camps, its potential consequences and possible remedies (January 1, 2008).

New publications on the Gulf states include:

  • The January issue of al-Siyassa al-dawliya (International Politics), published by the Cairo-based al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies, discusses Gulf security and the global oil strategies of Arab Gulf countries.
  • The Gulf Research Center’s Gulf Yearbook 2007-2008 highlights major political, social, economic, and security developments in the Gulf region and outlines key forecasts for the upcoming year. Click here for Arabic.
  • The Arab Gulf states are expected to sustain an economic boom due to high oil prices, but face increasing inflationary pressures due to a weak U.S. dollar, concludes a recent report by the Institute of International Finance (“Emerging Market Research: The Gulf Cooperation Council,” December 21, 2007).
  • In “Mu’assasat al-khilafa fi al-nitham al-siyaasi al-sa’udi: hay’at al-bay’a” italicize (Institutionalizing Succession in the Saudi Political System), Awadh al-Badi outlines the historical development and major features of Saudi Arabia’s new succession system (Arab Reform Initiative, December 2007). Click here for Arabic.

Several new publications discuss Islamist politics:

  • In “Lebanon’s Sunni Islamists—A Growing Force,” Omayma Abdel-Latif maps out the major Sunni Islamist political actors in Lebanon today, their ideologies, and internal dynamics (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Carnegie Middle East Center Paper no. 6, January 2008).
  • In Islamist Groups in Lebanon,” Gary Gambill examines the evolution of Islamism in Lebanon and its ability to adapt to changes in local politics and regional security conditions (Middle East Review of International Affairs, vol. 11, no. 4, December 2007).

Other new publications discuss economic reform and anti-corruption efforts:

  • In “Yemen Moves Aggressively to Tackle Corruption,” Arun Arya examines the steps taken by the Yemeni government to combat corruption and its root causes (MENA Governance News and Notes, World Bank, vol. 1, no. 2, January 2008).

New publications discussing the impact of outside powers on the region include:

  • U.S. foreign policy should focus on eliminating Islamic terrorists, stabilizing Iraq, containing Iran, and toughening its stance on Pakistan, argues Michael Huckabee in “America’s Priorities in the War on Terror” (Foreign Affairs, vol. 87, no. 1, January/February 2008).
  • According to Melvin E. Lee in “The Fallacy of Grievance-Based Terrorism,” terrorism is motivated by jihadism rather than by U.S. foreign policy (Middle East Quarterly, vol. 15, no. 1, Winter 2008).
  • Recent improvements in Russian-Qatari relations are driven mainly by Russia’s interest in gaining leverage over Qatar’s growing gas export capacity, concludes Mark Katz in “Russia and Qatar” (Middle East Review of International Affairs, vol. 11, no. 4, December 2007).
  • Iran’s drive for nuclear weapons and Syria’s interferences in Iraq represent the two main threats to western interests and stability in the Middle East, contends Barry Rubin in “Iran’s Nuclear and Syria’s Iraq Adventures” (Middle East Review of International Affairs, vol. 11, no. 4, December 2007).

Several publications discuss reform-related developments in various countries:

  • According to the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information’s “Report on freedom of speech in Egypt,” last year was the worst year on record for the press in Egypt since independence (January 29, 2008). Click here for Arabic.
  • Support for democracy in the Arab world is as high as or higher than in any other world region, according to Amaney Jamal and Mark Tessler in “Attitudes in the Arab World” (Journal of Democracy, vol. 19, no. 1, January 2008, 97-110).
  • Beyond the Façade: Political Reform in the Arab World, edited by Marina Ottaway and Julia Choucair-Vizoso, presents case studies by various authors analyzing the reform process in Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Palestine, Lebanon, Algeria, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Yemen (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, January 2008).
  • Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria is more stable than ever, and is likely to remain unchallenged in the near future, concludes Eyal Zisser in “Where is Bashar al-Asad Headed?”(Middle East Quarterly, vol. 15, no. 1, Winter 2008).
  • The Arab tribal culture continues to dominate the political discourse in the Arab world and influence its approach to conflict, contends Philip Carl Salzman in “The Middle East's Tribal DNA,” (Middle East Quarterly, vol. 15, no. 1, Winter 2008).
  • The Winter 2008 issue of Arab Insight, published by the World Security Institute, offers analysis of the use of new technologies in Islamic activism, women’s reform movements in the Gulf, and arms proliferation among Yemeni tribes.
  • The January issue of al-Mustaqbal al-‘arabi(Arab Future), published by the Center for Arab Unity Studies in Beirut, includes analysis of democracy and elections in Kuwait and sectarian politics in Iraq
  • The January issue of the Election Observer Bulletin, published by Arab Election Watch (a project of the Amman Center for Human Rights Studies), includes analysis of constitutional amendments and calls for electoral law reform in Jordan, Algeria, Iraq, and Morocco. Click here for Arabic
  • The January issue of Araa’ (Opinions), published by the Gulf Research Center, includes analysis of Gulf Cooperation Council summits, freedom of thought in the Arab world, and the future of federalism in Iraq.