Arab rulers are increasingly asserting control over Islamic institutions with administrative and coercive tools. These top-down policies are framed by authoritarian regimes as “reforms,” but are often calculated attempts to eliminate potential sources of dissent in ministries, seminaries, mosques, and other religious entities.   At the other end of the spectrum, Islamic institutions in conflict-wracked Arab states have become prizes for competing factions to bolster their authority and popular support.  Understanding these dynamics has important implications for countering violent extremism and resolving conflict, as well as appreciating evolving state-society relations across the Arab world. 
Carnegie’s Middle East Program is pleased to invite you to a public discussion marking the release of a new edited volume, Islamic Institutions in Arab States: Mapping the Dynamics of Control, Co-option, and Contention, which examines the interplay between religious establishments and governance in Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Syria, Libya, Egypt, Algeria, and Morocco. 
Nathan J. Brown, Maysaa Shuja Al-Deen, and Laila Alrefaai will present the study’s findings, drawing from field research on Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Yemen, and Syria. Annelle Sheline will serve as a discussant and Frederic Wehrey as moderator. 

Research for this project was made possible through a generous grant from the Henry Luce Foundation.