New Perspectives on the Middle East and North Africa

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Middle East Weekly Roundup: February 7th, 2016

Energy Sector Iran Back on the Market With the lifting of international sanctions in January, Iran is preparing its natural gas industry for the export market. Importantly, Iran’s leadership hopes not just to generate revenue by exporting its natural gas, but also to gain geopolitical power. However, Iran’s hopes to...

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Interview: Amir Ashour, Founder of Iraqueer

Amir Ashour is a human rights activist and the founder of Iraqueer, the first and only organization for the LGBTIQ+ community in Iraq and Kurdistan region. IraQueer aims at increasing the visibility and the awareness amongst and about the local LGBTIQ+ community. In a region where homosexuality is criminalized and...

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Middle East Weekly Roundup: January 30th, 2016

Energy Sector Qatar facing decision on drilling ban in North Field While Qatar has maintained its moratorium on development of the giant 900-plus Tcf North Field since 2005, an ever-growing natural gas export market, notably including the entrance of the resource-rich Iran due to the recent lifting of sanctions, may...

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Examining Turkey as a Model for Democracy with Ambassador Francis Riccardione

In Fall 2015, JMEPP Co-Editor-in-Chief Kevin Moss interviewed Amb. Francis Riccardione, the former U.S. Ambassador to Turkey and Atlantic Council Vice President and Director of the Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East. Below is an excerpt from the interview on the role of Turkey in serving as a model for democracy in the region. For...

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Middle East Weekly Roundup: January 17th – 22nd, 2016

Energy Sector Economic slowdown forecasted with decreases in regional demand for oil Between 2008 and 2014, rising oil prices contributed not only to economic growth in Middle East oil producing nations, but also to the rise in energy consumption in these countries. Over the past decade, besides China, the Middle...

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Middle East Weekly Roundup: January 11th-15th, 2016

  Energy Sector Oman to cut 2016 spending due to continuous drop in oil price It appears the Gulf states, hit hard by a 65% drop in oil prices since early 2014, have decided to cut back on spending. Notably, Oman will cut spending this year by 15.6% due to...

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International Monetary Institutions and Reform in Tunisia with Minister Hedi Larbi

In Fall 2015, JMEPP Co-Editor-in-Chief Kristin Wagner interviewed Hedi Larbi, Former Minister of Economic Infrastructure and Sustainable Development and a visiting scholar at the Middle East Initiative at Harvard’s Belfer Center. Below is an excerpt from the interview on the role of international monetary institutions in contributing to Tunisia’s future prospects. Other topics...

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Call for Submissions: Deadline Extended (January 21st)

JMEPP 2015-2016 Call for Submissions The Harvard Journal of Middle East Politics and Policy (JMEPP) is now accepting submissions for its print and online publications. JMEPP is a nonpartisan policy review published at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. The Journal presents a diversity of scholarship...

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Middle East Weekly Roundup: December 12th – 18th, 2015

JMEPP’s new Middle East Weekly Roundup is compiled and written by JMEPP editors. Shifting Authority for Countering Violent Extremism in the U.S. A six-member panel of experts has expressed uncertainty about the effectiveness of an online U.S. State Department program to discredit the Islamic State. Current and former U.S. officials...

Shiite militants in Iraq. (Getty Images)

Paradigm Shifts Between Iran and Iraq  

Introduction The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has strategically used Iraq’s unstable geopolitical and security landscape to rise from obscurity to become a powerful and ruthless organization. This terrorist organization has developed the capability to acquire vast stretches of territory and intends to continue expanding. As a...