How to Understand Upheaval in the Middle East

Domestic Discord and Regional Rivals

The Next Arab Uprising

by Marwan Muasher

The bargain underpinning stability in the Middle East—a share in the state’s largesse in exchange for political submission—is coming undone. Unless leaders strike a new deal with their citizens, greater turmoil will come.

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The New Arab Order

by Marc Lynch

The 2011 Arab uprisings fundamentally reshaped regional relations: almost every regime in the Middle East has found itself drawn into power games, and all operate from a place of profound insecurity.

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America’s Middle East Purgatory

by Mara Karlin and Tamara Cofman Wittes

The United States is too distracted by regional crises to pivot away from the Middle East but not invested enough to establish order on its own terms. 

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Demystifying the Arab Spring

by Lisa Anderson

Why did the uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya follow such different paths? The role of culture and history was evident early on in each state’s response to protest.

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Political Islam After the Arab Spring

by Olivier Roy

In many Muslim countries, mainstream Islamist parties are taking an increasingly secular approach to politics. By doing so, they may risk cutting off the religious elements of society that created them.

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Iran Among the Ruins

by Vali Nasr

Contrary to the beliefs of the Trump administration, Iran did not cause the collapse of order in the Middle East. Neither containing nor confronting Tehran will bring back stability.

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Why Israel Waits

by Natan Sachs

Israel’s national security strategy can seem baffling, but it is defined by a coherent logic: that the country’s problems have no near-term solutions and waiting them out might make them easier to deal with later.

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