Features

The perceived growth of political Islam and Islamist extremism throughout the world has recently led to a rethinking of foreign policy in many Western countries. Intensifying upheaval caused by terrorism from Nigeria to Yemen, and from Afghanistan to Iraq, has placed Muslims and Islam. Karina Fayzullina
The 9 September 2014 attacks on Ahrar al-Sham Brigade leaders could have implications for “moderate Islamist” movements fighting the Assad regime. This report gives some background on the group, analyses likely culprits and discusses wider implications of the attack. Malak Chabkoun
The recent Israeli aggression against Gaza calls to question three fundamental principles related to the establishment of the state of Israel. The use of force has created dissent among its hard core supporters and paved the ground for global institutions to question its true objectives and vision.
Ghassan Shabaneh
Like his predecessors, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is reverting to the twin strategy of use of economic liberalization and coercion against religious extremism as devices to delay democratisation in Egypt.
Emad El-Din Shahin

Turkey's August 2014 presidential election may bring change to the very core of the Turkish political structure, making it historic on a number of levels. This report analyses the results and their future implications on the country's political landscape.
Ali Hussein Bakeer
Libya’s troubled transition has taken another turn for the worse with serious and sustained violence blighting both Tripoli and Benghazi. Although the battle has been raging in the east since May 2014, it is the conflict in the capital that has all but brought the country to its knees.
Alison Pargeter
Japanese embrace of collective self-defence should be seen in the context of increasing unease over rising Chinese military power and assertiveness in East Asia. While Shinzo Abe’s move has been met by nationwide protests and disapproval from Beijing.
Samee Siddiqui
In the past, the KSA has been reluctant to receive any high-ranking Iranian officials, despite Iran’s persistent efforts to secure a meeting. However, in May 2014, the KSA's foreign minister announced their invitation to the Iranian foreign minister, signalling a strategic foreign policy shift.
Mansour al-Marzoqi al-Bogami
The abduction of 230 schoolgirls by Boko Haram sparked international outrage. Although much of the rage was directed at the armed group that has terrorized Nigeria for years,the Nigerian government was also criticized for its inability to protect its own citizens,and the poor response to the crisis.
Azad Essa
Israel believed that the current climate in the Middle East region would enhance the possibility for success in its assault on Gaza, but the surprising resilience of the resistance will likely ensure that the battle’s outcome will be in the interests of both sides.
Saleh Naami
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Bashar al-Assad’s paramilitaries have been a key support for the regime as it attempts, for the fourth year in a row, to put down a popular uprising in Syria. This report outlines four key roles of these legitimate army units and examines their future in Syria.
Malak Chabkoun
On 3 July Kurdish President Masoud Barazani hit the headlines by calling for a referendum on Kurdish independence. Unsurprisingly Kurdish political parties rallied behind this call, displaying a united front in the face of the evolving national crisis
Alison Pargeter
This report seeks to highlight the rising tension between Western governments and Russia over the latter’s conflict with the Ukraine. Specific to Ukrainisation is the return of ‘Cold-War’-type posturing and rivalry marked by mutual distrust.
Karina Fayzullina
Traditionally, the populace used by the ballot box is based on a one man one vote electoral system to install governments of their choice to office. However, as the locus of power is moving from the majority representative governments to a fairly new power still to be defined.
Thembisa Fakude
A North Korean actions are often discussed in the media in ahistorical terms, ignoring historical memory and the complicated regional security environment. While the major players for the DPRK in the region are the US and China, its relations with Japan should not be ignored.
Samee Siddiqui
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