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Research Publications


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Issue 16. November 2014 (Safar 1436 H.)   Abstract: The succession mechanisms and processes for the Supreme Leader post in the Islamic Republic have been one of the more contentious and nebulous elements in post-revolutionary Iran’s statecraft. A unique position, which is not immediately comparable to other “summit” institutions of modern state systems, such as the presidency of a republic, the helm of a monarchy, or the highest military rank in a junta, the Supreme Leader in Iran is effectively an irreplacea
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Issue 15. September 2014 (Dhu Al-qadah 1435 H.)   Abstract: One of the defining features of the present-day Islamic Republic of Iran is the unique nature of its political class. “Political class” here is taken to mean the segment of society which holds incumbency in state institutions, according to the definitions of Gaetano Mosca and others. The Islamic Republic’s ruling elite is at once restricted and diverse. It encompasses a complex mix of pious laity and Shi’ite clergy of various levels and promine
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Issue 18. Shaban 1436 – June 2015   Abstract: On April 3, 2015, the Iranian and 5+1 delegations emerged from exhausting negotiations in Lausanne, Switzerland, to announce the preamble of the first major agreement on the Iranian nuclear program since the now-defunct Tehran Declaration issued by Brazil, Turkey, and Iran in 2010. If finalized and put into practice after June 30, the agreement potentially signals the end of the diplomatic confrontation between Iran and the West on the former’s atomic program, which has
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This Text is Only Available in Arabic
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Issue 13. April 2014 (Jamada Al-Awla 1435 H)   Abstract: This issue of Masarat is based on fieldwork in the Kingdom conducted from October 2009 to April 2014. This included qualitative interviews throughout Saudi Arabia with, amongst others: participants in the National Dialogue activities listed (male and female), KACND officials, government ministers, lawyers, journalists, focus groups and members of minority constituencies.
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Issue 12. March 2014. (Rabi’ Al-Thani 1435 H.)    Abstract: Algeria is undergoing conflict between its loci of power in light of growing discord between those who call for a boycott of the elections and those who advocate participation in voting. This issue of Masarat will shed light on preparations taking place in Algeria for the elections and reactions to President Bouteflika’s decision to run for a fourth term despite his deteriorating health. It will also discuss the role the intelligence service has playe
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China’s Foreign Policy Primer – Chinese Strategy in the Middle East Issue 11. February 2014. (Rabi’ Al-Awal 1435 H.)   Abstract: This issue of Masarat provides a general outline of China’s foreign policy strategy in the Middle East. This will be accomplished by examining the factors and structural legacies influencing China’s foreign policy making process. The purpose of this is to place China’s strategy – in whatever arena – within a context that will elucidate its conduct and policy choices. The p
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Analysis of UNSC Problematic Veto Yielding Power Issue 10. January 2014 (Safar 1435 H.)   Abstract: The role of the United Nations Security Council is to maintain international peace and security. However, in the past few decades, concerns have arisen over the Council’s legitimacy and representativeness. Ad-hoc coalitions and the usual unilateralism undermine the legitimacy of the Council, while the Council’s lack of structural change since the Second World War highlights its unrepresentativeness. The need to reform t
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Shi‘ite Foreign Fighters in Syria Issue 9. December 2013 (Muharram 1435 H.   Abstract:The Syrian Revolution has ushered in the return of global Shi‘ite jihad to the political arena. This phenomenon is evident in the increasing number of Shi‘ite militants arriving in Syria from around the world. Shi‘ite militants fighting in support of the Assad regime mostly come from Iraq and Lebanon, although there are fighters from Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen and some countries in Africa. Scholars and
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Saudi Arabia: From a Reactive to a Proactive Foreign Policy Issue 8. November 2013 (Dhu Al-Hijjah 1434 H.)   Abstract:Saudi Arabia’s main foreign policy motive has always been centered on political stability and economic security in the region. The Kingdom has always been determined to maintain close ties with its neighbors while sustaining its relations with international allies. Yet, the events of the Arab uprising put forward new challenges not only to the Middle East region but also worldwide. Therefore, the
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