During the 2011 uprisings, Arab protesters channeled decades of discontent with failed economic policy. However, the demise of leaders will not be enough to answer this discontent nor ensure productive development. Scholarship on the political determinants of economic development finds that the common recipe of expanding the private sector and increasing trade openness may be valuable but is not sufficient on its own for successful development. The Arab world’s economic path to 2011 included implementation in these areas, yet reform in underlying socio-economic structures and interests lagged. Addressing these conditions constitutes one of the most serious challenges facing Arab economies and politics.
In this seminar series sponsored by the Wilson Center's Middle East Program, the Environmental Change and Security Project, and USAID, experts are convening to discuss such topics as safe motherhood, reproductive health and culture, fertility patterns, contraceptive use, and HIV.
Iran marked the 35th anniversary of its Islamic Revolution on February 11. Shaul Bakhash, who witnessed the revolution first-hand, reflects on the revolution’s tumultuous birth and its legacy and how it differed from the still-born revolution in Egypt during the Arab Spring.
In separate interviews, the Wilson Center's Jane Harman and Robin Wright discuss Egypt's fragile democracy.
Wilson Center President, Director, and CEO Jane Harman says offering asylum to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad - similar to the plan offered to former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh - would be her preferred solution to the crisis.
"Governing is about choosing. When America acts, it has to ask itself two questions, not just, can it accomplish it? If we wanted to unseat the Assads, we could do it. The question is not just that, it's what will it cost? It's the second question that always needs to accompany the first," said Aaron David Miller.
After eight months of being stranded in Iran, including four months in prison, Middle East Program Director Haleh Esfandiari is excited to return to her family and work. In this Centerpoint cover story, read about her ordeal, efforts to bring her home, and the broader implications for scholars visiting rogue countries.
The Obama administration has sometimes been tactically adroit in dealing with Egypt since the fall of Mubarak in February 2011; at other times it has been caught flat-footed. But the nature of political changes afoot in Egypt today now demands more than adjustment, but instead a fundamental rethinking of a relationship that has been a cornerstone of U.S. policy in the Middle East since the Nixon administration.
In this exclusive interview by Iran nuclear expert Michael Adler, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov revealed how things went in the room with the Iranians and what Russia now hopes for going forward.
The Iran Primer Blog
The Islamists Are Coming
Experts & Staff
- Haleh Esfandiari // Director, Middle East Program
- Mona Youssef // Program Associate
- Kendra Heideman // Program Assistant
- Michael Adler // Public Policy Scholar
- Margot Badran // Senior Scholar
- Shlomi Eldar // Fellow
- Aaron David Miller // Vice President for New Initiatives and Distinguished Scholar
- William Green Miller // Senior Scholar
- Amal Mudallali // Senior Scholar
- David Ottaway // Senior Scholar
- Marina Ottaway // Senior Scholar
- Emad El-Din Shahin // Public Policy Scholar
- Joby Warrick // Public Policy Scholar
- Robert Worth // Public Policy Scholar
- Robin Wright // USIP-Wilson Center Distinguished Scholar