Over the last eight years, contentious actions such as street protests and sit-ins have been a constant presence in news reports from the MENA region. While a significant number of academic, journalistic, and think-tank articles have focused on the causes of social discontent and contentious actions in the region since 2011, few works have used a quantitative approach to investigate the determinants of protest participation.
Differently from neighbouring Abu Dhabi, Dubai or Qatar, the northern emirates of the UAE (Ajman, Umm al-Quwain, Ras al Khaimah and Fujairah) and the Sultanate of Oman form a critical sub-region which has entered globalized modernization at a later stage. In the eyes of the ruling elites, current urban development projects, logistical infrastructures, port expansion and tourism should consolidate economic growth, reduce social inequalities (in the northern emirates of the UAE), and design sustainable post-oil paths (in Oman).
Africa’s largest country is at a crossroads: with the end of the Bouteflika era, a new chapter begins. Will it be accompanied by real change?
Jihadist insurgency, geostrategic competition, smuggling, and migrant flows. More than anywhere in Africa – and perhaps the world – the Sahel is where these phenomena come together, fuelling social and economic crises. Keeping an eye on the Sahel in 2020 will be paramount.
In contrast with its assertiveness in Syria, Russia’s role in most conflicts in the MENA region consists of proclaiming its non-alignment and keeping all actors content. Moscow does not shy away from casting itself as a true power-broker in the region. It acts as an allegedly impartial mediator that gets along with all actors and respects each country's sovereignty, while trying to find a middle ground, or at least facilitate dialogue, between the stakeholders it deems reliable and important enough.
Despite the existence of global and regional formats for discussing ways to resolve the Libyan conflict, national reconciliation has not been achieved for eight years. This is largely due to the lack of necessary conditions and the existence of conflict at the local, regional and global levels. Russian influence on Libyan events is often exaggerated. Moreover, the media likes to raise this topic, because it allows the various parties to the conflict to divert attention away from the real problems and lack of agreement between the main players fighting for leadership in the Libyan issue.
Eight years of a bloody conflict, over 5.6 million refugees mostly spread across Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan, an estimated $250 billion – according to the United Nations – to rebuild a devastated country, an exhausted population: Syria is undeniably the most consuming crisis in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), whose consequences will long reverberate on the entire region.