Only months ago, expectations were high that the Syrian civil war was coming to an end. But today, it seems that the war for Syria is just beginning. New disturbing scenarios are opening up. Weeks ago, tensions between Iran and Israel over Syria reached an all-time high. Meanwhile, the Turkish military began the operation "Olive Branch" in the Kurdish-controlled Afrin district in the northern region of the country.
The Huthi movement has been often pictured as an Iranian proxy, overstating existing support by Teheran and the regional Shia networks, while underestimating the weight of Ansarullah’s local insurgency. This paper aims to deconstruct and contextualize the Ansarullah phenomenon before and during Yemen’s regionalized civil war. Husayn Al-Huthi’s movement re-discovered Zaydi tradition, but contextualized it into the politicization of the Shia trend.
The genealogy of the Yemeni conflict is complex, stratified and too often oversimplified thorough the use of purely-sectarian explanations. This contribute aims to decrypt internal and external actors, shedding light on turning-points and game-changer factors within the crisis, in order to isolate the most pressing regional implications of the conflict.
Over the last years the Gulf monarchies have emerged as assertive players both in the MENA region and in the global context. Relying on their huge energy reserves and financial assets, these states acquired increasing international leverage. On the one hand, the oil monarchies moved eastwards exploiting the opportunity provided by emerging Asian markets to diversify their energy relations and economic interests. On the other, in the wake of the Arab uprisings they adopted a more proactive approach that dramatically altered their influence in the region. Nonetheless, Gulf activism comes at a time when the monarchies are facing important internal and external challenges.
In this complex puzzle, the report aims to assess to what extent the rising Gulf monarchies are able to play as key actors both at the regional and the international levels. Are these monarchies adopting sustainable domestic policies in the long-term? How have they extended their influence in the MENA region? How are they reshaping their international relations? How do they act in the world energy market? What are the implications of the Gulf’s new assertiveness for the EU?
The Middle East and North Africa Region has probably recovered more strongly than other regions of the world from the financial crisis, thanks to the dynamics of oil prices. However, the outbreak of the Arab Spring, motivated also by economic grievances, suggests that the impact of the world economic crisis in the region is probably deeper than imagined. Despite growth and increasing investments, unemploy-ment in the region is persistent, due on the one side to the growing population on the other side to rising inequality and ineffective management of the economy (rentier state).