Emerging Forms of Islamic Civil Society in Central Asia

Although levels of religiosity vary, over eighty five percent of Central Asians self-identify as Muslim, with the vast majority adhering to the Sunni Hanafi school of jurisprudence and over 100,000 Pamiris in Tajikistan following Shia Isma’ilism. Almost 30 years after the end of the Soviet Union, many Central Asians, in particular the younger generation, are…

Multi-Generational Perspectives on U.S.-Turkey Relations

Notwithstanding very serious challenges, the United States and Turkey continue to share goals and interests across a broad range of geostrategic issues. The two countries continue to cooperate in certain fields, such as defense and counterterrorism. Despite the threat of tariffs and sanctions, trade relations continue with prospects for growth. Both Turkey and the U.S….

Smart and Sustainable Cities

The increased use of data and technology by cities around the world to improve urban infrastructure and to enhance the quality of life for their residents has led to innovative solutions to municipal challenges, while also raising questions on how to best create an inclusive social and economic infrastructure. Proponents of developing strategies for integrating…

Charting the New Media Landscape

The way we receive information—whether it is the news, data about our surroundings, commercial information, or simply personal communication—has drastically changed with the permeation of internet and digital technologies into our daily lives. The rise of social media platforms has radically altered how we consume information and news throughout the world, for better or worse….

Megacities

The United Nations report World Urbanization Prospects 2018 describes a megacity as a city of 10 million or more inhabitants.[1] By that definition, the number of megacities will increase from 10 in 1990 to an estimated 43 in 2030 globally, hosting nearly 9 percent of the world’s population.[2] Spanning five continents, megacities present numerous economic, demographic,…

Economic Diversification in the GCC

In all six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries[1], the bulk of government revenues comes from hydrocarbons. Despite the recent rise in the price of oil, some countries in the GCC face a harsh economic outlook due to unemployment, high debt levels, and strained financial markets. In addition to the socioeconomic challenges, GCC countries are likely…

Social Integration through Entrepreneurship

(Looking for the Megacities report?  Click here.) Today, the Middle East in North Africa (MENA) region faces the great challenges of social integration and economic diversification. According to an Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development report on youth in the MENA region, “young men and women in the MENA region face the highest youth unemployment…

U.S.-Southeast Asia: Building Strategic Relationships

American attention in the Pacific region has shifted to northeast Asia because trade and security disputes with China and North Korea have become the focal point of U.S. foreign policy in the region. As a result, Southeast Asia has received secondary attention from the United States and may even be considered through the lens of…

The Internationalization of Higher Education and Cross-border Quality Assurance

The workshop was organized by the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC), the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), and the Hollings Center for International Dialogue to explore cross-border quality assurance of higher education specifically in Malaysia, Oman, and the United States and more generally in the Arab region and in Southeast Asia. The purpose was…

Political Pluralism in the Middle East and North Africa

The political landscape of the Middle East and North Africa in 2018 is a terrain deeply hostile to nurturing the seeds of democracy planted so spectacularly just seven years prior during the momentous events of the Arab Uprisings. The region today seems characterized above all by violence, instability, social tension, renewed authoritarianism, and humanitarian crisis….