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…

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….

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…

The Food Security Factor: Stability, Governance, and Development Choices

Food security in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is viewed as one contributing factor in catalyzing conflicts in the region as well as perpetuating multiple humanitarian crises. The MENA region is the largest importer of food in the world, accounting for nearly 1/3rd of global cereal imports.  Rising prices in staple foods…

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….

Profits to Peace: The Role of Business in Promoting Positive Peace

The Middle East and North Africa region urgently needs ethical and sustainable solutions for the plethora of challenges it faces, including the pressure of displaced populations, growing unemployment, armed conflict, environmental concerns, and lack of food or water security. Multiple previous Hollings Center dialogue programs have noted the important need for sustainable economic growth and…

Middle East and U.S. Relations with the Greater Horn of Africa

Africa in recent years has attracted the attention of new global actors such as Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and other Gulf states, due to its growing markets, vast natural resources, and geostrategic importance. Non-state actors from the Middle East have also taken an interest in Africa by establishing religious and…

Workable Solutions to Radicalization

Numerous studies and efforts seek to understand the conditions in which Da’esh ideology and message spreads, in other words the “root causes” of extremism. Despite these efforts, there is room for more dialogue regarding how communities, civil society, and state apparatuses deal with these root causes. Looking at community-based, local solutions to radicalization as well…

The Water Energy Food Nexus: An Integrated Approach to the Middle East Water Challenge

The Middle East and North Africa region faces growing pressure on its water systems due to population growth, socio-economic development, security issues, urbanization, and environmental degradation. Some of these issues were discussed during the Hollings Center’s May 2014 dialogue conference, High and Dry: Addressing the Middle East Water Challenge. The dialogue, which was cosponsored by…