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…

Protecting Cultural Heritage in Conflict: A Dialogue on Emergency Efforts

For any observer of Taliban reign in Afghanistan, the images of the collapsing Bamiyan Buddhas in 2001 must be emblematic of the high price of war and extremism on humankind’s common cultural past. Likewise, for the current generation that is witnessing one of the worst humanitarian disasters in history, the explosion of Palmyra is an…

Afghanistan 2015: From Transition to Transformation

At the start of 2015, it became readily apparent that Afghanistan will undergo significant transformations in the coming years.  The United States referred to the year 2014 as a “transition” point for Afghanistan, as the International Security Assistance Force’s (ISAF) drawdown of forces shifted more of the security and economic responsibility to the Afghan government. …

Corporate Social Responsibility in Islam

As corporate social responsibility (CSR) becomes widespread practice around the world, there are many questions surrounding its implementation in Muslim-majority nations. How has CSR evolved in different Muslim-majority nations and throughout the world? How do Islamic banking and transactions play a role? Can CSR support employability efforts, entrepreneurship, and job creation? How can CSR activities…