Hollings Center Regional Policy Dialogues cover consequential and challenging topics that link Muslim-majority nations and the United States. Dialogues center on subjects that are critically relevant yet under-discussed in the public sphere. Participants have included a broad spectrum of government officials, experts on domestic and foreign policy, academics, economists, civil society leaders and practitioners.



Afghanistan’s Other Neighbors: Iran, Central Asia and China

July 2008 This dialogue conference focused on Afghanistan’s significant economic, cultural, and political relationships with its neighbors in the region beyond Pakistan.  Scholars, experts, and policy professionals from Afghanistan, the Central Asian Republics, the European Union, Turkey and the United States addressed Afghanistan’s impact on its neighbors, the significance of trans-national ethnicities and the effects…

Iraq: Unity and Diversity (October 2007)

Deep sectarian divides and different visions for Iraq’s future continue to widen rifts within Iraqi society and make advances in governance, economic progress, and stability all the more fragile.  Participants discussed Iraqi national identity, the perspective of Iraq’s neighbors, the impact of the current war on domestic politics and economics and the future of Iraq…

The Durand Line: History, Consequences, and Future

July 2007 The Durand Line, the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, has long been the site of more conflict than cooperation.  This dialogue brought together leading scholars, policy experts, and officials from Afghanistan, Pakistan, the United States and several European countries to focus on the political and legal history of the boundary, its social and…

The Future of the Caspian Sea

May 2006 Unresolved questions of boundaries and legal regimes hinder ties between states bordering the Caspian Sea.  Dialogue participants explored potential areas of collaboration, addressing pollution, protecting fisheries and promoting maritime trade. In cooperation with the International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Austria, the Hollings Center convened the conference with representatives of four…

Meeting of Middle Eastern Television Professionals

February 2006 Television plays a powerful role, reflecting and shaping public opinion in the Middle East.  With support from the Hollings Center, participants in this Search for Common Ground dialogue analyzed trends in Middle Eastern television, weighed the challenges of covering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and discussed whether television programming can promote peace in the region. …

Afghanistan and Pakistan: Cultural Heritage and Current Reality

May 2005 In the midst of heightened violence, the Hollings Center convened prominent scholars from Afghanistan, Pakistan and the United States to discuss the exceedingly difficult yet promising relationship between Afghanistan and Pakistan.  Sessions focused on the sources of conflict between the two neighbors and generated ideas for dispute resolution and cooperation.  


Catherine Long on U.S. Engagement Models in the Greater Horn of Africa

Independent researcher and consultant Catherine Long discusses the various models of engagement that recent U.S. administrations have pursued in relations with the Greater Horn of Africa. For example, she discusses the transition from U.S. aid having good governance conditionality to inclusion of trade goals to newer programs focused on specific health and infrastructure projects.  

Rakiya Omaar on Traditional vs. Non-Traditional Actors in Somalia

Rakiya Omaar, the Director of the Horizon Institute – Somaliland, discusses the Somali perspective on what new actors such as Turkey and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) bring to the table in Somalia in comparison to traditional actors such as the United States.  

Dr. Alp Özerdem on the Role of Traditional vs New Actors in the Greater Horn of Africa

Dr. Alp Özerdem, Co-Director of the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations at Coventry University, discusses the motivations and activities of traditional actors such as the United States in contrast to newer actors such as Turkey and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states in the Greater Horn of Africa. He specifically elaborates on the…

Timor Sharan on Afghanistan’s Foreign Policy

Timor Sharan, Program Management Unit Director at The Asia Foundation, discusses Afghanistan’s foreign policy in light of last year’s presidential election. He specifically examines Afghanistan’s experiences with neutrality versus alignments with regional or international powers. He also discusses how the upcoming loya jirga and 2016 parliamentary elections could affect power sharing in Afghanistan.  


Events & Other Projects