Challenging Extremist Ideology, Propaganda and Messaging: Building the Counter-narrative

Violent extremism has been a predominant regional and global security challenge for several decades, but in recent years, it has become more attractive to disenfranchised people all over the world. A combination of theology, political ideology and media savvy messaging make groups like Daesh, Al Qaeda and al Shabab relevant and uniquely positioned to broadcast…

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…

High and Dry: Addressing the Middle East Water Challenge

Often overshadowed by its political turmoil, the Middle East faces increasing environmental and resource-based challenges, such as depleting water resources. Recognizing the need to find possible collective solutions, the Hollings Center and the Prince Mohammad bin Fahd Program for Strategic Research and Studies at the University of Central Florida convened a conference to address challenges…

Expanding Opportunities for Libyan Higher Education

Following Libya’s parliamentary elections in 2012 and the establishment of a new government, the new representatives announced a bold vision for the future of Libyan higher education.  The aim: to create world class universities (WCUs) that would help diversify Libya’s economy and turn Libya into a hub of academic achievement.  Using its significant oil resources,…

Decoding Perceptions in U.S.-Turkey Relations

Perceptions have weighed heavily on U.S.-Turkey relations and how American and Turkish leaders and the general public see one another.  Despite an often robust bilateral relationship with the US, Turkish public opinion has always been skeptical of U.S. involvement in Turkey and the Middle East. On the other hand, U.S. public opinion on Turkey is usually uninformed…

Central Asia’s Regional Challenges

Central Asia is the region that isn’t exactly a region. The republics trade globally, but relatively little with one another. Their border and customs policies remain highly dysfunctional despite well‐meaning international aid programs. And much of the new infrastructure in the region has developed to serve national territory, rather than to better connect states to one another. Central…

Iraq’s Foreign Policy and Economic Challenges

Iraq is in a critical stage of political and economic development, and its growing potential as a regional lynchpin runs alongside great domestic uncertainty, divisions and soul-searching about where the country is headed. Where is Iraq headed as a nation, and what can next-generation Iraqi leaders do to bridge regional and sectarian divisions?  A young…

Foreign Policy and Competing Mediation in the Middle East and Central Asia

July 2012 The political upheavals in the Middle East have shifted the foreign policy landscape in the region.  States like Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia are implementing assertive foreign policies in a region that was arguably dominated for decades by U.S. foreign policy. What comparative advantages do aspiring regional powers have?  Will they compete with…

Oral History in the Middle East and Central Asia

How can we deploy oral history more globally to sustainably foster partnerships and exchanges of ideas across international and cultural boundaries?  How can digital technology make oral history more of a public resource in the Middle East, Central Asia and the United States?  What are the benefits and limitations of using memory to diagnose and…

The Economies of the Arab Spring

October 2011 Until recently, the economic dimensions of the Arab Spring have played second fiddle to high-order political issues.  Policymakers and pundits have focused much more on the posturing of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) in Egypt or on debating whether an Nahda will upend the secular order in Tunisia.  Less attention…