Faculty in the News
Dr Hossein Askari was recently interviewed by Tehran Times on the changes Saudi Arabia hopes to make to its economic policy to adapt to the slump in oil prices. In the interview, Askari emphasises the need to reduce public spending and encourage private investment in major Saudi holdings, although these reforms will be politically challenging to carry out.
In a recent Public Radio International interview, the director of the Project on Middle East Political Science, Marc Lynch, argued that it is too early to judge the ultimate outcome of the 2011 uprisings. While authoritarian regimes in the Middle East have resisted challenges to their rule recently, these movements have reshaped the entire region. Restating some of the findings of his new book, The New Arab Wars, Lynch predicts that future challenges will potentially be significantly more violent than previous waves of protest, as institutions that can shape discontent into democratization have gradually been eroded.
IMES professor Harris Mylonas wrote a brief article for the series "Greece is Burning" in Cultural Anthropology. The article describes the ways in which Greece's current austerity program and economic situation is reflected in the theatrical concept album "Ballad of Reading Gaol" performed by the rock band KollektivA.
In the wake of President Obama's visit to the GCC summit, IMES & POMEPS Director Marc Lynch published an article in The Washington Post's Monkey Cage blog discussing the evolution of tensions within the Gulf. While much has been made recently of the rivalry with Iran, Dr. Lynch argues that the Gulf monarchies are deeply concerned that Washington would not come to the aid of their regimes in the event of renewed political turmoil. These deeper concerns underlie what would otherwise be considered to be bargaining between regional powers and a superpower ally.
Nathan Brown recently commented on the transfer of two islands in the Red Sea to Saudi Arabia in a New York Times article. He provided background on the regime's initial efforts to insert language into the Egyptian constitution restricting such transfers, noting the irony that these have taken place.