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  • Author: Richard Youngs
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Politics in the Middle East are increasingly polarized and fragmented. The Arab Spring's citizen-led spirit of reform is still alive, but societies are increasingly torn apart by bitter tensions between Sunni and Shia, secular liberals and Islamists, and governments and civil society. As polarization has deepened, the concern with engaging in dialogue to bridge differences has intensified. The relationship between these mediation efforts and support for systemic reform will be a pivotal factor in the Middle East's future political trajectory.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Civil Society, Democratization, Islam, Regime Change, Governance, Sectarianism
  • Political Geography: Africa, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Anouar Boukhars
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The Western Sahara, a former Spanish territory annexed by Morocco despite Algerian objections, is a critical region that could quickly become part of the criminal and terrorist networks threatening North Africa and the Sahel. The undergoverned areas abutting the territory are becoming major hubs for drug trafficking, contraband smuggling, and weapons circulation. And Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) is extending its reach in the region. The potential for destabilization is real.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Ethnic Conflict, Islam, Terrorism, Self Determination
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States
  • Author: Ibrahim Saif, Muhammad Abu Rumman
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Islamist parties have gained newfound political power across the Arab world. Four parties in particular—Tunisia's Ennahda, Egypt's Freedom and Justice Party, Morocco's Justice and Development Party, and Jordan's Islamic Action Front—have either made a strong showing at the ballot box or are expected to in upcoming elections. Their successes have dredged up fears about their political and social ambitions, with worries ranging from the enforcement of sharia law to the implications for Western tourists on these countries' beaches. Meanwhile, the parties' economic platforms have largely been overlooked, despite the serious challenges that lie ahead for the economies of the Arab world.
  • Topic: Corruption, Democratization, Islam, Political Economy, Regime Change, Labor Issues
  • Political Geography: Africa, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Marina Ottaway, Mai El-Sadany
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Less than a year after the old “greater” Sudan split into the northern Republic of Sudan and the new Republic of South Sudan—or North and South Sudan, for clarity—the two countries were again in a state of war. Years of international efforts to bring an end to decades of conflict by helping to negotiate the Comprehensive Peace Agreement of 2005 and later efforts to ensure a smooth separation of North and South appear to have come to naught.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Civil War, Genocide, Islam, Treaties and Agreements, Territorial Disputes
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Sudan
  • Author: Wolfram Lacher
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: For the past decade, increasing instability in the Sahel and Sahara region has been a source of growing concern in Europe and the United States. Western governments have worried that the weakness of state control in the area would allow al-Qaeda in the Islamist Maghreb (AQIM) and other jihadist organizations to expand their influence and establish safe havens in areas outside government control. Such fears appear to have been vindicated by the recent takeover of northern Mali by AQIM and organizations closely associated with it.
  • Topic: Crime, Development, Islam, Terrorism, Armed Struggle, Insurgency, Fragile/Failed State
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Europe
  • Author: Anouar Boukhars
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: As the crisis in Mali threatens to grow into a full-fledged regional security and humanitarian nightmare, nervous neighboring countries are looking to Algeria to lead a conflict management effort. In many ways Algeria has always wanted recognition as a regional leader. Yet, Algiers worries about being dragged into a Saharan quagmire and seems reluctant or unable to maintain stability in its backyard. Both the country's neighbors and the West are questioning Algeria's decision not to take a more active role in Mali.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Humanitarian Aid, Islam
  • Political Geography: Africa, Algeria, Mali
  • Author: Amel Boubekeur
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Despite the repression of radical Islamist movements since 1992 and the promulgation of a National Reconciliation law in 1999 aimed at encouraging the repentance of jihadi fighters, Algeria is still subject to regular terrorist attacks. Rather than follow the 1990s model of Islamist parties that believed in politics, expressed themselves within the system, discussed the concept of democracy, and had the goal of building an Islamic State, the radical anti-state rhetoric in Algeria today finds its expression in movements that do not believe in working within the political system. These movements are Salafist in nature and include Jihadi Salafism, personified by the recently formed al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQMI), and Da'wa Salafism, inspired by Saudi Wahhabism. These apolitical or anti-political Salafi trends are the result of the marginaliza-tion of political Salafists, mainly during the 1990s. They reveal the failure of participationist strategies among the moderate Islamist parties and their difficulties in mobilizing their base, a growing depoliticization among the new young Islamist generation, and the urgent need to reinvent pluralistic politics in a post-conflict Algeria.
  • Topic: Security, Civil Society, Government, Islam, Politics, Religion
  • Political Geography: Africa, Algeria
  • Author: Bassma Kodmani
  • Publication Date: 10-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: MUCH HAS BEEN WRITTEN in recent years about Islam and politics, Islam and democracy, and Islam's compatibility with the requirements of modernity. These debates cannot be settled conclusively by referring to the holy texts, because such texts lend themselves to conflicting interpretations. This paper, therefore, takes a different approach. Using Egypt as a case study, it focuses not on the relationship between Islam and politics in the abstract, but on the relationship between religious authority and political authority as it unfolds in practice. It outlines the motivations, interests, strategies, and agendas of the institutions that represent and speak for Islam and those that represent the state and act in its name. The interaction between them is a mix of complicity and rivalry that has profound effects on Egyptian society, the Egyptian state, and its relationship with the outside world.
  • Topic: Islam, Politics, Religion, Sovereignty
  • Political Geography: Africa, Egypt