October 5, 2018
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The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is experiencing a time of great transformation and as well as tumult. Atlantic Council Senior Fellow Dr. Karim Mezran and Dr. Arturo Varvelli of the Italian Institute for International Political Studies gathered experts to explore decentralization and political Islam in six MENA countries in “The Arc of Crisis in the MENA Region: Fragmentation, Decentralization, and Islamist Opposition.”

The report is divided into three parts. The first explores whether decentralization can positively contribute to more effective governance in fragmented environments across the region. The second examines the diverse manifestations of political Islam following the changes several countries experienced after the 2011 uprisings. The third addresses the issue of energy, including the challenges and opportunities it presents in the current political climate.

 


The authors provide case studies from Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, and Jordan. By exploring the unique case in each country, this report identifies patterns that elucidate larger trends that may impact the future of the MENA region.

The report was edited by Dr. Karim Mezran, resident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center, and Dr. Arturo Varvelli, senior research fellow and co-head of the Middle East and North Africa Center at the Italian Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI). Authors include Dr. Mezran; Dr. Varvelli; Dr. Ranj Alaaldin, visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution; Fadil Aliriza, independent journalist and researcher; Emily Burchfield, assistant director at the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East, Silvia Carenzi, research assistant for the Program on Radicalization and International Terrorism at the Italian Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI), Mary Fitzgerald, independent researcher and consultant; Faysal Itani, resident senior fellow at the Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East at the Atlantic Council; Dr. Paolo Maggiolini, associate research fellow at ISPI, Erin A. Neale, project assistant at the Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East; Dr. Andrea Plebani, associate research fellow at ISPI; Dr. Ashraf El Sherif, an adjunct lecturer of Political Science at the American University in Cairo; Dr. Simone Tagliapietra, a research fellow at the Italian think tank Bruegel; and Dr. Stefano Torelli, associate research fellow at ISPI.

This report was produced in partnership with The Institute for International Political Studies in Milan, Italy.

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