About the center
The Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East examines the barriers preventing many people in the region from reaching their fullest potential. Our work also highlights success stories of individuals and institutions who overcame significant challenges in pursuit of social, economic, and political progress. Inspired by these examples, we delineate practical and implementable policy recommendations that policymakers in the United States, Europe, and the Middle East can implement to unleash the region’s economic and human potential.
Featured commentary & analysis
IranSource Apr 21, 2023
Springtime in Iran signals the renewal of an environmental movement
By Shirin Hakim and Karen Makuch
Although there has been a decline in the size and frequency of protests in recent months, the onset of Spring serves as a reminder that the goals of the Woman, Life, Freedom movement are perennial.
MENASource Apr 21, 2023
How WhatsApp upended Middle East diplomacy—and what the US can learn from it
By Joze Pelayo, Yulia Shalomov
In WhatsApp’s encrypted channels, diplomats feel freer to form and participate in groups where they privately share resources, coordinate meetings, strategize with colleagues, create informal alliances, lobby for their country’s positions, and coordinate policy decisions.
IranSource Apr 20, 2023
The Islamic Republic is mobilizing all its forces against unveiled Iranian women, but they’re pushing back
By Mahnaz Vahdati
Despite all these brutal actions by the clerical establishment, many Iranian women are taking a prominent role at the forefront of the non-violent opposition to the gender apartheid system in Iran by defying the mandatory hijab.
Featured in-depth research & reports
Report Nov 18, 2022
Conflict management models in the MENA region
By Karim Mezran, Chiara Lovotti, Alissa Pavia, Gerald M. Feierstein, Stefano Marcuzzi, Petr Tůma
The Atlantic Council North Africa Program and the Institute for International Political Studies is pleased to publish its latest dossier focusing on a selected number of conflict-case studies (Libya, Yemen, Mali and Russia).
Report Oct 7, 2022
The MENA region’s uneasy path towards reforms
By Karim Mezran, Valeria Talbot, Alissa Pavia, Lorenzo Fruganti, Eleonora Ardemagni, Andrew Farrand, Alessia Melcangi and Hafsa Halawa
Decade-old geopolitical transformations have impacted the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) states’ efforts to implement socioeconomic reforms. More recently, the Ukraine war’s reverberations are also likely to affect the MENA countries’ paths towards such reforms.
Report Aug 29, 2022
North Africa’s transatlantic relations amid change and continuity
By Karim Mezran, Roberto Menotti, Alessia Melcangi, Emadeddin Badi and Alissa Pavia
The purpose of this report is to identify a potential role for Italy and its diplomacy to play in North Africa, in full agreement and collaboration with the United States and the other main European actors.
The Scowcroft Middle East Security Initiative (SMESI) provides policymakers fresh insights into core US national security interests by leveraging its expertise, networks, and on-the-ground programs to develop unique and holistic assessments on the future of the most pressing strategic, political, and security challenges and opportunities in the Middle East.
We convene the most important stakeholders on issues of primary concern to the transatlantic community when it comes the Middle East and North Africa, from senior US and Middle East government officials to civil society activists and budding entrepreneurs.