The Middle East program explores issues that affect regional security from the Mediterranean to the Gulf. The program’s two primary focuses include the strategic struggles between the Arab world and Iran, and sectarian identity in the region.
Stimson scholars are working on cross-border dynamics in the region. The Middle East program is focused on the rising threat from sectarianism and its roots in radical Islamic ideology, looking at key countries and at regional consequences. Gulf Security work analyzes both traditional and non-traditional security issues impacting the Gulf states and their neighbors. In 2016 the program is monitoring the regional security repercussions of the Iran nuclear negotiations.
Stimson conducts research in the region using interviews, structured dialogue, and surveys to develop deep understanding of complex issues at play. The program uses workshops and conversations to develop policy ideas for regional countries and for outside actors, including the United States. Large public events provide forums for diverse perspectives, highlight voices from the Middle East, and disseminate findings from program research.
The Middle East program focuses on generating knowledge and deeper understanding of the many uncertainties in the region that have created a volatile security environment. The program seeks to explore ways for states and societies to reduce and mitigate the causes and effects of sectarianism. In recent years, the program has also highlighted positive regional trends related to the Arab spring and prospects for regional transformation through economic growth and regional cooperation. These two trends and themes coexist uneasily in a region fraught with uncertainty, but there is evidence of pragmatic value in demonstrating the complexity of the region, and not succumbing to one-dimensional views of the situation on the ground.
George C. Marshall Foundation (USA), Gulf Research Center (Geneva and Saudi Arabia), L’Institut Arabe des Chefs d’Entreprises (Tunisia), United States Institute of Peace (USA).