Author: Mirjam Schmidt


Brussels MENA Briefing: Jordanian Foreign Policy in Light of Regional Geopolitical Shifts

Brussels MENA Briefing: Jordanian Foreign Policy in Light of Regional Geopolitical Shifts

September 8, 2020

On September 8, the Center for Applied Research in Partnership with the Orient (CARPO) and the EastWest Institute (EWI) hosted their sixth “Brussels MENA Briefing”—a series of after-work briefings on the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region—on the topic of “Jordanian Foreign Policy in Light of Regional Geopolitical Shifts.”

Speakers included Dr. Amer Al Sabaileh, professor at the University of Jordan and well-known security and political analyst, and Dr. Edmund Ratka, designated head of the Amman Office of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation. The discussion was moderated by Wael Abdul-Shafi, EWI MENA program associate.

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Brussels MENA Briefing: How to Rescue Sudan’s Transition Process

Brussels MENA Briefing: How to Rescue Sudan’s Transition Process

July 7, 2020

On July 7, the Center for Applied Research in Partnership with the Orient (CARPO) and the EastWest Institute (EWI) hosted their fifth “Brussels MENA Briefing”—a series of after-work briefings on the MENA region—focusing on how to rescue Sudan’s transition process, as well as the role the international community can play in Sudan’s political transition.

Speakers included Yasir Zaidan, lecturer of international affairs and security studies at the National University of Sudan, and Dr. Annette Weber, senior fellow at the Africa and Middle East division of the German Institute for International and Security Studies (SWP) in Berlin. EWI’s Vice President of the MENA program, Kawa Hassan, served as moderator.

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Brussels MENA Briefing: New Iraqi Government in Place: Challenges and Opportunities for Iraq in its Neighborhood

Brussels MENA Briefing: New Iraqi Government in Place: Challenges and Opportunities for Iraq in its Neighborhood

June 9, 2020

On June 9, the Center for Applied Research in Partnership with the Orient (CARPO) and the EastWest Institute (EWI) hosted their fourth “Brussels MENA Briefing”—a series of afterwork briefings on the MENA region—focusing on challenges facing the new Iraqi government, as well as the role the European Union (EU) can play in supporting the new government in Baghdad.

Speakers included Sajad Jiyad, visiting fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) and former managing director of the Al-Bayan Center for Planning and Studies based in Baghdad, and Daniela Verena Huber, head of the Mediterranean and Middle East Program of the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI). EWI’s Vice President of the MENA program, Kawa Hassan, severed as moderator.

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The Looming Climate Peril. Sustainable Strategies and Environmental Activism in the Middle East and North Africa

The Looming Climate Peril. Sustainable Strategies and Environmental Activism in the Middle East and North Africa

by Tobias Zumbrägel Taking the viewpoint of ‘political ecology’, this first issue of the newly created CARPO Sustainability Series highlights the social and political implications of sustainable transformation across the broader Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Overall, it aims to achieve four goals: (a) to provide a comprehensive overview of existing research and […]

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Annual Report 2019

Annual Report 2019

Beginning of December 2019, CARPO celebrated its fifth anniversary. So in addition to a look back at our activities of the past year, in this Annual Report we will also reflect on five years of CARPO’s existence. And we do look back in pride on our evolution since we first set out! When we, the members of CARPO’s Executive […]

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Brussels MENA Briefing: The Status Quo of the Libya Conflict: Is the Berlin Process Obsolete?

Brussels MENA Briefing: The Status Quo of the Libya Conflict: Is the Berlin Process Obsolete?

May 5, 2020

On May 5, the Center for Applied Research in Partnership with the Orient (CARPO) and the EastWest Institute (EWI) hosted their third “Brussels MENA Briefing,” a series of after-work briefings on the MENA region, on the state of affairs of the ongoing Libyan Civil War.

Speakers included Anas El Gomati, founder and director of the Sadeq Institute, and Kristina Kausch, senior resident fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States. CARPO’s CEO Adnan Tabatabai served as moderator.

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Brussels MENA Briefing: Post-Sultan Qaboos Oman: Transition Opportunities and Challenges

Brussels MENA Briefing: Post-Sultan Qaboos Oman: Transition Opportunities and Challenges

April 8, 2020

On April 8, the EastWest Institute (EWI) and the Center for Applied Research in Partnership with the Orient (CARPO), hosted the second “Brussels MENA Briefing,” a series of after-work briefings on the MENA region, this time focusing on Oman in the post-Sultan Qaboos era. Invited speakers were Dr. Yousuf Hamed al Balushi, CEO of Smart Investment Gateway and Dr. Cinzia Bianco, Visiting Fellow on Europe and the Gulf at the European Council on Foreign Relations and Senior Analyst at Gulf States Analytics. The Briefing was held online due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and moderated by Kawa Hassan, EWI’s Vice President of the Middle East and North Africa program.

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Media as a Driver of (Dis)Unity in West Asia and the Arabian Peninsula

Media as a Driver of (Dis)Unity in West Asia and the Arabian Peninsula

October 24th 2019, Bonn

In recent years, discussions about the role of the media for societal dynamics and civil society activism in West Asia and the Arabian Peninsula (WAAP) have emphasized that, on the positive side, ordinary citizens have much better access to information and can easier connect, mobilize and coordinate societal activities. On the negative side, however, governments and various interest groups (some even violent) use social media platforms to advance their own agenda, spread misinformation or attract followers. Both developments have made media an increasingly important player in WAAP. It is thus important to look into how media actors themselves see their roles in such a context, and whether they see media as a driver of unity or disunity – especially in today’s interconnected supranational media landscape. Furthermore, It should be discussed whether or not there is (or should be) a way to empower the unifying role media can play. 

To discuss these questions, CARPO invited three speakers from West Asia and the Arabian Peninsula to share their views on the subject matter. 

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Brussels MENA Briefing: Iran After Parliamentary Elections

Brussels MENA Briefing: Iran After Parliamentary Elections

March 11, 2020

CARPO’s inaugural “Brussels MENA Briefing” focuses on Iran’s parliamentary elections and the resulting domestic implications and consequences for Iranian foreign relations.

On March 3, the Center for Applied Research in Partnership with the Orient (CARPO) and the EastWest Institute (EWI), launched its “Brussels MENA Briefing” series with the topic of the recent parliamentary elections in Iran. Dr. Azadeh Zamirirad from the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) and Adnan Tabatabai from CARPO led the discussion, with EWI’s Wael Abdul-Shafi serving as moderator.

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China’s Strategy in the Persian Gulf. A Balancing Act between Riyadh and Tehran [in German]

China’s Strategy in the Persian Gulf. A Balancing Act between Riyadh and Tehran [in German]

by Julia Gurol and Jacopo Scita This Brief discusses the repercussions of geopolitical developments on China’s strategy in the Persian Gulf. It is argued that China is pursuing strategic hedging by attempting a risky political balancing act in order to prepare for a possible escalation. This Brief is a slightly edited German translation of the […]

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Developing Yemen’s Fishing Industry

Developing Yemen’s Fishing Industry

This policy brief summarizes discussions regarding Yemen’s fishing industry at a ‘Rethinking Yemen’s Economy’ workshop held in al-Mukalla, Yemen, on November 26-28, 2019. The workshop participants, among them numerous stakeholders in the fishing industry from across Yemen, agreed that given the inability of the Ministry of Fish Wealth to carry out its basic institutional functions […]

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The Role of Women in Peacebuilding in Yemen

The Role of Women in Peacebuilding in Yemen

by Iman al-Gawfi, Bilkis Zabara and Stacey Philbrick Yadav Yemeni women are laying foundations for sustainable peace through everyday practices that have the capacity to help transform the landscape of women’s rights in the post-war period. Wider recognition of women’s paid and unpaid work in wartime, and the conditions that enable it, could improve the […]

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<i>Bar’a</i> as an Expression of Liminality Ritual Performance, Identity and Conflict Prevention in the Highlands of Yemen

Bar’a as an Expression of Liminality Ritual Performance, Identity and Conflict Prevention in the Highlands of Yemen

by Ulrike Stohrer This Study focuses on the performative genre barʿa, which is one of the most important means of nonverbal communication between social groups in Yemen. As such, this Study deals with a cultural practice of the tribal population in the Yemeni highlands that also has important significance for Yemeni society as a whole […]

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Developing Human Capital

Developing Human Capital

This Policy Brief summarizes discussions regarding Yemen’s human capital at a ‘Rethinking Yemen’s Economy’ workshop held in Amman, Jordan, on August 24-25, 2019. The workshop participants agreed that many of the obstacles to improving Yemen’s human capital were present prior to the current conflict. This Policy Brief thus recommends: countrywide population surveys; more funding of […]

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Corruption in Yemen

Corruption in Yemen

Corruption, or the abuse of power for private gain, has been deeply entrenched in the Yemeni political economy for decades. Over the course of the ongoing conflict, however, state capture in Yemen has become far more complex, and new patronage networks have emerged with interests that have extended across national borders and crossed the frontlines […]

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The Essential Role of Remittances in Mitigating Economic Collapse

The Essential Role of Remittances in Mitigating Economic Collapse

Scarce opportunities to earn a viable livelihood in Yemen continue to drive hundreds of thousands of Yemenis abroad in search of work, especially to neighboring countries. Over time, remittances from Yemeni expatriates have become one of the most important sources of foreign currency inflows into Yemen and have played an essential role in mitigating economic […]

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Projecting Power Westwards. China’s Maritime Strategy in the Arabian Sea and its Potential Ramifications for the Region

Projecting Power Westwards. China’s Maritime Strategy in the Arabian Sea and its Potential Ramifications for the Region

by Julia Gurol & Parisa Shahmohammadi This Study looks at China’s new maritime strategy in the Arabian Sea within the framework of the Maritime Silk Road and analyses its possible implications for the adjacent countries. The main focus of the analysis is placed on the most critical sea lines of communication which connect China with […]

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Generating New Employment Opportunities II: Labor Force, Labor Market and Expatriates

Generating New Employment Opportunities II: Labor Force, Labor Market and Expatriates

Decades of political instability and cyclical armed conflict have curtailed Yemen’s economic growth, job creation and labor productivity. Sharing a collective sense of urgency to address Yemen’s worsening economic and humanitarian crises, 22 of Yemen’s leading socioeconomic experts convened as part of the Rethinking Yemen’s Economy initiative to discuss job creation in Yemen and develop […]

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Transitional Government in Post-Conflict Yemen

Transitional Government in Post-Conflict Yemen

To maximize the effectiveness of governance in post-conflict Yemen, two options stand out for the composition of an immediate post-conflict government to lead a transitional period in the country. First, a consensus government with cabinet seats divided among the key Yemeni political factions. Second, a technocratic caretaker government appointed by a consensus prime minister. In […]

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Generating New Employment Opportunities I: Yemeni Labour Market

Generating New Employment Opportunities I: Yemeni Labour Market

Decades of political instability and cyclical armed conflict have curtailed Yemen’s economic growth, job creation and labor productivity. Before the current conflict, much of the country’s working population was engaged in unskilled labor, working in rural agriculture or informally employed in small businesses. Sharing a collective sense of urgency to address Yemen’s worsening economic and […]

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The Development Champions

The Development Champions

The Development Champions are a group of senior Yemeni experts and professionals from various backgrounds and with established expertise in development and economy. The Development Champions discuss priorities for intervention by national and international policymakers, issue respective recommendations and are thus at the heart of the Rethinking Yemen’s Economy initiative. The aim of this initiative […]

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The Road to Reconstruction

The Road to Reconstruction

The ongoing conflict in Yemen has imposed grievous costs on Yemenis, damaging lives, property, and infrastructure, and collapsing the country’s already fragile economy. And yet the conflict will eventually subside. Previous reconstruction efforts in Yemen following conflict or natural disaster have suffered from lack of coordination with and unrealistic expectations from international donors, as well […]

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The Need to Reform the Public Sector Wage Bill

The Need to Reform the Public Sector Wage Bill

This Policy Brief addresses the issue of Yemen’s bloated public sector. Amid consistently large budget deficits, the inflated public sector wage bill is fiscally unsustainable and threatens to undermine economic recovery and future stability in Yemen. Recognizing the multiple challenges of reforming the public sector, even in a stable country, the recommendations brought forward in this […]

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Local Governance in Yemen

Local Governance in Yemen

Local councils are among Yemen’s most important state institutions. Responsible for providing basic public services to millions of Yemenis, local councils represent official governance and the Yemeni state for vast swathes of the population. The intensification of the conflict since March 2015, however, has undermined the councils’ ability to operate effectively in most areas of […]

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Transitional Government in Post-Conflict Yemen

Transitional Government in Post-Conflict Yemen

This Policy Brief offers recommendations to maximize the effectiveness of governance in post-conflict Yemen – whatever the composition or structure of the government. It presents three case studies on government models previously introduced in Yemen, Tunisia and Lebanon after periods of instability. These case studies offer useful lessons on the challenges, risks and opportunities of […]

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Tafahum – An Ideational Fundament for West Asia and the Arabian Peninsula

Tafahum – An Ideational Fundament for West Asia and the Arabian Peninsula

by Christian Koch and Adnan Tabatabai This CARPO Brief discusses the need to construct ideational pillars for a tafahum, or common understanding, of how to define a process towards regional integration and a shared security architecture for West Asia and the Arabian Peninsula (WAAP). This is an evolutionary process, which begins with the essential building […]

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Reconstruction and Recovery in Yemen

Reconstruction and Recovery in Yemen

This Policy Brief brings forward the results of in-depth discussions held by the Development Champions with the aim of developing recommendations and guidelines to ensure the reconstruction and recovery of Yemen is a comprehensive, effective process that has a long-term positive impact. The Champions’ recommendations include measures to link immediate humanitarian interventions to Yemen’s long-term […]

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Economic Confidence-Building Measures – Civil Servant Salaries

Economic Confidence-Building Measures – Civil Servant Salaries

This Policy Brief brings forward crucial recommendations resulting out of the fourth Development Champions Forum in Amman, held in December 2018. The Development Champions recommend that the Yemeni government resumes salary payments to all civil servants working in the administrative apparatus of the state registered in the Ministry of Civil Service database of 2014 across […]

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Understanding Peace Requirements in Yemen

Understanding Peace Requirements in Yemen

by Mareike Transfeld & Marie-Christine Heinze This CARPO Report serves as a background paper to five short studies Yemeni-international researcher tandems will develop in the course of 2019. It places a particular focus on ‘peace requirements’, a term that seeks to draw attention to the manifold challenges to establishing stability and building peace in Yemen […]

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Back to Crisis Mode. Iran’s Quest to Manage Internal Crises and External Pressures [in German]

Back to Crisis Mode. Iran’s Quest to Manage Internal Crises and External Pressures [in German]

by Adnan Tabatabai This CARPO Report is dedicated to an analytical discussion about how the ongoing crisis surrounding the nuclear agreement between the E3/EU+3 and Iran is affecting the foreign policy conduct of the Islamic Republic, its internal power balance, as well as the future of state-society relations in Iran. This is the German translation […]

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