The Role of the Private Sector in Peacebuilding in Yemen

The Role of the Private Sector in Peacebuilding in Yemen

by Tarek Barakat, Ali al-Jarbani and Laurent Bonnefoy

This Brief analyzes the state of the private sector in Yemen during the ongoing war and explores its potential to contribute to the country’s peace requirements. It presents challenges entrepreneurs face and the potential contribution of these in sectors that are central to the construction and sustainability of peace. It highlights the fact that their actions and capacity to offer jobs and revenue to the Yemeni population are constrained by the fragmentation of authority and the resultant lack of transparency. It also demonstrates that the focus on regional and international aid has left many entrepreneurs feeling abandoned and helpless.

view brief in English or Arabic
view printer-friendly version in English or Arabic


The Role of Civil Society in Peacebuilding in Yemen

The Role of Civil Society in Peacebuilding in Yemen

by Abdulkarim Qassim, Loay Amin, Mareike Transfeld and Ewa Strzelecka

The current political and economic conditions in Yemen make it difficult for CSOs to continue functioning on an effective level, while a lack of human and organizational capacity are hampering project results. Nevertheless, Yemeni CSOs contribute to peace requirements in various sectors and remain an important actor in the Yemeni civic sphere. In a context in which conflict parties are not willing to compromise and media contributes to escalating violence, actors that uphold the principles of human rights, political participation and peace are most likely to be found in the realm of civil society. For civil society to be able to contribute to peacebuilding and future reconstruction efforts, now is the time for international organizations to support CSOs and invest seriously into their human and organizational capacity building.

view brief in English or Arabic
view printer-friendly version in English or Arabic


The Role of Youth in Peacebuilding in Yemen

The Role of Youth in Peacebuilding in Yemen

by Maged al-Kholidy, Yazeed al-Jeddawy and Kate Nevens

Despite its major transformative potential, local level youth work is often overlooked by mainstream international discourses on national level peace processes and violent conflict. This Brief sheds light on young peoples’ activism before and during the war, the challenges they are currently facing, their visions for the future of Yemen and the kind of support they need. The contributions of young men and women to the economy, politics, culture and society, security and justice, education and the environment show how youth are laying the groundwork for peace and social cohesion in their communities.

view brief in English or Arabic
view printer-friendly version in English or Arabic


The Role of the Media in Peacebuilding in Yemen

The Role of the Media in Peacebuilding in Yemen

by Fatima Saleh, Scott Preston and Mareike Transfeld

The increased political capture of the Yemeni media since 2014 has reinforced diverging political discourses and has contributed to polarization across society and to political fragmentation. Practitioners face steep challenges in composing professional stories. Journalists are subject to harassment, intimidation, abduction and violence. Yet, Yemeni journalists remain hopeful of the prospect of media reform and are eager to detail the prerequisites for proactive change. Encouraging the development of independent news outlets, independent funding and capacity-building activities could enable the Yemeni media to contribute to better mutual understanding, de-escalation and the requirements for peace.

view brief in English or Arabic
view printer-friendly version in English or Arabic


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 authors’ contribution ‘China’s Persian Gulf strategy: Keep Tehran and Riyadh content‘ on the IranSource Blog of the Atlantic Council, which was first published on 24 January 2020.

view Brief
view printer-friendly version 


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 social cohesion, economic stability, and human security necessary for sustainable peace. Based on research conducted in the summer and fall of 2019, this CARPO/GDRSC Brief reviews variations in women’s experience of conflict and participation in everyday peacebuilding in different parts of the country, advocates for an entitlement-based approach that recognizes women’s agency, supports women’s diverse aims, and works to leverage their existing contributions in support of sustainable peace.

view CARPO/GDRSC Brief in English or Arabic
view printer-friendly version in English or Arabic


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 blocks of overcoming the existing lack of trust and addressing not only the current political and ideological conflicts defining the region from different angles, but also the conceptual frameworks behind them. The Tafahum project provides such building blocks, including the pursuit of issue-oriented cooperation between regional actors on a variety of subjects, promoted through the support of external parties.

view CARPO Brief in English, Arabic, or Farsi
view printer-friendly version in English, Arabic, or Farsi


A Strained Alliance. Transatlantic Views on the Middle East

A Strained Alliance. Transatlantic Views on the Middle East

by Adnan Tabatabai

This CARPO Brief provides the readers with a reflection of the discussions held during a workshop organized by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAS) and CARPO, which brought together policy experts from the think tank communities of Europe and the United States. The focus of the discussions was on specific country contexts (Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Saudi Arabia), but also considered transnational areas of shared concern, such as the rise of non-state actors, violent extremism and state failure. Distinct points of convergence and divergence in transatlantic views on the Middle East are highlighted and summarized.

view CARPO Brief
view printer-friendly version


Knowledge in Dialogue. The Role of Academic Exchange in Mitigating Conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia

Knowledge in Dialogue. The Role of Academic Exchange in Mitigating Conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia

by Jan Hanrath

The sixth meeting of CARPO and the EastWest Institute’s ‘Iran-Saudi Dialogue Initiative’ dealt with knowledge production and knowledge dialogue in context of the highly conflictual relationship between Iran and Saudi Arabia and explored the potential of academic exchanges and scientific cooperation in defusing such tensions. The workshop brought together academics, representatives of think tanks and security analysts from Iran and Saudi Arabia as well as international experts. The participants discussed general conditions and approaches of academic dialogues, as well as concrete steps that can be envisioned even in times of heightened conflict. All participants agreed that an increase of knowledge on its own does not automatically lead to more understanding. Different forms of knowledge need to be understood and applied, and existing gaps between the various forms bridged. Only in doing so academic dialogue can live up to its potential as bridge-builder. CARPO Brief 11 takes up the discussions of the workshop and presents policy recommendations.

view CARPO Brief
view printer-friendly version


Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder among Yemeni Children as a Consequence of the Ongoing War

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder among Yemeni Children as a Consequence of the Ongoing War

by Fawziah al-Ammar

This CARPO Brief summarizes initial findings of the author’s research among displaced school children in Sana‘a in spring 2016, based on the internationally recognized Child PTSD Symptoms Scale (CPSS). It finds that they have been experiencing severe symptoms of PTSD since the breakout of violent conflict and war and that the rates of PTSD experience are higher compared to results from similar studies in other countries going through conflict. It thus concludes that Yemeni school children are in dire need of help to overcome the difficulties they might face in the future and provides respective recommendations.

view CARPO brief
view printer-friendly version


Enhancing Women’s Role in Water Management in Yemen

Enhancing Women’s Role in Water Management in Yemen

by Bilkis Zabara

This CARPO Brief addresses the relationship between gender and natural resources in conflict-affected Yemen. It describes the impact of the war on women’s access to water resources and sanitation facilities and analyzes the role of women in decision-making and water-distribution processes. It finds that the involvement of women at all levels of water management and governance is of utmost importance if the access to water as a basic human right is to be guaranteed and provides respective recommendations.

view CARPO Brief
view printer-friendly version


Environmental Challenges in a Conflictive Environment. Iranian and Saudi Perspectives on the Risks of Climate Change and Ecological Deterioration.

Environmental Challenges in a Conflictive Environment. Iranian and Saudi Perspectives on the Risks of Climate Change and Ecological Deterioration.

by Jan Hanrath und Wael Abdul-Shafi

The fourth meeting of CARPO and the EastWest Institute’s ‘Iran-Saudi Track 2 Initiative’ dealt with the political, social and economic risks posed by current environmental challenges to Iran and Saudi Arabia alike. The workshop brought together academics, environmental experts, security analysts and former diplomats from Iran and Saudi Arabia as well as international experts. The participants discussed environmental issues to reach a better understanding of the political context and to identify opportunities and limits for Iranian-Saudi cooperation in the field of regional environmental policy. Fully aware that the current political situation makes cooperation very difficult, participants discussed potential avenues of exchange below the level of national governments and proposed initiatives for cooperation on a regional and international level. CARPO Brief 08 summarizes key insights and recommendations derived from the conference discussions.

view CARPO Brief
view printer-friendly version


Envisioning the Future: Iranian and Saudi Perspectives on the Post-Oil Economy

Envisioning the Future: Iranian and Saudi Perspectives on the Post-Oil Economy

by Danila Bochkarev and Jan Hanrath

The third meeting of CARPO and the EastWest Institute’s Iran-Saudi Track 2 Dialogue Initiative was dedicated to the repercussions of changing global energy markets on Iran and Saudi Arabia. The workshop brought together policy experts and economists from Iran and Saudi Arabia as well as experts from Europe. They discussed challenges and opportunities a ‘post-oil’ era might bring and explored potential areas for cooperation between both countries. While participants agreed on the necessity of cooperation for creating strong and less oil-dependent economies, from which both countries as well as the whole region would benefit, their assessments varied on where this could begin. CARPO Brief 07 summarizes key insights and recommendations derived from the conference discussions.

view CARPO Brief
view printer-friendly version


Between Dependence and Diversification. Making Sense of Iran’s Energy

Between Dependence and Diversification. Making Sense of Iran’s Energy

by David Ramin Jalilvand

Parallel to the conclusion and implementation of the nuclear deal, Iran’s energy sector has become a subject of interest around the world. An estimated $100 billion in foreign investment are needed for the modernization of the Iranian energy industry. Following the relief of sanctions granted as part of the nuclear deal, the government of President Hassan Rouhani is now trying to gain cooperation with international companies. In order to make better sense of Tehran’s energy policy and to more accurately assess the overall situation in the Iranian energy sector, this paper argues that attention needs to also be given to Iran’s long-term developments. Unlike the past, Iran is now increasingly utilizing its oil and natural gas production domestically. This has important implications for the country’s political economy.

view CARPO Brief
view printer-friendly version


Victimized by Geopolitics. Iranian and Saudi Perspectives on the Refugee Crisis

Victimized by Geopolitics. Iranian and Saudi Perspectives on the Refugee Crisis

by Wael Abdul-Shafi, Kawa Hassan und Adnan Tabatabai

The second meeting of CARPO and the EastWest Institute’s Iran-Saudi Track 2 Dialogue initiative took place in spring 2016 in Bonn. Current and former diplomats, analysts and security experts from both countries met alongside European scholars and experts to discuss “Iranian and Saudi Perspectives on the Refugee Crisis”. During the two-day conference, the participants elaborated on how the term “refugee“ is conceptualized in Saudi Arabia and Iran. They further shared their views and future visions about the ongoing conflicts and the humanitarian crises in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Afghanistan – the four main ’departure contexts’ of refugees in West and Central Asia. CARPO Brief 05 summarizes key insights and recommendations derived from the conference discussions.

view CARPO Brief
view printer-friendly version


The EU’s Balancing Act in the Middle East. How to Engage Iran without Alienating GCC States

The EU’s Balancing Act in the Middle East. How to Engage Iran without Alienating GCC States

by Jan Hanrath

Initial hopes that the nuclear agreement between Iran and the E3+3 would increase regional security and decrease political tensions have been dashed. Conflicts in the Middle East are escalating further, and tensions between GCC states and Iran are intensifying. In light of this regional tug-of-war, the EU needs to develop a policy that succeeds in integrating the Iranian position into regional affairs without alienating other allies in the region. Against this backdrop CARPO organized a conference on EU-Middle East relations early this year. CARPO Brief 04 summarizes the conference discussions and outlines potential EU-Middle East initiatives.

view CARPO Brief
view printer-friendly version


Know Your Enemy – Iranian and Saudi Perspectives on ISIL

Know Your Enemy – Iranian and Saudi Perspectives on ISIL

by Adnan Tabatabai und Kawa Hassan

CARPO and the EastWest Institute have established a confidential track 2 format for Iranian-Saudi dialogue. The first dialogue meeting took place In the fall of 2015 in Brussels. Current and former diplomats, analysts and security experts from both countries met alongside European policy-makers and experts to discuss “Iranian and Saudi Perspectives on ISIL”. During the 2-day conference, root-causes of the rise of ISIL were outlined along four key dimensions, and comprehensive strategies against violent extremist organizations such as ISIL proposed. CARPO Brief 03 summarizes the most important insights and presents tangible policy recommendations.

view CARPO Brief
view printer-friendly version


Turkey’s Parliamentary Elections and the Quest for Stability

Turkey’s Parliamentary Elections and the Quest for Stability

by Şafak Baş

Turkey is set to hold its parliamentary elections on November 1 in an atmosphere marked by political violence, polarization and insecurity. Regardless of the election outcome, Ankara will need to focus on national reconciliation and the reduction of sociopolitical tensions. Peace talks with the Kurdish PKK must resume. Even as its Western partners should substantially support Turkey in handling the influx of refugees into Turkey and Europe, the West must also urge Ankara to foster national reconciliation and to respect the democratic principles that are deeply rooted in the history of the republic.

view CARPO Brief
view printer-friendly version


Making Sense of Iran’s Iraq Policy

Making Sense of Iran’s Iraq Policy

by Mohammad Ali Shabani

Iran’s relationship with Iraq has come into the limelight amid the onslaught of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Iranian policy is geared towards maintaining Iraq’s territorial integrity, secure qualified stability and expand Iran’s economic sphere. To maximize its influence in Iraq, Tehran has been playing the long game, exploited the mistakes of other foreign actors, diversified its relationships with Iraqi factions, seized on Baghdad’s limited alliance options and sought a constructive relationship with Grand Ayatollah al-Sistani.

view CARPO Brief
view printer-friendly version