Annual Report 2020/21

Annual Report 2020/21

After years of solid growth and development in a reasonable pace for an organization like CARPO, the Corona years of 2020 and 2021 were a challenging time for us. We put our focus on keeping our various projects operational and maintaining the size of our team – successfully so. This Annual Report covers the projects implemented during those two years as well as our efforts of mitigating the impact of COVID-19 on our initiatives, which are often based on bringing people into dialogue in the framework of personal encounters.

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CARPO Podcast Folge 8: Der Umgang mit der WM in Qatar – zwischen Medien und Zivilgesellschaft

CARPO Podcast Folge 8: Der Umgang mit der WM in Qatar – zwischen Medien und Zivilgesellschaft

mit Nicole Selmer und Danyel Reiche 

In der 8. und letzten Folge beschäftigen wir uns damit, wie die WM in Katar im Land selbst und in den deutschen Medien diskutiert, debattiert, gelobt und verurteilt wird. Dafür sprechen wir mit dem Politikwissenschaftler Dr. Danyel Reiche, der seit zwei Jahren in Katar an der Georgetown University zur Rolle des Fußballs in der katarischen Politik forscht. In dem Gespräch geht es um den Vorwurf aus Katar, die Kritik aus dem Westen sei unfair und doppelmoralisch sowie die Situation der Wissenschaft in Katar.  

Außerdem erläutert die Sportjournalistin Nicole Selmer, wie sie die deutschsprachige Berichterstattung über die WM wahrnimmt, die mediale Kritik an Katar bewertet und warum ein Boykott für sie und ihre Kolleg*innen beim Fußballmagazin Ballesterer keine Option war.  

Das Buch von Danyel Reiche “Qatar and the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Politics, Controversy, Change” findet Ihr hier.


CARPO Podcast Folge 7: Menschenrechte und Realpolitik – eine politische Antwort auf die WM

CARPO Podcast Folge 7: Menschenrechte und Realpolitik – eine politische Antwort auf die WM

mit Lamya Kaddor

Der russische Angriffskrieg gegen die Ukraine hat in Deutschland die Frage, wie die deutsche Außenpolitik mit autoritären Regimen umgehen sollte, zu einem zentralen Thema der öffentlichen und politischen Debatte werden lassen. Vor dem Hintergrund der notwendigen Energiediversifizierung wurden mit Katar und anderen Golfmonarchien Energiepartnerschaften geschlossen, um sich aus der Abhängigkeit von russischen Gaslieferungen zu lösen. Dabei steht die Frage im Zentrum, wie Deutschland seine werteorientierten Prämissen mit realpolitischen Interessen in der Zusammenarbeit mit Katar und anderen Golfstaaten vereinbaren und eine nachhaltige Strategie im Umgang mit diesen Systemen entwickeln kann. Wie ein solcher Balanceakt aussehen könnte, diskutieren wir mit Lamya Kaddor von Bündnis 90/Die Grünen.
Die 11 Forderungen für die FIFA Fußball- Weltmeisterschaft 2022 in Katar vom Bündnis 90/Die Grünen findet ihr hier.

Außerdem könnt ihr mehr zu dieser Frage in Sebastian Sons Buch „Menschenrechte sind nicht käuflich“ lesen. 


CARPO Podcast Folge 6: Frauen und Sport in den Golfstaaten

CARPO Podcast Folge 6: Frauen und Sport in den Golfstaaten

mit Anna Reuß

Mit Blick auf den Austragungsstaat der WM 2022 fallen nicht nur die Menschenrechtsverletzungen gegenüber den Arbeitsmigrant:innen ins Auge. Auch die Rolle der Frauen in der katarischen Gesellschaft wird international kontrovers diskutiert. Anna Reuß berichtet in dieser Folge über die Lage der Frauen in Katar und in anderen Ländern der Region und ob rechtliche und gesellschaftliche Reformprozesse durch die WM angestoßen wurden.
Wenn Ihr weitere Informationen zum Thema lesen möchtet, empfehlen wir euch den Artikel “Fußball, Macht und Frauenrechten“ im Sammelband „Das Rebellische Spiel. Die Macht des Fußballs im Nahen Osten und die Katar-WM“.


CARPO Podcast Folge 5: Eine “grüne” WM? Katar und die Nachhaltigkeit

CARPO Podcast Folge 5: Eine “grüne” WM? Katar und die Nachhaltigkeit

mit Tobias Zumbrägel

In der 5. Folge sprechen wir mit CARPO-Researcher Tobias Zumbrägel, der sich intensiv mit der Umweltpolitik der Golfstaaten und der WM in Katar beschäftigt.
Katar gewann auch deswegen die Bewerbung um die Fußball-WM, weil der Staat das erste klimaneutrale Turnier der Geschichte ausrichten wollte. Diese ehrgeizigen Ambitionen werden jedoch in Frage gestellt.

Wir diskutieren folgende Fragen: Was ist wirklich dran an der „grünen Wende“ am Golf? Wie realistisch sind die Ziele von Katar und der anderen Golfmonarchien in der Umweltpolitik? Und was hat der Klimawandel mit der WM zu tun?

Sein neues Buch findet Ihr hier.


Towards #KnowledgeJustice? Addressing Asymmetries in Global Knowledge Production

Towards #KnowledgeJustice? Addressing Asymmetries in Global Knowledge Production

When: 30 November 2022, 15:00-17:00 (CET)

If knowledge is an imperial instrument of colonization, then the decolonization of knowledge is one of the most urgent tasks: Global structures of knowledge production are still marked by asymmetries. Once referred to by Quijano as the “coloniality of knowledge,” this “epistemic violence” of knowledge production is still present in the 21st century. 

Against this backdrop, CARPO’s third virtual Research Forum (CRF) investigates and critically discusses the underrepresentation of the so-called Global South in global knowledge production. Among others, we address the following questions: Which persisting asymmetries of knowledge production prevail? How can these inequalities in the system of global knowledge production be reduced or even eliminated? And what is the role of different actors from different world regions in this process towards knowledge justice?  

Overall, the CRF wants to shed more light on an often under-represented topic and put the finger on the prevailing asymmetries in global knowledge production. The event shall provide a platform for discussion by bringing together experts from the Global South and North on this issue. Furthermore, it discusses initiatives to reduce asymmetries in global knowledge production and, in terms of positionality, locates the challenges, responsibilities and fields of action for scholars working in the Global North.  

You can register here.

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CARPO Podcast Folge 4: Sport- und Fußballkultur in Saudi-Arabien und Iran

CARPO Podcast Folge 4: Sport- und Fußballkultur in Saudi-Arabien und Iran

mit Simon Müller und Christoph Becker

In der vierten Folge werfen wir einen Blick auf die Sport- und Fußballkultur in zwei weiteren Golfstaaten, Iran und Saudi-Arabien. In beiden Staaten sind Sport und Politik eng verwobene. Darüber sprechen wir mit Simon Müller, dem Geschäftsführer und Gründer der Firma SportsHub KSA, und dem Sportjournalisten Christoph Becker.

Weitere Informationen zu Simon Beckers Firma SportsHub KSA findet ihr hier.
Außerdem findet ihr alle Artikel von Christoph Becker für die FAZ hier und seinen aktuellen Beitrag “Die Hälfte der Freiheit: Der beharrliche Kampf von Spielerinnen und weiblichen Fans um Gleichberechtigung in Iran” im Sammelband “Das rebellische Spiel“.


CARPO Podcast Folge 3: Die WM und die Menschenrechte

CARPO Podcast Folge 3: Die WM und die Menschenrechte

mit Katja Müller-Fahlbusch

In der dritten Folge sprechen wir mit Katja Müller-Fahlbusch über die Situation der Menschenrechte in Katar. Keine andere internationale Sportveranstaltung hat die ausbeuterischen Verhältnisse von Arbeitsmigrant:innen so stark in den Mittelpunkt gerückt wie die Weltmeisterschaft in Katar. Katja Müller-Fahlbusch ordnet diese als Vertreterin von Amnesty International für uns ein. 

Weitere Informationen zur Arbeit von Amnesty International findet ihr hier: Amnesty International 


CARPO Podcast Folge 2: Der Fußball und die Golfstaaten – zwischen Fankultur und Sportswashing

CARPO Podcast Folge 2: Der Fußball und die Golfstaaten – zwischen Fankultur und Sportswashing

mit Leo Wiggert und Robert Chatterjee

In unserer zweiten Folge beleuchten wir, warum Katar überhaupt eine WM ausrichtet, und sprechen außerdem mit den Journalisten Leo Wiggert und Robert Chatterjee vom Nahostmagazin zenith, die von ihrer Reise nach Katar und ihrer Suche nach der Fußballkultur vor Ort berichten.

Weitere Anekdoten und Fakten über Katar als Fußballnation findet ihr in ihrem Buch „So eine WM gab es noch nie“.


CARPO Podcast Folge 1: Der Fußball und die arabische Welt – Protestkultur und Diktaturen

CARPO Podcast Folge 1: Der Fußball und die arabische Welt – Protestkultur und Diktaturen

mit Ronny Blaschke

In dieser Folge sprechen wir mit dem Sportjournalisten Ronny Blaschke, der sich seit zwei Jahrzehnten intensiv mit den Verstrickungen von Fußball und Politik, speziell in autokratischen Ländern des Mittleren Ostens, auseinandersetzt. Dabei wird deutlich: Fußball ist nicht nur ein politisches Instrument für die Herrscher, sondern kann auch Möglichkeiten des Protestes bieten.

Mehr zu dem Thema findet ihr in Ronny Blaschkes Buch „Machtspieler: Fußball in Propaganda, Krieg und Revolution“.


Addressing the Crushing Weight of Yemen’s Public Debt

Addressing the Crushing Weight of Yemen’s Public Debt

For decades prior to the ongoing conflict, Yemen had been vulnerable to recurring budget deficits. The escalation of the ongoing conflict in 2014/15 has had a profoundly negative impact on Yemen’s debt position. Large-scale oil exports ceased, leading to a collapse in public revenues, while banks and pension funds stopped purchasing government debt instruments. Management of the public debt became bifurcated between rival central bank administrations in Aden and Sana’a, both of which suspended payments on foreign and domestic debt obligations. Unable to receive interest payments, public debt holders faced a liquidity crisis, leaving banks unable to honor customer obligations and threatening their solvency, while pension funds have struggled to support retirees. Based on the input and discussions of the Development Champions Forum, this paper outlines the history, characteristics and drivers of Yemen’s public debt and presents recommendations for addressing this crisis.

Download the White Paper in English or Arabic


Narratives of (In)Justice in Contemporary Yemeni Novels 

Narratives of (In)Justice in Contemporary Yemeni Novels 

by Osama Ali, Fadhilah Gubari, Julia Gurol and Abdulsalam al-Rubaidi 

This Study analyzes narratives of (in)justice in contemporary Yemeni novels. Through a lexical field analysis of nine selected contemporary novels, the paper highlights how (in)justice is framed in narrative literature, both in terms of representations of certain socio-political practices and in terms of normative constructions and the creation of a normative order. It argues that novels represent and discuss the complexities of Yemeni realities, where daily practices and experiences of individuals are entangled with philosophical questions about the meaning of life. It discusses the nexus between the framing of (in)justice and post-conflict reconciliation and provides an original insight into the understanding and constructions of justice and injustice offered to society by Yemeni novelists. 

view CARPO/IOA/GDRSC Study 

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The Road Transport Sector in Yemen. Critical Issues and Priority Policies 

The Road Transport Sector in Yemen. Critical Issues and Priority Policies 

Yemen is predominantly a rural country, with over 70% of the population living in 140,000 settlements in impoverished rural areas. Road transport is thus essential for the country’s development and overall economic growth. With only about 3,744km of paved rural roads, representing approximately 6.4% of all roads in the country, Yemen’s neglected road network poses significant development challenges. Next to an overview of the road transport sector in Yemen and of the repercussions of the war on the sector, this RYE White Paper offers recommendations on alleviating these impacts; infrastructure policies for rural and urban roads; policies for road maintenance and repairs that impact commercial traffic; and updating the institutional structure of the sector. 

Download the White Paper in English or Arabic


The Role of the Environment in Peacebuilding in Yemen 

The Role of the Environment in Peacebuilding in Yemen 

by Bilkis Zabara and Tobias Zumbrägel 

This Report addresses the relationship between violent conflict and environmental governance in Yemen. It translates the concept of environmental peacebuilding to the case of Yemen, where it has not received broader attention in terms of post-conflict reconstruction and reconciliation efforts. The study compares six different governorates, namely Sana’a, Dhamar, Ibb, Ta‘iz, Aden and Hadhramawt and finds that all governorates face specific threats. If these challenges are not addressed adequately and in a sustainable manner, they can accelerate social conflict and ultimately threaten long-term solutions for peace and stability in the country. To promote the concept of environmental peacebuilding, the Report provides several suggestions for concrete action by international actors working on Yemen.  

view CARPO Report in English or Arabic

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Challenges and Prospects for Electronic Money and Payment Systems in Yemen 

Challenges and Prospects for Electronic Money and Payment Systems in Yemen 

Yemen has a heavily cash-based economy with low levels of financial inclusion. The country’s formal banking sector is highly underdeveloped, undercapitalized and concentrated in urban areas, leaving it inaccessible for most Yemenis. Plans by the Central Bank of Yemen to develop and improve electronic interbank transactions and local electronic payment systems, including mobile money services, were interrupted by the onset of the ongoing conflict. This paper examines (and provides recommendations on): the existing regulations surrounding the use of e-money in Yemen; attempts to adopt e-money services both before and during the conflict; the major players and state of infrastructure in the sector; and the challenges and prospects facing greater adoption of electronic currency in the country. 

Download the White Paper in English or Arabic 


The Brussels MENA Briefing: Iraq, Beyond the Election – Internal and External Implications

The Brussels MENA Briefing: Iraq, Beyond the Election – Internal and External Implications

November 25, 2021

On November 25, the Center for Applied Research in Partnership with the Orient (CARPO) and Stimson Europe hosted the thirteenth “Brussels MENA Briefing”—a series of after-work briefings on the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region—on “Iraq, Beyond the Election: Internal and External Implications”.

Speakers included Ali Al-Mawlawi, who works as an independent analyst and researcher and specializes on Iraq’s political economy, Marsin Al-Shamary, who is a Research Fellow at the Middle East Initiative (MEI), and Hussein Al-Waeli, who works as an accredited journalist at the European Union. The discussion was moderated by Kawa Hassan, Senior Fellow and Director of the Middle East and North Africa division and Executive Director of Stimson Europe.

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The Disaster of Yemen’s Flash Floods. Impact of and Local Responses to the Torrential Rains and Flooding in 2020

The Disaster of Yemen’s Flash Floods. Impact of and Local Responses to the Torrential Rains and Flooding in 2020

by Khalid al-Akwa and Tobias Zumbrägel

Between March and September 2020, and again in May through July 2021, Yemen experienced periods of torrential rain that resulted in flash flooding. Flash floods are and will continue to be a recurrent natural phenomenon with destructive consequences in Yemen, which has not yet received broader attention. This Brief thus provides an overall understanding of the social and economic impact and current management of Yemen’s flash floods to improve disaster prevention and mitigation. It stresses the urgency of creating an independent environmental advisory body, comprised of a range of stakeholders and experts, to coordinate environmental reconstruction work and enhance tangible climate action into future strategies and interventions of national governance management and international humanitarian assistance.

view CARPO/IOA/GDRSC Brief
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Road to World Cup 2022 – Deconstructing the Multidimensional Nature of Sport Politics in the Gulf Monarchies

Road to World Cup 2022 – Deconstructing the Multidimensional Nature of Sport Politics in the Gulf Monarchies

When: 30 November 2021, 14.00 – 16.30 (CET)

The Gulf region provides a whole bunch of examples of how leaderships strategically engage in global sports. For instance, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Saudi Arabia organize sports mega events such as the Formula One races and boxing fights. Additionally, Gulf state organizations are heavily involved in sport business through large-scale investments in the French football club Paris St. Germain by Qatar or British football clubs such as Manchester City and Newcastle United by the UAE and Saudi Arabia respectively. The FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar is the most recent climax in a series of events and initiatives related to sport politics in which the Gulf Arab region has emerged as an international center of gravity.    

Against this backdrop, CARPO’s second virtual Research Forum (CRF) looks at the multi-layered impact of sport politics in the Gulf region. Using a multidimensional perspective, we consider not only outward-oriented issues such as sportswashing or -branding but also its inward-oriented implications on state-society relations in times of socio-economic transformation.

Together with scholars from the Gulf region and Europe we will highlight some of these aspects: The political trend to use sport and sport events as a soft power measure and foreign policy instrument of development cooperation, for instance. On the societal level, guiding themes and questions include sport’s impact on national identity, culture, women empowerment, lifestyle, and activism among others.  

Overall, the CRF wants to shed more light on the multidimensional role sport plays in the Gulf region by highlighting obstacles and grievances but also chances and opportunities of future social and political developments.  

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Improving Relations Between Central State Institutions and Local Authorities

Improving Relations Between Central State Institutions and Local Authorities

Local councils are responsible for spearheading development projects and providing basic public services to Yemen’s population of more than 30 million people. The councils are particularly important in rural areas, where about 70 percent of Yemen’s population lives. In July 2018, the Rethinking Yemen’s Economy initiative published a White Paper that explored how the collapse of Yemen’s economy and the fragmentation of central government institutions during the war affected local councils. This new White Paper builds on those findings by examining how local governance has evolved in the intervening years, with a focus on the relationship between local authorities and the central governments in Sana’a and Aden.

Download the White Paper in English or Arabic


Reconfigurations in West Asia and North Africa. CARPO Research Forum 2020 – Conference Report

Reconfigurations in West Asia and North Africa. CARPO Research Forum 2020 – Conference Report

by Mirjam Schmidt, Julia Gurol and Tobias Zumbrägel

The first CARPO Research Forum, which took place in November 2020, addressed the reconfigurations and challenges the WANA region is currently grappling with by selecting three major themes at the global, regional and local levels: It discussed the reconfigurations of external powers in the region with a particular focus on a rising China, dealt with the looming climate peril and the arduous path of the region towards sustainable development, and examined the social contract, looking at regional protest waves since the ‘Arab Spring’. Bringing together practitioners and academics, it provided an insight into the interplay between the global, regional and local levels in a highly heterogeneous region, thereby pointing towards future paths for development. This Conference Report summarizes the main take-aways of the Research Forum and highlights avenues for future discussion.

view CARPO Study
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Local Economic Councils: A Tool to Improve Business Productivity in Yemen

Local Economic Councils: A Tool to Improve Business Productivity in Yemen

From 25-27 January 2021, the seventh Development Champions Forum, held virtually, focused on the dire business environment in Yemen. To help address local economic challenges, the Development Champions discussed the possibility of establishing Local Economic Councils. According to their analysis, between the community-level local development committees and the Supreme Economic Council on the national level, a space exists for a governorate-level body to drive development by guiding investment to serve local needs and strengthen ties between the governorates and the private sector.

Download the Brief in English or Arabic


The Brussels MENA Briefing: The Gulf Cooperation Council at 40 – Opportunities and Challenges for the EU

The Brussels MENA Briefing: The Gulf Cooperation Council at 40 – Opportunities and Challenges for the EU

June 16, 2021

On June 16, the Center for Applied Research in Partnership with the Orient (CARPO) and Stimson Europe hosted their twelfth “Brussels MENA Briefing” – a series of after-work briefings on the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region – on “The Gulf Cooperation Council at 40: Challenges and Opportunities for the European Union (EU)”

Speakers included Najla al-Qassemi, Director Global Affairs Division, B’huth Dubai Public Policy Research Center, and Sebastian Sons, Researcher at CARPO. The discussion was moderated by Wael Abdulshafi, Research Analyst at the Stimson Center.

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Priorities for the Recovery and Reform of the Electricity Sector in Yemen

Priorities for the Recovery and Reform of the Electricity Sector in Yemen

Poor electricity services in Yemen, even before the war, have been one of the key barriers to sustainable economic development and basic service provision (e.g., water supply, health care, education). This paper assesses the power supply system status prior to the war and subsequently discusses the impact of the war on electricity sector performance, followed by an identification of the key barriers faced by the sector. It concludes with the identification of the top priorities for restoring electricity sector services and reforming the sector after the war.

Download the White Paper in English or Arabic

Download the Policy Brief in English or Arabic


From Messenger to Host

From Messenger to Host

Iraq as a Hub for Regional Dialogue

by Kawa Hassan, Adnan Tabatabai and Desirée Custers

Reports of a meeting held in Baghdad on the 9th of April 2021, between Iranian and Saudi security and intelligence officials, may herald a rare positive development in a region characterized by deep mutual mistrust, ongoing armed conflict, and proxy wars.

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Brussels MENA Briefing: Egypt in the Eastern Mediterranean

Brussels MENA Briefing: Egypt in the Eastern Mediterranean

April 14, 2021

On April 14, the Center for Applied Research in Partnership with the Orient (CARPO) and the Stimson Center Europe hosted the eleventh “Brussels MENA Briefing”—a series of after-work briefings on the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region—on “Egypt in the Eastern Mediterranean”.

Speakers included Dr. Ahmed Kandil, Senior Research Fellow and Head of the Energy Studies Program at the al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies, and Hafsa Halawa, independent consultant, Visiting Fellow at the Middle East and North Africa Program of the European Council on Foreign Relations and Non-resident Fellow at the Middle East Institute. The discussion was moderated by Desirée Custers, Research Assistant of the Middle East and North Africa Program at the Stimson Centre.

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Solar-Powered Irrigation in Yemen: Opportunities, Challenges and Policies

Solar-Powered Irrigation in Yemen: Opportunities, Challenges and Policies

Yemen is one of the most water-scarce countries in the world. Its agricultural sector is the dominant user of groundwater resources, accounting for around 90 percent of total consumption. Due to the current crisis, fuel required for pumps has become scarce and very expensive; as a result, solar energy has begun to play a role in the extraction and supply of groundwater for irrigation. However, there is concern about possible negative consequences of this new technology. This Policy Brief examines the current trend of solar-powered irrigation system (SPIS) use in Sana’a Basin, identifying the pros and cons of this approach. It proposes governance and policy recommendations for overall water management and for future studies and regulation of SPIS-driven groundwater use.

Download the Brief in English or Arabic


Brussels MENA Briefing: Lebanon at a Crossroads: Looming State Collapse and Prospects for External Engagement

Brussels MENA Briefing: Lebanon at a Crossroads: Looming State Collapse and Prospects for External Engagement

March 17, 2021

On March 17, 2021 Stimson Europe and the Center for Applied Research in Partnership with the Orient (CARPO) hosted their tenth Brussels MENA Briefing titled “Lebanon at Crossroads: Looming State Collapse and Prospects for External Engagement”, on the political, economic, and social crisis in Lebanon. This was the first Briefing hosted by the new Middle East and North Africa Program launched by the Stimson Center in March 2021, and located at Stimson’s new permanent presence in Brussels, Belgium. The Brussels MENA Briefings are a continuation of a series of discussion previously conducted by the EastWest Institute (EWI).

 The Briefing started with an in-depth analysis of the current situation in Lebanon, with one speaker emphasizing the lack of progress in the investigation into the Beirut blast of August 4, 2020. This unprecedented, massive explosion led to at least 200 deaths and was caused by a large amount of ammonium nitrate stored in a port warehouse without proper safety measures. The speaker highlighted that the judge leading the investigation was dropped from the case in February 2021, after he had charged the caretaker prime-minister and three former ministers with negligence. The opaque investigation is seen as symptomatic of the country’s current predicament, namely lack of accountability of the ruling elite.

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Local Security Governance in Yemen in Times of War

Local Security Governance in Yemen in Times of War

by Mareike Transfeld, Mohamed al-Iriani, Maged Sultan and Marie-Christine Heinze

After six years of war, state institutions in Yemen have fragmented along multiple fault lines. The security sector is no exception. Given their role as central nodes of the country’s security governance structure, this Policy Report explores governorate-level Security Committees in three governorates that have been particularly affected by violence and institutional fragmentation: Ta‘iz, al-Hudayda and Aden. Next to seeking to understand the institutional set-up and functions of the Committees, questions guiding this Report are how the Committees have evolved in the context of state fragmentation and what, if any, capacities they have to play a potential role in local-level mediation (for instance, regarding humanitarian access) or transitional security governance arrangements.

view YPC/CARPO Report


‘Broken People Can’t Heal a Nation.’ The Role of Arts in Peacebuilding in Yemen

‘Broken People Can’t Heal a Nation.’ The Role of Arts in Peacebuilding in Yemen

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

This Report looks at how the arts and peacebuilding have historically intersected in Yemen, and how traditional arts are alive today and are being used to promote peace and war. It demonstrates the variety of ways in which the arts promote and educate on the values of peace, equality and cultural diversity while also being a tool for documenting life during war, telling untold stories and preserving collective memory. It also highlights the use of art for advocating against violence and human rights violations, for supporting the psychosocial wellbeing of traumatized people, and for rebuilding relationships in communities torn apart by the war. The Report concludes with recommendations for a number of different ways in which the arts can make a direct and indirect contribution to peacebuilding in Yemen.

view CARPO / YPC / YWBOD Report
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New Project Launched: Global Autocratic Collaboration in Times of COVID-19

New Project Launched: Global Autocratic Collaboration in Times of COVID-19

There is strong empirical evidence that COVID-19 acts as a booster for processes of global autocratization in which autocratic protagonists present themselves as more effective role modelsin fighting the pandemic than the ‘liberal script’ of Western societies. This project aims at explaining these corridors of autocratic collaboration based on the example of Sino-Gulf relations that challenge Europe’s and Germany’s international alliances andpartnerships. The project consists of two research blocs: Firstly, it deals with the traveling of autocratic practices and asks how global autocratic collaboration manifests itself in times of crises. Secondly, the project addresses questions of competition for China’s favor:How are regional actors competing in terms of their ‘special relations’ with China?

The project duration is from February 2021 until August 2022. If you want to get further information please contact the project manager Tobias Zumbrägel or visit the project website.


Post COVID-19: A Potential for Green Recovery in the Arab Gulf States

Post COVID-19: A Potential for Green Recovery in the Arab Gulf States

by Aisha Al-Sarihi

The novel coronavirus pandemic has disrupted the GCC’s focus on environmental sustainability projects, as shoring up economies and protecting human health have become top priorities for governmental countermeasures. This Brief argues that associating COVID-19 economic recovery packages with measures aimed to safeguard the environment and tackle climate change, towards a so-called ‘green recovery’, will not only ensure long-term resilience and sustainability of economies as countries recover from the pandemic, but also boost economic activity, generate income and create jobs.

view CARPO Brief
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Impacts of the War on the Telecommunications Sector in Yemen

Impacts of the War on the Telecommunications Sector in Yemen

The telecommunications and information technology sector in Yemen is the second largest source of public revenue after the petroleum sector, and contributes important work opportunities, whether directly or indirectly, through its connections to other sectors of the national economy. Some of the most important challenges of the sector are the unsuitability of the legal and institutional regulatory environments; fragmentation of public entities in the sector; the lack of separation between political, regulatory and operational roles within the sector; and the reliance on a weak and fragile infrastructure to provide these services. This Policy Brief identifies urgent as well as medium to long-term policies and programs to address these and other challenges identified in the paper.

Download the Brief in English or Arabic


Brussels MENA Briefing: Kuwait and the post-Sheikh Sabah Era

Brussels MENA Briefing: Kuwait and the post-Sheikh Sabah Era

December 1, 2020

On December 1, the EastWest Institute (EWI) and the Center for Applied Research in Partnership with the Orient (CARPO) hosted the ninth “Brussels MENA Briefing”—a series of after-work briefings on the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region—on “Kuwait and the post-Sheikh Sabah Era”.

Speakers included Vice Admiral (ret.) Ahmad Al-Mulla, advisor to the Kuwaiti Ministry of Defense, and Dr. Courtney Freer, assistant professorial research fellow at the Middle East Center of the London School of Economics. Well-known experts on the Persian Gulf region and members of the European policy community virtually attended this briefing, which was held under the Chatham House Rule.

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Brussels MENA Briefing: The Biden Administration’s Middle East Policy and Transatlantic Relations

Brussels MENA Briefing: The Biden Administration’s Middle East Policy and Transatlantic Relations

November 17, 2020

On November 17, the EastWest Institute (EWI) and Center for Applied Research in Partnership with the Orient (CARPO) hosted their eighth “Brussels MENA Briefing”—a series of after-work briefings on the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region—on the recent election of Joe Biden as U.S. president-elect and the changes his administration could bring to both the United States’ own Middle East policy, as well as its transatlantic relations with the European Union (EU) vis-à-vis the Middle East. 

Speakers included Cameron Munter, former U.S. ambassador and former president of the EastWest Institute, and James Moran, associate senior fellow at the Center for European Policy Studies (CEPS). The discussion was moderated by Wael Abdul-Shafi, EWI MENA program associate. 

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Brussels MENA Briefing: The Economic Dimensions of the Conflict in Yemen

Brussels MENA Briefing: The Economic Dimensions of the Conflict in Yemen

October 6, 2020

The seventh edition of the Brussels MENA Briefing, co-hosted by the EastWest Institute (EWI) and the Center for Applied Research in Partnership with the Orient (CARPO), in partnership with the Rethinking Yemen’s Economy initiative, was dedicated to the economic impact of the ongoing conflict in Yemen—a war that started in 2014/15 and has since turned the country into the world’s worst humanitarian crisis according to the UN. 

The Rethinking Yemen’s Economy initiative aims to contribute to peacebuilding and conflict prevention, economic stabilization and sustainable development in Yemen by building consensus in crucial policy areas through engaging and promoting informed Yemeni voices from all backgrounds (the “Development Champions”) in public discourse on development, economy and post-conflict reconstruction in Yemen, and by positively influencing local, regional and international development agendas. It is implemented by CARPO, DeepRoot Consulting and the Sanaa Center for Strategic Studies and is generously funded by the European Union and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Yemen.

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Economic Priorities for a Sustainable Peace Agreement in Yemen

Economic Priorities for a Sustainable Peace Agreement in Yemen

The Development Champions Forum stresses that the sustainability of a peace agreement in Yemen will, amongst others, depend on two critical insights: First, in a conflict that is largely over access to resources, the issues of distribution and control of those resources can make or break peace. Second, where peace agreements lack provisions that create overall economic stability, warfare can resume during the fragile implementation period. This infographic summarizes the Development Champions’ key recommendations on economic provisions that need to be included in the peace agreement.

This infographic is based on RYE Policy Brief 20.


Reconfigurations in West Asia and North Africa (WANA)

Reconfigurations in West Asia and North Africa (WANA)

When: Nov 19th 2020; 14:45-18:30 CET

The region that spans West Asia and North Africa (WANA) is in a process of a profound transformation. Despite their heterogenous character, all WANA countries experience social, (geo)political, environmental and economic challenges they need to overcome; albeit in different degrees. The current COVID-19 pandemic acts as an accelerator to this development while at the same time exposing the high vulnerability of the region.

CARPO’s first virtual research forum aims to address these reconfigurations in the region. With our speakers and audience, we not only plan to discuss some of the most pressing threats, including geopolitical shifts, questions of a sustainable development and more widespread social contestation, but we will also elaborate on the interplay of the different contexts (national, regional and global) in which these developments take place.

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Yemen’s Accelerating Economic Woes during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Yemen’s Accelerating Economic Woes during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Since early 2015, Yemen has been almost completely dependent on three external sources to secure foreign currency inflows and stimulate economic activity: foreign humanitarian aid, Saudi financial support to the internationally recognized government, and – by far the most significant – remittances from Yemeni expatriates, most working in Saudi Arabia. All three of these foreign currency sources have dramatically declined in 2020 because of the global COVID-19 pandemic. The current acute shortage of foreign currency has profound implications for the value of Yemen’s domestic currency, and the country’s ability to finance fuel and basic commodity imports. This is likely to lead to the rapid intensification of the humanitarian crisis. This White Paper presents policy recommendations to address this situation for relevant national and international stakeholders.

Download the White Paper in English or Arabic