Research Papers


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Author: Joshua Craze
Rather than preventing conflict, internationally backed peace agreements in South Sudan, Sudan, and elsewhere have established a system of incentives that structure elite compacts in the capital that actually intensify the political economy of war. Such peace agreements rely on a normative vision of the state that is at odds with how states have actually come to function in many conflict zones in the world since the 1980s. This normative vision enables peace agreements to be easily instrumentalized by elites and is a major reason why such agreements fail to prevent conflict. Such failures are not contingent but are structural properties of peace agreements that at best aim for r
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Author: Mona Alami
The results of the 2021 Iraqi elections were, at first glance, somewhat surprising. The Sadrist movement secured a sweeping victory while the pro-Iran wing within the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), which ran under the banner of the Fatah Alliance, lost over 70 percent of the seats they held in the previous parliament. The elections came on the heels of mass protests by citizens hailing from Shiite areas, previously a stronghold for supporters of Iran. The demonstrators denounced corruption, social injustice, and Iranian influence. Iranian consulates were subject to arson attacks, while pro-Iranian militias brutally cracked down on protesters (with over 600 killed) and k
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Author: Edited by Mohamed Al-Sbitli
This publication is available in Arabic only.   
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Author: Makki Hamid
This paper will shed light on the Official Development Assistance (ODA) provided by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) to developing countries worldwide. The KSA has contributed significantly to the well-being of many developing countries. However, for quite some time, such valuable assistance was not publicized enough in the media nor reflected in international aid platforms. This paper discusses KSA’s aid in detail, outlining the various categories of aid, where it is dispersed (by country and region), to which sectors, and how it has evolved over time. Moreover, it covers KSA’s assistance to developing countries in their quest to reach the Susta
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Author: Mohamed Al-Sbitli
This publication is available in Arabic only. 
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Author: Abdullah Hamidaddin
This paper considers the various risks to a sustained peace in Yemen and the possibilities of a continuation of the conflict by other means, focusing on factors that may be unintentionally generated by the peace process itself. These factors include the quest for inclusiveness and transitional justice, both of which have the potential to legitimate and institutionalize conflict-generated fault lines and identities, creating new obstacles to stability and expanding the field for contentious politics amongst the powerful, incubating new militant expressions of grievances. The paper also focuses on a risk that is not given sufficient attention, namely dehumanization, which has inte
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Number: 63
Author: Noura AlZaid
Saudi Arabia’s economic future is at a turning-point. As the country increases investment in innovation to stimulate growth in non-oil sectors, cultivating an effective innovation ecosystem is key. Intellectual property (IP) is a powerful tool for spurring innovation. The dominant narrative in mainstream IP discourse is that higher IP standards lead to greater innovation outputs. However, this study argues that weaker IP standards are appropriate at this stage of the country’s economic development because they allow for smoother technology transfer that is needed to build innovation capacity and bridge existing gaps. To demonstrate the non-exceptional character of an
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Author: Edited by Mohamed Al-Sbitli
This publication is available in Arabic only.     
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Author: Aisha Al-Sarihi
Saudi Arabia joined the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 1994 and, in 2016, ratified the Paris Climate Agreement, which was adopted in 2015. For a country that has not significantly contributed to the historic accumulation of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions but at the same time has an economy underpinned by the windfall profits from hydrocarbon exports, Saudi Arabia has adopted a cautious position toward climate action. Specifically, Saudi Arabia’s cautious approach toward global climate change mitigation measures has allowed time for the Kingdom to strategically identify its own climate mitigation measures that take into considerat
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Author: Faris Al-Sulayman
As the global economy transitions away from fossil fuels, the six oil producing rentier states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have sought to diversify their dependent economies away from this resource and develop industrialized and knowledge based economies. Though much attention has focused on neoliberal pathways of development, beneath the surface new state capitalist modes of development have been deployed, sometimes resembling models deployed in other state capitalist economies, and sometimes in different and novel ways. In the UAE and Saudi Arabia in particular, new modes of state capitalism have emerged, with the state increasingly assuming a role as an investor of
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