UI Brief on Environmental colonialism in the Maghreb

Environmental colonialism in the Maghreb? Harnessing green energy on indigenous peoples’ land

Author: Leonora Haag (UI)

June, 2022

The Swedish Institute of International Affairs

The EU has been investing increasing amounts in North Africa’s renewable energy sector over the past decade in order to strengthen the union’s energy security and comply with climate agreement targets. To a large extent, this energy infrastructure has been developed in peripheral regions primarily inhabited by indigenous people. This policy brief looks at if, and how, the local population was consulted, compensated, and allowed to participate in the decision-making process surrounding the development of the solar energy complex Noor Ouarzazate.

The Ramifications of Covid-19 on Public Health

Several countries in the Middle East and North Africa region are currently imposing new restrictions in response to the recent Covid-19 variant Omicron. Since the outbreak in 2020, it has become evident that there are major differences in how states have managed the pandemic.

The global Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the varying levels of state capacity and ability to provide health care services to their citizens. Access to vaccines has been relatively straightforward in wealthy Gulf countries, while access and vaccination rates are extremely low in countries such as Syria, Algeria, Yemen and Iraq. The pandemic has also exacerbated existing socioeconomic inequalities within countries. This is likely to have extensive effects on public health as well as trust in the government’s ability to manage future public health crises.

What are the long-term effects of the pandemic on public health, and how well prepared are these states for future public health challenges?

Speakers
Intissar Fakir, Senior fellow and director of Middle East Institute’s North Africa and the Sahel program
Hanan F. Abdul Rahim, Associate Professor in Public Health and Dean of the College of Health Science, Qatar University
Vira Ameli, Doctoral Student at the Department of Social Policy and Intervention, University of Oxford

Moderator
Rouzbeh Parsi, Head of Programme at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs (UI)

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UI Brief on Aid dependency in Afghanistan

Afghanistan: The Problems with Aid Dependency and the Need for a Plan B

Author: Annie Wernersson (UI)
November, 2021

The Swedish Institute of International Affairs

Abstract

This UI Brief reviews the lessons learned from 20 years of providing aid to Afghanistan. It argues that donors must work harder to establish indigenous ownership and develop plans for when circumstances rapidly change, so that the situation of an escalating humanitarian crisis can be avoided in the future.

Youth Identity, Politics and Change in Contemporary Kurdistan

In recent weeks, images of migrants stranded at the Belarus-Poland border have gone viral. Among them are thousands of Kurds primarily youth from the autonomous Kurdistan Region of Iraq. What are the grievances of the youth that pushes them to make such a dangerous journey?

The contemporary history of the Kurdistan Region is marked by conflict and ethnic cleansing under the Ba’ath regime, significantly affecting the political situation of the Kurds in the Middle East. Most of the recent academic literature has focused on the macro politics of the Kurdish conundrum within Iraq and beyond. However, there is little scholarship about the Kurdish population and their socio-economic conditions in the wake of the US-invasion of Iraq in 2003, and almost none about the younger generation of Kurds who came of age during autonomous Kurdish rule.

This is a generation that, unlike their forebears, has no direct memory of the decades-long campaigns of repression, and has come of age in a region that underwent a significant transformation impacting and shaping the living experiences of the youth.

Based on the new book Youth Identity, Politics and Change in Contemporary Kurdistan, the contributors of the book will explore the social, economic and political challenges and opportunities for young Kurdish men and women.

Speakers
Shivan Fazil
, Researcher, Middle East and North Africa programme, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
Bahar Baser, Associate Professor, School of Government & International Affairs, Durham University
Lana Askari, Researcher, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands
Megan Connelly, Non-Resident Fellow, Institute of Regional and International Studies, American University of Iraq – Sulaimani

Moderator
Lucia Ardovini, Research Fellow, Swedish Institute of International Affairs

The webinar is hosted by The Swedish Institute of International Affairs (UI) as part of the Swedish Middle East & North Africa Network’s (SWEMENA) webinar program.

 

Please follow this link to register

Iraqi Women’s Participation in Peacebuilding Across Local, National and Global Contexts

The Middle East Studies Forum hosts a webinar on
‘Iraqi Women’s Participation in Peacebuilding Across Local, National and Global Contexts’ presented by Dr. Yasmin Chilmeran (The Swedish Institute of International Affairs)

When: 28 October 2021, 8:00am (CEST)
Where:
Zoom
Register:
Follow this link to register

Abstract
In recent decades, and especially since the adoption of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda, there is an increasing emphasis on women’s roles in peacebuilding and security processes. In Iraq, this has taken many forms since the US-led invasion in 2003. In this seminar, I will share early analysis of case studies of peacebuilding programmes from a larger post-doc project, which explores women’s participation in peacebuilding across different security and spatial contexts in Iraq.

This seminar will also delve into theoretical frameworks that highlight space, violence and hierarchy as a way to understand these programmes and women’s roles within them. This seminar also presents an opportunity to discuss developing post-PhD research projects and how to build on the momentum and findings we develop within our doctoral projects as Early Career Researcher.

Speaker:
Dr. Yasmin Chilmeran – a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs’ Middle East and North Africa Programme, and a research affiliate at the Austrian Institute for International Affairs.

Moderator:
Dr. Hadeel Abdelhameed – a research fellow at The German institute Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Foundation Office Syria and Iraq (KAS), and the Iraqi-theatre principle investigator and archivist at the Australian Online Theatre and Drama Database AusStage.

Please follow this link to visit the event page

UI Seminar: Socioeconomic Drivers of Protests in the MENA Region

The Middle East and North Africa Programme at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs invites you to a webinar analysing socio-economic drivers of protests in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region focusing on the contexts of Tunisia, Algeria and Lebanon.

Ten years after the Arab uprisings, that toppled dictators and briefly reshuffled the established status quo in several Arab countries, the region is still experiencing protests and popular demonstrations.

Long standing issues related to entrenched social inequalities, deep-seated corruption, recurring economic crises and the disintegration of the social contract are further weakening the already fragile state-society relationship in states across the region. With citizens’ growing mistrust in political institutions, protests is viewed by many as the main avenue to express discontent and demand structural changes.

With these dynamics in mind, this seminar focuses on a comparative analysis of socioeconomic drivers of protests in Tunisia, Lebanon, and Algeria, examining different repertoires of contention and state responses to popular demonstrations.

What socioeconomic grievances drive contemporary protest movements in the Middle East and North Africa region? How are they different from what brought people to the streets to protest during the Arab Spring? Are there any similarities between the movements in different countries in the region?

Panel:
Lina Khatib, Director, Middle East and North Africa Programme, Chatham House
Youssef Cherif, Director, Columbia Global Centers, Tunis
Linda El-Naggar, Analyst, Middle East and North Africa Programme, UI

Moderator:
Lucia Ardovini, Research Fellow, Middle East and North Africa Programme, UI

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Turkey’s Mission Impossible: War and Peace with the Kurds

Join the discussion of the book launch of Cengiz Çandar’s Turkey’s Mission Impossible: War and Peace with the Kurds. In conversation with Bitte Hammargren.

When Turkey moved into the modern era as a nation-state, it brought with it the denial of Kurdish identity. This denial created a seemingly intractable “Kurdish question” that has been marked by numerous revolts and decades of insurgency.

In his new book Cengiz Çandar – journalist, former presidential advisor and public intellectual – blends a historical account of the Kurdish question in Turkey with his own experiences and insights into the politicians and fighters involved. Paying close attention to the repeatedly failing peace processes, Turkey’s Mission Impossible challenges conventional views on Turkey and provides a nuanced picture of how we arrived at now.

This event is co-hosted by Stockholm University Institute for Turkish Studies and the Swedish Institute of International Affairs.

Cengiz Çandar is a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the Stockholm University Institute for Turkish Studies (SUITS), and Senior Associate Fellow at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs (UI) Middle East and North Africa Programme.

Bitte Hammargren is an independent and self-employed writer, analyst and consultant on issues related to Turkey, North Africa and West Asia, i.e. the MENA region, and a Senior Associate Fellow at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs (UI) Middle East and North Africa Programme.

Click here to register and read more about the event.