Political Analysis

© REUTERS / Ahmed Jadallah

Government Formation in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq: Regulations, Scenarios and Potential Obstacles

Introduction In the Kurdistan region of Iraq (KRI) the process of government formation is not only conducted through legal regulations but also under the pressure of various political forces. Furthermore, the process must pass through numerous stages, negotiated agreements, political party rivalries and the filter of the regions dominant political actors. This impression comes from the experience gained from previous government formation processes in the region and is expected to be the same for any government formation processes going forward. Hence, the primary question of the article is: Why does the government formation process in the KRI involve avenues that…
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voting israel

Where’s the Positive Thinking about Israel-Palestine?

Israel goes to the polls on Tuesday, 9 April.  Ahead of the general election, old political parties like Likud and Labor, and newly-formed ones like Israel Resilience and New Right, have been publishing their platforms – the policies on which they seek the support of voters.


Harsh Turkish Condemnation of Xinjiang Cracks Muslim Wall of Silence

A podcast version of this story is available on Soundcloud, Itunes, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn and Tumblr In perhaps the most significant condemnation to date of China’s brutal crackdown on Turkic Muslims in its north-western province of Xinjiang. Turkey’s foreign ministry demanded this weekend that Chinese authorities respect human rights of the Uighurs and close what it termed “concentration camps” in which up to one million people are believed to be imprisoned.

Why the Iraqi City Basra Will Not Go Away - MPC Journal

Why the Iraqi City Basra Will Not Go Away

In late 2018, 100,000 people were hospitalized in Basra, Iraq over the period of a few weeks, inundating hospitals and creating a frenzy of media attention. They were poisoned by the city’s toxic water supply, which was pumped untreated after a heat wave knocked out the city’s water treatment facilities. Despite months of protests inside Basra to protest their unlivable conditions, little was accomplished: the city’s polluted water infrastructure remains under repaired and underserved even as its oil almost single-handedly funds the Iraqi state.


Yemen and the Pope

For once the description “historic” was no exaggeration when, on 3 February 2019, Pope Francis I stepped foot on the Arabian peninsula.  This was the first time, since the establishment of the Muslim faith fourteen centuries ago, that a pontiff had ever done so.  He was visiting the Sunni Gulf state of the UAE (the United Arab Emirates), at the invitation of its crown prince, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan.  The visit was arranged to demonstrate the reality behind the UAE’s designation of 2019 as the Year of Tolerance.


Palestinian Politics in Turmoil

The struggle between Hamas and Fatah for the soul of the Palestinian people began almost from the moment that Hamas was created in 1987 as a radical off-shoot of the Muslim Brotherhood. 

6% of Iranian Girls Married under 14

6% of Iranian Girls Married under 14

A shocking 6% of Iranian girls get married between 10 and 14, according to an Iranian MP. While 6% of all Iranian girls are married before the age of 14, the percentage increases to 17% for those married before the age of 18.

aqis protest against unemployment and lack of public services in Baghdad, 27 July 2018. Picture by Ameer Al Mohammedaw/DPA/PA Images. All rights reserved.

Post-Sectarian Iraq Between Theory and Practice

Iraq arguably entered a new phase of ‘post-sectarianism’ since 2015. This was evident during the popular protests that began in the summer of 2015 and returned significantly in the summer of 2018 – when Iraqi political activism transformed from identity politics to being issue based. This showed that the protests are driven by frustration and demands for improving the poor public services and the high unemployment figures, rather than the usual politically led religious and ethnic differences. Specifically, the transition was motivated by the failure of the ethnic-sectarian political class in providing efficient public services, education, health care, security and…
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Ebb-Tide for the Arab League

The Arab League’s economic and social summit, held in Beirut on 19 and 20 January, hardly showed the organization at its most dynamic. All Arab heads of state were invited.  Almost none turned up.

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