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In Realist theory power, whether economic or military, is the “currency” of nation-states. Yet, when viewing developments in the MENA, this distinction fails to take into account the great influence of sub-national and non-state actors. Such groups in many cases challenge and in a few cases exceed the “power” of the nation-state in which they share territory. Among others, one such example is that of the Iranian backed political party Hezbollah, which operates within Lebanon.

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Russia has taken a central role in resolving the crisis in Libya. Russia has much to gain from returning its former ally to stability, from lost military contracts to infrastructure and oil contracts. But how exactly has Russia taken charge in the Libyan Crisis?

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To discuss the future of the Middle East, and in particular to counter and isolate Iran, the Trump administration recently held a conference in Warsaw, Poland. What did this conference tell us about US-European and Israeli-Arab Relations though?

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The Trump Administration’s Middle East “Peace Plan,” has been in its “pre-launch” phase for nearly two years. The plan itself serves as a representation of Trump’s global foreign policy. This diplomatic strategy should come as no surprise to us as, after all, it is the first sentence of chapter two in the Art of the Deal. But does this method translate well for international relations?

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Recently published polling data reveals that Israelis and Palestinians share similar viewpoints which could serve as a catalyst for finding a solution to their long-standing conflict.

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The UCLA International Institute recently hosted its second annual potluck, continuing our tradition of gathering to delight in the experience of breaking bread and barriers. 

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In celebration of the release of our most recent CMED Routledge series publication, Reconstructing the Middle East, we’ve compiled a list of noteworthy Middle East reads recommended by the CMED team and affiliates.

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In the VIV Outflow Pipe for Aquarium, Uses 1 2mm Tube, Mini by VIV, Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump remarked that "ISIS happened a number of years ago in a vacuum." The term "vacuum" was most likely a slur on the current administration's foreign policy; however, if we understand it as a reference to the lack of governance in areas of the Middle East then the statement is not entirely untrue. In fact, ISIS and Al Qaeda's efforts to present themselves as quasi-governments capable of social welfare provision draws our attention to a phenomenon that probably deserves more attention than it receives: the use of social welfare provision by radical Islamist groups as a means of consolidating political control.

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