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Saudi and Iran: how our two countries could make peace and bring stability to the Middle Eas

Relations between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Republic of Iran have rarely been worse, regarding the attacks on the oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman – for which both sides blame each other. Nevertheless, in the hist...

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SWAR project featuring SEPAD fellows publishes special issue on Sectarianism and Regime Formation

Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism, vol. 19, 1 (2019) - Special Issue on ‘Sectarianism and Regime Formation in a New Middle East’ Guest edited by Raymond Hinnebusch and Morten Valbjørn

This special issue of Studies i...

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Iranian revolution: world’s reactions show that, four decades on, tensions remain as high as ever

The 40th anniversary of Iran’s Islamic revolution in February 1979 was greeted by an extraordinary tweet from US president Donald Trump. In both English and Arabic, it referred to “40 years of failure” and said the Iranian people dese...

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The Securitisation of the ‘Masculinist’ other in the Syrian conflict

Amidst the violence that has spread across Syria since 2011, most scholarship concerned with the Syrianconflict has focused on questions related to how the rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran has shaped the Syrian crisis.1 The escalat...

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Sectarianism as Plan B: Saudi-Iranian identity politics in the Syria Conflict

Saudi Arabia and Iran have both been deeply involved in the Syrian civil war from its beginning in 2011, each sponsoring rival sides. Both have utilised sectarian identity politics to further their goals and both have contributed to the growth of ...

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The Yemen War: A Proxy Sectarian War?

The diffusion of protests against authoritarian regimes across the Arab world in 2011 reinvigorated Yemen’s marginalized social movements and united different geographical and political factions in Yemen, such as the northern Houthi movement and...

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Bahrain: The Epicentre of the Saudi-Iranian Rivalry?

For many, the archipelago of Bahrain is at the epicentre of the geopolitical and sect-based struggle between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Situated 16 kilometres from the eastern coast of Saudi Arabia, linked by the King Fahd Causeway, and 768 kilometres...

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The different risks of Saudi and Iranian aid to Lebanon

Lebanon is a battleground of Saudi-Iranian rivalry. Both provide aid. While Iranian aid to Hizballah creates a military fighting force, Saudi aid is notable for its economic impact. Iranian aid is already widely discussed1 so this artic...

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Iraq and Muhasasa Ta’ifia; the external imposition of sectarian politics

In the aftermath of invasion and regime change in 2003, Iraq’s political field was deliberately and overtly restructured around an informal version of consociationalism, the Muhasasa Ta’ifia (sectarian apportionment) system. This exclusiv...

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