“Looking Ahead” Challenges for Middle East Politics and Research

April 2004


This report is made up of the papers presented at the workshop, ‘Looking Ahead: Challenges for Middle East Politics and Research’, held at SWP (Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik, the German Institute for International and Security Affairs) in Berlin, between 5 and 7 December 2003, in cooperation with EuroMeSCo. Its purpose is not to offer just another analysis of the state of affairs in the Middle East and North Africa, or to debate current events and developments. Rather, it is intended to help set the agenda for policy-oriented research, and possibly the policy agenda, on different aspects of Middle East politics and society. For if researchers specialising in the region are unable to examine new questions, how can political decision-makers be expected to develop sound policies? Clearly, questions of economic structure, international economic relations, and economic policies are key determinants in developments in the region. In this field, contributions by both ‘theoreticians’ and ‘practitioners’ may point the way towards devising a research agenda and partly overcoming the stagnation which seems to have affected both the economies of the region and the literature that analyses them.

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