In this week's Monday Briefing, MEI experts Charles Lister, Marvin G. Weinbaum, Yousef Munayyer, and Alex Vatanka provide analysis on recent events including the battle for Mosul, corruption in Pakistan, Mahmoud Abbas's trip to China, and Rouhani's difficult second presidential term.
Non-refoulement is a well-recognized principle of customary international law that forbids the forced deportation of refugees and asylum seekers to their country of origin. This essay discusses the increasingly common practice of refoulement in Jordan and the circumstances in which this development is taking place.
This essay discusses the recent spate of attacks upon and heightened sense of insecurity felt by Egyptian Coptic Christians. The essay focuses on Copts' growing frustration with state authorities' responses to their grievances.
Jakarta, the hub of Indonesian politics, was caught in the eye of a storm when a series of massive protests erupted, calling for the prosecution of the ethnic Chinese Christian Governor Basuki Tjahaja “Ahok” Purnama for allegedly having committed blasphemy against Islam. What do these developments, together with Ahok's subsequent defeat for reelection and criminal conviction, signify or portend for Indonesia's formative values and democratic consolidation? To what extent has the country's “moderate Muslim mainstream” stepped up to the challenge represented by these events? This essay addresses these questions.
This essay looks at five North African states, arguing that the armed forces — for a variety of often case-specific reasons — are actually not as politically powerful and thus influential in foreign policy-making as one might expect. It first discusses the political strength of the military establishments of five North African states — Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt — and then investigates the difference, if any, that the recent Arab upheavals have made in their involvement in foreign policy-making.
When Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, the Christian governor of Indonesia’s capital Jakarta, was sentenced to two years in prison for “blasphemy” in May 2017 it created world headlines. The verdict was seen as emblematic of a broader “Islamization” of Indonesian politics and society that has allegedly been underway since the collapse of the New Order military dictatorship in 1998. However, as this essay shows, Indonesia is experiencing a politicization of Islam rather than an Islamization of politics.
In November-December 2015 Chennai and its neighboring coastal districts in India experienced torrential rainfall followed by a devastating flood. Amid the chaos and widespread impact, the event brought people and institutions in and outside Chennai together, to provide support to the victims affected by the flood. Help reached the affected areas and their residents from different sections of society and in variety of forms. The lessons from this case study and others like it can help urban centers elsewhere in Asia to plan for similar eventualities.