Charting a New Path:
The Kurdistan Region of Iraq and UK Relations

June 2023

This report aims to analyse the major trends that have shaped the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) over the past two decades and develop a set of research-based policy recommendations to help address chronic challenges and identify growth opportunities that will contribute to the region’s prosperity and stability.
The report’s findings are based on in-depth research conducted between January and June 2023 and a series of interviews conducted with interdisciplinary experts and policymakers. On 28 April 2023, a policy workshop was held at Trinity Hall, University of Cambridge, hosted by Audere International and the Cambridge Middle East and North Africa Forum. The report draws on the conclusions of the high-level workshop, which was attended by senior researchers, energy experts, and policymakers from Iraq and the wider region.

Plan B for a Democratic Libya?
Restoring the 1951 Constitution and the Constitutional Monarchy

February 2022

This project is the product of a year’s research conducted across twelve countries, by a team of eighteen researchers. It tries to answer a simple question that concerns an extremely complex issue: What constitutional arrangement might keep Libya together as a unified, democratic state? The project examines the viability today of a constitution that has already worked in the past, namely Libya’s “Independence Constitution”, enacted in 1951 and revised in 1963. It further asks a theoretical question of whether the restoration of the Libyan monarchy, which was deposed of in 1969, could make a positive contribution to the resolution of the Libyan crisis.

Britain and the Emerging Leaders of the Middle East

November 2021

Britain and the Emerging Leaders of the Middle East is the product of six months of fieldwork and is shaped by two questions: How do the Middle East’s ‘young leaders’— particularly young activists—see and try to change the future of their countries, the region and the world? The second pertains to the goal set out in the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office’s (FCDO)  Middle East and North Africa Directorate (MENAD) Human Development Agenda, to support improved social, political and economic participation in the region: What role can the United Kingdom play to lend moral and political support to the efforts of these young leaders.

Strategies and Ethics of Hybrid Warfare in the Gulf:
Drones, Cyberwar and AI in the High-Stakes Struggle between Iran and Saudi Arabia

February 2021

The competition between Saudi Arabia and Iran is being fought across multiple conventional and high-tech platforms, turning the Gulf into a unique strategic theatre of hybrid warfare. This research raises key questions about the nature of hybrid war strategies. Issues of focus incorporate the domestic implications for Iran and Saudi Arabia in utilising cyberwarfare, drones, and AI-driven techniques, and the dangers of information – and weapons – sharing with proxies; the positioning and character of leadership, ideology, and external pressures; the impacts of regional and international relationships; and ethical considerations in relation to the role of AI in hybrid conflict situations, a primary area of concern for the British government.

A Modern Marshall Plan for the Middle East

November 2020

There are a number of issues inhibiting the coordination of a comprehensive plan to economically reconstruct and rehabilitate war-torn Arab states, including internal political discord within Arab states and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC); discord between state actors in the region, particularly between the Gulf states, Iran and Turkey; and the roles of new international actors. Considering the historical example of the Marshall Plan, this project considers the possible contours of a multilateral effort by the European Union, the UK, the US and the GCC to reconstruct and stabilize the countries of the Arabian Peninsula, particularly Syria, Iraq and Yemen in a way that is both economically sustainable and conducive to the region’s long-term stability.

MENA Region Border Management Strategy Overview: Selected Case Studies

March 2020

There are a number of successful models for border cooperation around the world, such as the EU Schengen model and EU Customs Union; the African Union Niamey Convention; and the US / Canada “Beyond the Border” perimeter security strategy. Such a model is one which is lacking in the MENA region, aside for the Gulf Cooperation Council which facilitates cross border cooperation in the Gulf but is not nearly as established or comprehensive as the other models. The project establishes a theoretical model which could be applied and would contribute to effective cooperation between state actors in the region with an interest in facilitating such cooperation. The project establishes a concrete model that could be applicable for addressing border cooperation in the long term.

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