How the Islamic State Made Its Billions

November 15, 2015

Is oil from IS-controlled fields being mixed in with legitimate exports to Europe? The Islamic State (IS) has moved through the Middle East over the course of the past year in a persistent attempt to establish a caliphate. With over 30,000 fighters on its payroll, including their families, jihad...

Dubai Holds Powerful Lessons For Nigeria

March 19, 2015

With Dubai’s example in mind, Nigeria must diversify its economy so its people see the benefits. As Nigerians prepare for a presidential election amid a Boko Haram insurgency, the question remains: What about the economy? With falling oil prices, a depreciating foreign reserve and a plunge in...

Research Shows Nations Really Do Go to War Over Oil

January 28, 2015

Most states claim human rights or democracy is the reason for military intervention, but the data says otherwise. The “thirst for oil” is often put forward as a near self-evident explanation behind military interventions in places such as Libya or Sudan. Oil, or the lack of oil, is also said...

Are Falling Oil Prices an Opportunity for Asia?

January 20, 2015

How will the recent plunge in oil prices affect Asian countries? The major cause of the recent oil price fall is the increasing oil production in the United States, as advanced technology enables American oil companies to extract previously untapped shale oil and gas. Although remaining a...

Oman’s Burgeoning Private Sector: An Inside Perspective

April 10, 2014

Quality education is fundamental to boost a country's economic performance. Over the past few years, the Sultanate of Oman has maintained an increasing growth rate and registered a mounting budget deficit against a backdrop of rising oil prices. As a middle-income economy, Oman relies heavily on...

Iraq: Sectarianism, Oil and the War in Syria (Part 2/2)

March 24, 2014

Maliki treats the breakdown of order in Iraq as a challenge to his rule. Iraq, a founding member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), has large oil reserves which are unevenly spread across the country. As of January 2013, it also held...

Iraq: Sectarianism, Oil and the War in Syria (Part 1/2)

March 17, 2014

Maliki treats the breakdown of order in Iraq as a challenge to his rule. Iraq has certainly experienced a turbulent decade. The US-led invasion in 2003 which culminated in the ouster of long-time ruler Saddam Hussein was a game-changer in Iraq's history. Subsequent efforts by the Coalition...

International Helplessness Over Libya

March 05, 2014

Blind international activism in Libya only risks making matters worse. Western governments have watched with increasing perplexity as, over the course of the past year, militias stopped the bulk of Libya’s oil production, several regions were engulfed in bitter conflicts, and the political...

The Potential for Nuclear Proliferation in Saudi Arabia

January 23, 2014

Riyadh's lack of confidence in the Joint Plan of Action raises questions over its traditional stance of non-proliferation. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has long been a champion for the establishment of a Nuclear Weapons Free Zone in the Middle East, owing to a combination of its isolation from...

The Middle East Economy: Between Oil Wealth and Youth Unemployment

November 11, 2013

In the Middle East, political regimes and economic performance are intertwined par excellence. Background The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) provides a highly diverse picture of economic structures and characteristics. Its far from uniform regional economic structure can be traced back to...

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