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NUPI skole

Midtøsten og Nord-Afrika

Konfliktene og krisene i Midtøsten og Nord-Afrika står sentralt i NUPIs forskning på regionen.

Hvilken rolle fremvoksende stormakter spiller i disse konfliktene, og hvordan stormaktspolitikken påvirker dynamikken i regionen, er viktige spørsmål. Dette er også spørsmål som berører forhold andre steder i verden, særlig når det gjelder energi. Utviklingen i enkeltland som Egypt, Syria og Iran følges også tett, i tillegg til spørsmål knyttet til sikkerhetssituasjonen i området og hvordan denne blir påvirket av aktører og konflikter andre steder i Afrika.
Hvor hender det?
Konflikten mellom palestinere og israelere har pågått i tiår etter tiår. Artikkelen tar for seg de sentrale stridsspørsmålene i konflikten og de sentrale...
  • The Middle East and North Africa
  • Peace operations
  • Conflict
Publikasjoner
Publikasjoner
Rapport

Sistani, the United States and Politics in Iraq : From Quietism to Machiavellianism?

This paper discusses the two prevailing interpretations of the political attitudes of the Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the leading Shiite cleric in Iraq today. It is argued that neither the traditional “quietist” paradigm nor more recent Machiavellian interpretations can satisfactorily explain Sistani’s actions. An alternative interpretation is offered which highlights Sistani’s historical oscillation between passive and activist positions. It is suggested that, after an activist intermezzo from June 2003 to December 2004, Sistani has reverted to a more secluded role, again showing an increasing reluctance to fulfil the wishes of his many wooers in Iraqi politics, and limiting his interference to matters directly connected with the Shiite faith and its institutions. It is concluded that Sistani’s professional interests as a cleric – rather than any constant desire on his part to control and manipulate domestic politics – may be the key to understanding any future intervention in the political process in Iraq. Scepticism is also expressed toward the notion of Sistani as a guarantor for a “moderate” or “secular” Iraqi political system that would supposedly be fundamentally different from that of Iran – an idea that has featured prominently in policy-making circles in the United States and in other Western countries currently involved in Iraq.

  • Midtøsten og Nord-Afrika
  • Midtøsten og Nord-Afrika
Publikasjoner
Publikasjoner
Rapport

Shi'i Separatism in Iraq : Internet Reverie or Real Constitutional Challenge?

This paper deals with non-conformist ideas among Iraqi Shi‘is about the territorial integrity of the modern state of Iraq. Two findings are presented. First, new Internet communications technology has enabled radical Shi‘is outside the main clerical, intellectual and political establishments to propagate visions of an independent Shi‘i state for the areas south of Baghdad, a scheme that runs counter to a robust and long-standing anti-separatist tradition among wider sections of the Shi‘i community. Secondly, by choosing the Internet as their primary modus operandi, the Shi‘i separatists also expose their relative weakness vis-à-vis other and less radical trends in Iraqi Shi‘i society.

  • Midtøsten og Nord-Afrika
  • Midtøsten og Nord-Afrika
Hvor hender det?
Folkeavstemningen i Irak i 2005 ble sett på som en milepæl i etableringen av et nytt demkrati etter Saddam husseins regime falt, men denne prosessen er...
  • The Middle East and North Africa
  • Peace operations
  • Governance
Hvor hender det?
Folkeavstemningen i Irak i 2005 ble sett på som en milepæl i etableringen av et nytt demkrati etter Saddam husseins regime falt, men denne prosessen er...
  • The Middle East and North Africa
  • Peace operations
  • Governance
Publikasjoner
Publikasjoner
Rapport

How the Axis of Evil Metaphor Changes Iranian Images of the USA

The respondents feared an American attack, and regarded their membership in «the Axis of Evil» as a stab in the back after Iranian help in Afghanistan. This demonisation was seen overwhelmingly in terms of American geopolitical designs, ignorance and downright irrationality – an expansionist superpower that is dangerously out of control. The WTC attack initially caused a strengthening of Iranian national unity and a more coherent foreign policy, but most of the respondents regard «the Axis of Evil» as killing the nascent dialogue with the USA stone dead and coming as a godsend to the conservatives and the ultras.

  • Midtøsten og Nord-Afrika
  • Konflikt
  • Midtøsten og Nord-Afrika
  • Konflikt
Publikasjoner
Publikasjoner
Rapport

The Rhetoric of Hegemony : How the extended definition of terrorism redefines international relations

This paper looks at the rhetorical extension of the word “terrorism” to cover what used to be called guerrilla war, separatism, civil war, armed resistance and all other forms of political violence, down to and including non-lethal sabotage and vandalism. It begins by reflecting on how political power must be buttressed by legitimacy, which in turn involves the de-legitimisation of challengers. This is often achieved by assimilating political dissent to the “criminality” that by definition governments are created to combat. When governments use the term “order” to mean their own convenience, and the converse, this can effectively evoke the individual citizen’s fear of personally suffering violence, even when he is in fact more at risk from the government itself than from its critics. In much the same way, “terror” no longer means government violence against citizens (as in the 19th century), nor solely violence against civilians by dissident groups; it has recently mutated to mean any armed resistance to the party deploying the rhetoric, even in conventional military forms. The terrorist label is the ultimate delegitimising technique, which may be employed to mobilise metropolitan populations to support a globally-coordinated suppression of resistance to the new world order.

  • Midtøsten og Nord-Afrika
  • Midtøsten og Nord-Afrika
Publikasjoner
Publikasjoner
Rapport

Nuclear Dimensions of the Iraqi Crisis

  • Midtøsten og Nord-Afrika
  • Konflikt
  • Midtøsten og Nord-Afrika
  • Konflikt
Publikasjoner
Publikasjoner
Rapport

Iran and “the Axis of Evil”

  • Terrorisme og ekstremisme
  • Midtøsten og Nord-Afrika
  • Terrorisme og ekstremisme
  • Midtøsten og Nord-Afrika
Publikasjoner
Publikasjoner
Rapport

Elite perceptions of ethical problems facing the Western oil industry in Iran

The hybrid of democratic and theocratic institutions of revolutionary Iran is now over twenty years old, and is undergoing challenge. An elected president with popular legitimacy but no control of the means of coercion is endeavouring to open up and liberalise, but is being opposed by the conservatives with theocratic vetoes, newspaper closures and street violence. Part One of this report looks at the diarchy of President Khatami and Supreme Leader Khamenei, their legitimacies, their ‘minimalist’ strategies, and their common interest in restraining their wilder supporters from provoking chaos or civil war. The report then considers the elements of ‘civil society’ resulting from deep structural change in Iran: demography and education, the role of women and the free press. Finally, this part considers the journalistic comparison of Khatami with Gorbachev, and finds that although both are/were attempting limited reform of a faltering system of which they were themselves a part, no Iranian Yeltsin has yet emerged. Part Two of the report is the results of in-depth interviews with 14 prominent reformers. They are optimistic about the prospects for long-term change; all the conservatives can do is postpone change or perpetrate a bloodbath, they cannot put the clock back. Our sample tended to consider the oil companies a bad influence. However, they made a sharp distinction between American companies, which they thought more ethical and transparent, and the secretive European, Arab and Japanese companies. Asked what the oil companies should do to promote democratic developement, the interviewees emphasised transparency above all.

  • Midtøsten og Nord-Afrika
  • Humanitære spørsmål
  • Energi
  • Midtøsten og Nord-Afrika
  • Humanitære spørsmål
  • Energi
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