The Century Foundation is beginning a comprehensive two-year research project on Arab regional security and remaining prospects for pluralism and reform, with support from Carnegie Corporation of New York. TCF’s offices in New York, Washington, and Beirut will coordinate policy research to promote a comprehensive long-term vision for improving regional security coordination and nurturing reform in the context of a region in the grip of war and political uncertainty.

The project will examine the systemic drivers of instability in the Arab world while seeking solutions to turmoil on both national and regional levels. With Carnegie Corporation’s generous support, TCF will produce a body of new, policy-relevant scholarship on both Arab political dynamics and regional security, drawing on networks of scholars and political actors based in the Arab world. In addition to publications and new policy ideas, the initiative also seeks to deepen collaboration among actors based in the region and Western policymakers.

Expected products of the project include:

  • Two edited volumes
  • Possible reports about regional diplomatic initiatives
  • Public events in the United States and Middle East promoting the project’s research and scholars
  • A convening of a robust network of Arab liberal political actors

“As the Arab world continues to struggle with extremism and instability, it is important that we pursue solutions that will help to dissipate unrest in the region,” said TCF president Mark Zuckerman. “The Century Foundation is proud to continue its partnership with Carnegie Corporation, and we look forward to embarking on our next chapter of research in this critical policy area.”

TCF senior fellow Michael Wahid Hanna and TCF fellow Thanassis Cambanis will lead the project. “Arab nations suffer from a unique deficit in their peace and security architecture, even when compared to regions that are similarly fractious or unevenly developed,” Hanna said. “The current crises should remind regional stakeholders of the deadly and destabilizing consequences of this lack of structure, and this moment of instability offers an important opportunity to imagine a different regional security order.”

“The Arab region is in the middle of a long and wrenching transition,” Cambanis said. “The root grievances that drove the popular uprisings of 2010 and 2011 remain unresolved, while the region’s violent conflicts remind us just how hard it is to address concerns about governance and security. Individual Arab states, as well as the region as a system, will have to adapt, and we hope our policy research will contribute to that process.”

Since 2009, TCF’s foreign policy research team has completed two projects supported by Carnegie Corporation. These recent Carnegie-supported projects including the convening of an international task force on Afghanistan and an international working group on Pakistan.