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Caravan Notebook Podcast

ISIS Loses Its Leader, But The Group Lives On

interview with Cole Bunzel, Aymenn al-Tamimivia The Caravan Notebook
Monday, February 7, 2022

A conversation with Aymenn al-Tamimi.

The Saudi Succession And The Sociocultural-Religious Reforms Of Mohammed Bin Salman

by Ali Shihabivia The Caravan Notebook
Wednesday, January 19, 2022

The immensity of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s reforms in Saudi Arabia have not been adequately understood by outside observers. In a state three hundred years old with a bloody history of conflict in its royal successions, he has resolved a once-a-century royal generational succession and actively marginalized the reactionary clerical class that was effectively a comanager of society—all with limited violence or disruption to society.

Caravan Notebook Podcast

The Diplomatic Failure Of The Afghan Withdrawal

interview with Cole Bunzel, Steve Collvia The Caravan Notebook
Thursday, January 6, 2022

A discussion with Steve Coll.

The Case For Colonialism In The Middle East

by Bruce Gilleyvia The Caravan Notebook
Thursday, December 16, 2021

Modern European colonialism in the Middle East took many forms and intensities, making impossible any generalizations about its effects. Therefore, the dominant anticolonial mindset that grips studies of the region is misplaced. Any case for colonialism in the Middle East rests on evidence from places that were creations of colonialism or where deterioration of the colonial legacy has been directly proportional to the degree of postcolonial catastrophe.

Why Has Democratization Bypassed The Muslim World?

by Ruud Koopmansvia The Caravan Notebook
Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Globally, democracy has expanded since the 1970s, but in the Muslim world democracies currently number fewer than ever. The essay shows that dependency on natural resources and colonial legacies provides only a limited explanation (and in the latter case a counterintuitive one). Instead, the predominance of fundamentalist versions of Islam and widespread support for fusing religion and politics have been formidable barriers towards democratic progress in the Muslim world.

Caravan Notebook Podcast

Henry Kissinger And The Problems Of Middle East Peace

interview with Cole Bunzel, Martin Indykvia The Caravan Notebook
Tuesday, November 30, 2021

A discussion with Martin Indyk.

Caravan Notebook Podcast

Repercussions Of The Afghanistan Withdrawal

interview with Russell A. Berman, Tom Tugendhatvia The Caravan Notebook
Thursday, November 4, 2021

A Discussion with Tom Tugendhat, Member of Parliament and Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee.

How The Doha Agreement Guaranteed US Failure In Afghanistan

by Lisa Curtisvia The Caravan Notebook
Tuesday, November 2, 2021

This essay examines how the poorly negotiated US-Taliban agreement undermined the Afghan government and institutions and facilitated the Taliban’s rise to power in August 2021. The rush to conclude a deal with the Taliban undermined US counterterrorism interests and emboldened hard-liners within the Taliban movement. The United States must recommit to human rights and counterterrorism in Afghanistan and avoid rewarding the Taliban with diplomatic recognition until they have earned it.

The Hezbollah Paradox

by Nicholas Blanfordvia The Caravan Notebook
Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Hezbollah has evolved over the past four decades into the most powerful military and political force in Lebanon. It is Iran’s greatest force enabler, allowing the Islamic Republic to exert influence across the Middle East. But Hezbollah’s determination to protect its independent military status in the face of growing opposition in Lebanon has created a host of grave challenges that could threaten the organization’s primacy in the years ahead.

Layered Response: Turkey’s Adaptive Policy On Refugees And Migrants

by Richard Outzenvia The Caravan Notebook
Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Turkey has experienced a massive surge in refugee and migrant flows over the past decade. Hosting over four million refugees and roughly two million other migrants, Turkey has faced significant social, economic, and security challenges related to population movements. Ankara’s evolving policy response has direct implications for Europe and for US strategic interests, and it presents a valuable case study as Western leaders grapple with parallel challenges.


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About the Working Group

The Caravan Notebook is a platform for essays and podcasts that offer commentary on a variety of subjects, ranging from current events to cultural trends, and including topics that are too local or too specific from the larger questions addressed quarterly in The Caravan

We will draw on the membership of Hoover's Herbert and Jane Dwight Working Group on the Middle East and the Islamic World, and on colleagues elsewhere who work that same political and cultural landscape. Hoover senior fellow Russell Berman directs the project from which this effort originates.