Religion & Geopolitics Weekly Roundup

At a Glance

Religion & Geopolitics Weekly Roundup

06 Feb 2014

One role of the Centre on Religion and Geopolitics is to provide readers with a regular roundup of the best commentary from around the world. These articles are reflective of the range of opinion we shall cover on this site, and though they will not always directly engage with the subject of religion and geopolitics, they will hopefully inform the debate.

Middle East and North Africa

When it comes to journalism on Israel and Palestine, there is no substitute for experience in the field. Peter Beaumont writes on Foreign Affairs for the Guardian and Observer and has spent many years reporting on the Middle East. In last week's Observer he asked whether the peace talks led by John Kerry would turn out to be a turning point or a crisis for Israel.

On the Syrian conflict, Joshua Landis, Director of the Centre for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma and his Syria Comment blog are now essential reading. He was in discussion with Andrew Tabler from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy on PBS this week: Who's to blame for failed Syrian peace talks and what's next?

Joshua Stacher has written a great piece about Egypt, and the potential weakness of Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in Foreign Affairs. Alaa Al Aswany, the bestselling novelist and author of The Yacoubian Building, a novel on the modern day hopes of Egypt, wrote about the hopes and ongoing tensions around the anniversary of the 25 January revolution.


Sub-Saharan Africa

There is a fascinating piece on Africa's anti-gay laws by Patience Akumu, from the African Arguments website.

Jacob Zenn, a research analyst of Eurasian and African affairs for the Jamestown Foundation writes a detailed analysis on Boko Haram in Nigeria as part of a series of publications on 'Current Trends in Islamist Ideology' for the Hudson Institute.

South East Asia

Jim Yong Kim, the President of the World Bank Group writes on Myanmar at a crucial time in its transition from a military government to democracy.

Elaine Pearson, the Australia Director at Human Rights Watch writes in The Guardian on the third anniversary of the attacks on the Ahmadiyah community in Western Java, Indonesia saying that religious minorities need to be better protected.

Thai Takedown, a letter from Bangkok by Duncan McCargo, is also on Foreign Affairs. Professor McCargo's writing on Thailand is also profiled elsewhere on this website.

War on Terror

JM Berger writes in Foreign Policy on the shift of al-Qaeda from a primarily terrorist organisation, to a primarily war-fighting organisation, and the need for those opposed to the organisation to catch up.

Thomas Hegghammer, one of Europe's leading scholars of jihadi movements, attacks assumptions about Islamist terrorism that have grown up over the last decade that and shown to be wrong since the Arab uprisings.


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