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December 2015

The Rise and Fall of the New Arab Public Sphere
by Marc Lynch
“Arab politics will be torn for many years to come between the restless, critical power of the public sphere and the determined efforts of regimes, states, and old elites to maintain their domination.” Third in a series on public spheres around the world.

How Syria Fell to Pieces
by Samer Abboud
“With major regional powers in disagreement over how to solve the Syrian conflict . . . military and political stalemate continues, along with the territorial fragmentation of the country, the proliferation of networks of violence, and a humanitarian catastrophe that will have generational consequences.”

Egypt’s Revolution Turned on its Head
by Emad El-Din Shahin
“Sisi’s focus on fighting terrorism has shifted the nation’s political narrative from democracy and freedom to security and war . . .”

Lebanon’s Perilous Balancing Act
by Tamirace Fakhoury
“Although its dysfunctional governance patterns predate the recent wave of turmoil in the region, the war in Syria has unsettled Lebanon’s precarious equilibrium.”

The Middle East’s Spreading Morass
by Augustus Richard Norton
“Many of the Arab states see the uprisings, the Iraq war, and the rise of ISIS as fundamentally related. All of these issues are complicated by the Iran deal.”

Perspective: Iran’s Uncertain Course After the Deal
by Kevan Harris
The latest political realignment in the Islamic Republic resulted in détente with the West even as regional upheaval has drawn Tehran into overextended military interventions. While Iran’s future is uncertain, it is definitely not a hegemon in the making.

Books: A Bold Call for Middle Eastern Feminism
by Valentine M. Moghadam
In her new book, Mona Eltahawy argues that a sexual revolution is needed in the region to overcome religious ideologies that oppress women’s rights. Without progress toward gender equality, broader political reforms are bound to fail.

The Month in Review: October 2015
by the editors of Current History
An international chronology of events in October, country by country, day by day.

2015 Current History Index
by the editors of Current History
January-December 2015

Map of the Middle East
by the editors of Current History

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