International Relations

Explaining China’s popularity in the Middle East and Africa

China enjoys considerable popularity in the Middle East and Africa, not only among elites but also at street level. This article draws on international relations theories to explain this general pattern, as well as intra- and interregional variation. Every approach has something to contribute, but international political economy more so than realism. Constructivist theories are particularly useful in explaining China’s…

Why Is There So Little Shia–Sunni Dialogue? Understanding the Deficit of Intra-Muslim Dialogue and Interreligious Peacemaking

Despite a growth in fatalities resulting from organized violence with Shia–Sunni dimensions over the last two decades, in this study, we show, using existing data-bases on interreligious dialogue and peacemaking, that only less than two percent of the interreligious peacemaking organizations in the world are specialized in dialogue between Shias and Sunnis. Why is there so little institutionalized Shia–Sunni dialogue…

The Syrian conflict and public opinion among Syrians in Lebanon

Whom do ordinary Syrians support in their civil war? After decades of repression, the Syrian uprising unleashed an outpouring of political expression. Yet the study of Syrian public opinion is in its infancy. This article presents survey evidence from a large, diverse sample of Syrian refugees in neighbouring Lebanon, one of the first of its kind, and examines their support…

Religion and Tolerance of Minority Sects in the Arab World

Does religious behavior always promote hostility toward members of other faiths? This article suggests that the relationship between personal religious behavior and religious tolerance is not so simple. Even in the Arab World, frequently cited as a center of religious piety and intolerance, different forms of religious behavior have markedly different effects on attitudes toward minority sects. Using both observational…

An Empirical Analysis of the Women and Peace Hypothesis

For decades, social scientists have questioned whether women are more politically tolerant, peaceful, and less likely to prefer war to solve international conflict compared to men. Empirical analyses have been limited to a few geographic regions: North America (the United States); the Middle East (Israel and the core Arab World); and Africa (Rwanda). Furthermore, the measurement of the dependent variable,…

Tunisia At A Crossroads

Key Findings: Perceptions of economic conditions have significantly deteriorated since 2011. Trust in the government and parliament are low, but Tunisians have far more confidence in the security services and the judiciary. Nearly all Tunisians say corruption remains rampant, while fewer than half believe the government is taking steps to address the problem. Desire to emigrate is high and growing,…