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Program on Arab Politics

The Washington Institute's Program on Arab Politics focuses on social, political, and economic developments in the Arab world, with an emphasis on the Arab countries of the Levant. The program is directed by David Schenker, an expert with more than a decade of experience in researching, writing, and providing policy recommendations to the U.S. government.

"The choice is ours: an open world full of promise, progress and justice for all; or a closed world of divided peoples, fear, and unfulfilled dreams.”

King Abdullah II of Jordan

Arab politics is an understudied -- but critically important -- issue for U.S. policymakers in the twenty-first century. Although some tend to view the Middle East as a single political entity, the region is actually a kaleidoscope of competing socioeconomic, religious, and ideological perspectives. Through the Program on Arab Politics, The Washington Institute highlights local trends and explores potential implications for the larger region. From the tense relations between local Islamist parties and the state, to the political implications of food subsidy programs in Arab countries, to the sometimes-surprising results of local elections, program scholars are dedicated to providing insight into what is really happening on the ground in the Arab world.

The Program on Arab Politics brings together the expertise of Washington Institute scholars and associates with outside scholars and visiting fellows. New initiatives include examining the wisdom of Western engagement with Islamist parties and rogue regimes of the region.