Uncategorised


Post-Islamism in the Arab Gulf states. A shift from Salafism to Islamic humanism

Summary A powerful current of Muslim revivalism has gone largely unnoticed by Westerners, mostly focused on Islamism, Salafism, and Jihadism. Although deeply rooted as far as the Muslim Nahda (Renaissance) of the 19th Century, it surfaced after their failure and the fall of the Islamic State in 2019. This development incidentally coincided with the coming […]

Does the political shift, among European voters, towards populism entail a return to traditional values? No.

Values are more than opinions: they claim to have some coherence, to shape a world-view, to be opposable, even imposable, to others, and to organise own’s life. They are often the result of a secularisation of religious norms (or “translation” in the Habermas sense: making religious values acceptable to secular people by rending them “autonomous” […]

Confidence Building to Avoid Military Clashes in the Persian Gulf

On 2 February 2021, the Middle East Directions Programme hosted Giovanni Romani, Sanam Vakil, Tytti Erästö, and Mahsa Rouhi as part of its Regional Security Initiative. Moderated by Luigi Narbone and Abdolrasool Divsallar, the event (see more details here) explored the possibility of military de-escalation measures in reducing tension between the US and Iran. This […]

The Problem of Gaza

While some of the discussions and proposals are somewhat couched in ambiguity, the language adopted in discussion of the Gaza Strip could not be more direct. Described from the contents page as ‘The Problem of Gaza’, the document has a linear narrative: until Hamas, PIJ and ‘other terrorist entities’ are dealt with, nothing is going […]

Geopolitics and conflicts hit Aramco’s IPO, Crown Prince turns East

The Aramco IPO, possibly the largest IPO listing of a company ever on stock exchanges, is sailing into uncharted waters. After almost four years of hinting at a US$2 trillion valuation and listings on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and London Stock Exchange (LSE), geopolitics, regional conflict and an unstable global oil market are […]

A Return to Targeted Assassinations in Gaza

This morning, Israel carried out a targeted assassination of the senior military commander of Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Shajiaya, in the north of the besieged Gaza Strip. Bahaa Abu al-Ata, 42 and his wife Asma Mohammed, 39 were killed as a bomb struck their home in the early hours of this morning. Syrian state media reported […]

Why a BLOG?

Welcome to our new channel! The MEDirections blog is a space where our Research Community can have the opportunity to express opinions, give comments on news, events and developments, tell stories and generally share their points of view in a sharp and non-academic format. Whereas the Medirections website http://middleeastdirections.eu/ is the Programme’s official interface, our blog […]