Eric Davis in The New Middle East: The Twilight of the Dictators: The End of Authoritarianism as We Know It in the Contemporary Middle East

23 October 2021
On October 3rd, Iraq held parliamentary elections.  Although the results were not officially announced until October 17th, many analysts, both Iraqi and foreign, were quick to decry the results.  In particular, they pointed to the Shi’a cleric Muqtada al-Sadr’s party to win an estimated 73 seats in Iraq’s 329 member parliament and the elections’ low turnout rate, between 38 and 41%.  However, were the elections really the failure that many analysts would have us believe? 

Eric Davis in The New Middle East: : The Killing of Qasem Suleimani and Iraq’s October Revolution: What Western Analysts Aren’t Telling You But What You Need to Know

30 January 2020
The unexpected killing of Qasem Suleimani came as a shock. What is likewise a shock is the narrowly construed discussion of the meaning and ramifications of his killing by analysts in the West. Rather than situate Suleimani’s killing in a historical context, or broader political and economic processes in the MENA region, the discussion has largely focused on personalities, remaining descriptive rather than explanatory.

Eric Davis in The New Middle East: Youth and Building a New Iraq: The Iraq Public Leadership Program (2)

29 April 2019
In its seventh year, the Iraq Pubic Leadership Program (IPLP) trains young Iraqi middle-career managers, NGO, and think tank members, and government employees over a period of 10 months in principles of social entrepreneurship, impact investing, rule of law, and conflict resolution strategies. Most important of all, it helps develop critical thinking skills. I was privileged to have been invited to participate in this year’s IPLP which included 30 remarkable Iraqi youth leaders.

Ecaterina Locoman in the Washington Post: Moldovans vote on Sunday. Here’s the man to watch.

23 February 2019
On Sunday, Moldova will be holding parliamentary elections. Most observers will likely analyze this as a referendum on whether the Eastern European nation orients itself toward the West or toward Russia – and since the pro-Russian Socialists are likely to win power, will conclude that Russia has won its loyalty. But the election’s main effect will be to cement and legitimize oligarch Vlad Plahotniuc’s total controlover the country’s political life.

Eric Davis in The New Middle East: The Great Betrayal: 10 Destructive Consequences of Trump’s Withdrawal of US Troops from Syria

31 December 2018
The decision by the Trump administration to withdraw US troops from Syria represents a  foreign-policy decision which will have a negative impact not only on the MENA region but far beyond.  At first glance, one might be asked why withdrawing 2,200 American troops from Syria should be framed in such a negative light?  Unfortunately, this decision reflects much more than a simple drawdown of troops in Syria. What will be the ramifications of Trump’s decision?

Eric Davis in The New Middle East: Donald Trump goes to the United Nations: The Perils of a "Foreign Policy of Narcissism"

30 September 2018
Donald Trump’s trip to the United Nations this past week highlighted not the only the United States’ retreat from its position as a powerful global political actor, but the chaotic state of current American foreign policy. Because the US holds the current Security Council presidency, Trump chaired the UN Security Council.

Hannah Walker in Perspectives on Politics' FirstView: The Civic Voluntarism of “Custodial Citizens”: Involuntary Criminal Justice Contact, Associational Life, and Political Participation

21 September 2018
A growing body of research explores the influence of involuntary criminal justice contact on political participation, demonstrating that all types of contact weaken political participation. We posit, however, that personal connections to civil society organizations (CSOs) moderate the negative effects of involuntary criminal justice contact on political participation, particularly political activism beyond registering to vote and voting. We test this proposition with individual-level and aggregate-level data from metropolitan and municipal Chicago. Our findings confirm a paradox of participation by custodial citizens. One, we demonstrate positive, statistically significant, and substantive effects of personal connections to CSOs on nonvoting political participation by custodial citizens. Two, the negative effects of involuntary criminal justice contact on voting participation among individuals and communities may endure, despite personal connections to CSOs, even in a state where the...

Hannah Walker in The Washington Post: What gets ex-prisoners politically and civically involved?

21 September 2018
In November, Floridians will vote on a constitutional amendment to automatically re-enfranchise citizens with nonviolent records after release from prison. Advocates and opponents are watching the campaign closely as a significant moment in the movement to give “returning citizens” the right to vote.

R. Daniel Kelemen in The New York Times: E.U.’s Leadership Seeks to Contain Hungary’s Orban

11 September 2018
BRUSSELS — As Prime Minister Viktor Orban steadily established an “illiberal state” in Hungary, dismantling the country’s checks and balances, stacking its constitutional court with loyalists and creating a template for other far-right leaders, a powerful group of European politicians took note.

Melanye Price in The New York Times: Ayanna Pressley and the Might of the Black Political Left

05 September 2018
The most significant political shift in decades is happening, but it’s not Trumpism or white nationalism or corruption or even on the right.