When studying authoritarianism, focusing on historical factors is most important when analyzing a regime. Categorizing regimes in MENA based on resources and regime types can be difficult, as not one state is the same. Looking at multiple historical factors can explain the regime’s function much better than its counterparts. Syria’s history of colonization, continuity, and […]

MENA has a higher number of monarchies compared to other regions in the world. To explain this, we must look at the different types of monarchies- rentier monarchies, non-rentier monarchies, and failed monarchies. There have been successes, as well as extreme failures, with monarchies in the region. Looking at rent, coercion, timing, and religion can […]

In Southern Tunisia, desertification has begun to impact citizens’ daily lives. Agriculture does not have enough water to continue operating, citizens’ homes are beginning to fill with sand, and food and water scarcity is at an all-time high. Climate change is causing people to suffer, and they may not have enough necessities.   The past […]

Rentierism Reflection

September 22, 2023 | 2 Comments

Oil rents do pose a threat to the political and social outcomes for MENA, but it is not the only cause of MENA’s “exceptionalism.” Taxation (and the lack of representation without it), spending, and group (non) formation are the factors that make up the rentier effect. The rentier effect also interacts with repression and modernization. […]

Anderson Reflection

September 15, 2023 | 1 Comment

Lisa Anderson analyzes past arguments of why MENA is exceptional regarding authoritarian regimes. She states, “In the United States, policymakers and political scientists alike…[project] American institutions, values, and purposes onto the rest of the world” (Anderson 2006, 191). There is an expectation for MENA to accept Western democracy. Anderson reiterates that the “third wave” of […]

From a liberal perspective, international factors do matter- especially in the global south. International intervention has been shown to improve a country’s development goals. However, there needs to be a reminder that international intervention is not “saving” a country. Many countries are developing because of centuries of colonialization. Many of the countries intervening are the […]

Ukraine and Russia War has been a topic discussed by renowned International Relations scholars, politicians, diplomats, as well as the general public. After a year since the 2022 invasion, the International Community has not come to a consensus on what comes next. Both Russia and Ukraine are running low on artillery. Russia is also running […]


February 15, 2023 | Leave a Comment

As I have mentioned before, I am from a primarily white, conservative, and Protestant town. The accepted concept of “otherness” in my hometown was anyone who did not fit in this box. In my high school, there were fewer than 10 people of color. In my hometown, race was the main factor in “otherness”- if […]

Growing up in a small town, I was always subject to others who were identical to me. Going to a primarily white institution did little to change this. However, discussing this with students from the University of Sharjah, they seemed to have very different experiences. The American University of Sharjah is one of the most […]