"Democracy is not a given. It's something you have to constantly fight for."

This week, Cengiz Guenay, JHU SAIS Foreign Policy Institute Visiting Scholar, shares critical lessons from his research on the rise of authoritarianism and populism.

How can regional developments teach us about global shifts around the corner? What trends do we see? And what is the role of historical alongside contemporary comparison?

Learn more in this week's Four Minute Foreign Policy interview, concluding our two-part i...

"Regimes react to societal developments, rather than triggering them," says JHU SAIS Foreign Policy Institute Visiting Scholar Cengiz Guenay. In this week's Four Minute Foreign Policy interview, we explore the lessons he has drawn from the region, with implications for developing regions worldwide.

What can Turkey and MENA (the Middle East and North Africa) generally teach us about state reactions to foreign intervention? To what extent do religion and culture make states' reactions unique? What...

October 24, 2018

​Reconstruction Starts Here:

Building a Better Future for Syrian Refugee Youth

A Conversation with Lina Sergie Attar, Founder and CEO of Karam Foundation

Photography Exhibit “The Children of Karam House: Healing and Ambition Among Syrian Refugee Youth in Turkey”

How do we imagine a vibrant future for Syrians after the mass devastation and trauma they have endured? How can we rebuild agency and confidence for marginalized refugee communities? What if there was a space created for the most vulnerable...

May 31, 2016

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the World Humanitarian Summit, May 23, 2016.  Original, Licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0


Over five thousand international delegates gathered in Istanbul last week to mull over the dire state of the world´s humanitarian needs. The venue of the World Humanitarian Summit could not have been more appropriate. It reflects Turkey´s central role in the Syrian crisis, as host to the bulk of the conflict´s exiles and its disconte...

POMEAS OP-ED, 20 March 2015

When the Obama administration's ground-breaking effort to carve out a nuclear deal was in its initial phases, the process carried the potential to lead the region towards a more secure and stable future. With pros and cons of the talks, there was a general awareness that any rapprochement should not be limited solely to a nuclear-focused deal between the U.S. and Iran and should address the broader regional security concerns, which would otherwise pave the way for a ne...

The dispute over who controls oil in Iraq reflects internal Iraqi divisions that are about more than control over oil revenue. It is fundamentally a manifestation of the political struggle between the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) and the Iraqi federal government over the distribution of national wealth, the scope of Kurdish autonomy in the new Iraqi federal system, and the magnitude of authority and influence of the Iraqi federal government in the Kurdish territories. International buyers o...

The Middle East is getting through a painful and chaotic phase of transformation. In yet another try towards normalization, the region once more has failed to succeed. An alternative order that could have oriented the regional order towards popular legitimacy, civic rights, rule of law and market economy seems to remain in waiting. To that end, Turkey’s unique role is again called for.

Turkey’s star was rising in the Middle East prior to the Arab Spring. This had to do first with the country’s ab...

On Saturday President Obama called his Turkish counterpart President Erdoğan to discuss the details of both countries’ cooperation against ISIS. While high-level consultations are ongoing at multiple levels, Western media’s Turkey bashing has become an escapist route to divert attention from the upheaval in the Middle East. Media outlets are wide open to clichés ranging from pan-Islamism to anti-Westernism that portray Turkey as failing the fight against ISIS for ideological reasons. The invalid...

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© 2015 The Foreign Policy Institute

The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS)
The Johns Hopkins University