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Research project

COVID-19 in the Middle East: Geopolitics, Socio-Economics and State Capacity

The Middle East Directions Programme (MEDirections) at EUI’s Robert Schuman Centre has been applying its collective expertise to examine the challenges posed by the pandemic to governments and citizens in Middle East and North Africa. Taking a proactive approach intended to support policy-making as well as further academic research, the MEDirections has initiated a special series of articles by EUI scholars as well as local experts from the region ​focusing particularly on the interaction of the pandemic with ongoing conflict and crises in the MENA region and on the impact on governance. Over a dozen new outputs since April have covered a wide spectrum of countries and issues including geopolitical and socio-economic implications of the crisis, and the capacity of states to respond effectively. Members of the group have also written a policy brief on US-Iran relations in the time of corona ​as well as published an article by Prof. Narbone titled “The Covid-19 pandemic: One more challenge for Iran”in the journal ORIENT, Deutsche Orient-Stiftung, III/2020, July 2020. As a whole, the MEDirections Group aims to identify how the main dynamics of the present emergency could continue to affect future post-Covid policies in the MENA region.

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