By Vaughn Durfee
The period of prominence for the PLO in the late 1960s and early 1970s within the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is directly related to the support it received from Egyptian President Jamal ‘Abd al- Nasir. As the actions of the PLO caught Nasir’s attention, its ability to conduct operations, attract recruits, and establish influence increased. The large number of Palestinians within Jordanian territory and their support by a foreign power impeded Jordanian King Husayn’s effectiveness in reacting to their growing legitimacy. After the Black September civil war broke out in 1970, it was not until after the death of Nasir that Husayn was able to exercise the full extent of his power and suppress Palestinian aggression. This paper analyzes the relationship between President Nasir of Egypt and King Husayn of Jordan, illustrating the direct correlation of Nasir’s influence over the PLO to King Husayn’s ability to act within his own kingdom. I conclude that the enabling role that Nasir played in his relationship with the PLO and his limitations on the opposing Jordanian monarch generated the eventual culmination to civil war.
By Tanner Sullivan
Despite Tunisia’s small population and liberal democratic government, estimates show that the number of Tunisian foreign fighters who joined the Islamic State and other militant groups in Iraq, Syria and Libya is more than double the number of foreign fighters from any other country. Additionally, a number of notable terrorist attacks in recent years have been carried out by Tunisians in their own country and in Europe. This paper explores the reasons behind Tunisia’s struggle with extremism and argues that following Tunisia’s Jasmine Revolution, the breakdown of state security and religious institutions, combined with new freedoms of expression and association, created a space that extremist groups were able to exploit to establish robust recruiting operations. This new permissive political environment, when combined with economic hardship and geographic characteristics unique to Tunisia, created fertile ground for extremist recruitment. This paper also considers the current security challenges that Tunisia is facing, while offering analysis as to how they might affect the country’s political future and that of the region as a whole.
By Makade Claypool
In the first decade of this century, “color” revolutions swept across the Middle East, Africa, and Eastern Europe. These largely peaceful demonstrations focused on improving democracy and were lauded by international spectators; however, the results of these revolutions are as diverse as the colors to which they ascribe. To explain these differences, it is noteworthy the laws of a country and the extent to which leaders are bound by such laws (i.e., rule of law) greatly affect a country’s governance and politics. Accordingly, a country’s focus on rule of law is likely integrally tied with its democratic success post-revolution. This paper focuses on the rule of law before, during, and after three distinct color revolutions, analyzing its effect on democratic success. Ultimately the Egyptian “Lotus” Revolution (2011), the Georgian “Rose” Revolution (2003), and the Ukrainian “Orange” Revolution (2004) demonstrate that revolutionary attempts to improve a system’s democracy without also improving its rule of law yields little, if any, desired results.
By Anne Nollet
Mohamed Bouazizi’s self-immolation in 2010 fanned the flames of revolution that spread throughout the entire Arab World in what is now known as the Arab Spring. Though the grievances and outcomes differed between countries, a common theme was widespread dissatisfaction. This paper focuses on how these Arab Spring revolutions affected citizens’ satisfaction with government performance. Using data from nine countries, this paper offers a statistical analysis of the key factors affecting satisfaction. The results indicate that revolutions mostly impact the likelihood of citizens having high levels of satisfaction, perceptions of government performance play a major role in determining satisfaction, and countries that experienced major revolutions do not have significantly different satisfaction levels than those that did not.
By Eleanor Lewis
Many people have heard of Suleyman the Magnificent, Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1520 to 1566, but few people have heard of his wife, Hurrem Sultan. After she was kidnapped from her home in eastern Europe around 1520, she rose through the ranks of the Sultan’s harem. In an unprecedented diversion from tradition, she married the Sultan and ruled the Empire alongside him for several decades. She lived a miraculous life and left a lasting influence on the Ottoman Empire. Through her fierce bond with Suleyman and personal strength of character, she broke the traditional norms for a slave-concubine and carved out a new political and cultural landscape for a new period of Ottoman history.