Israel at 75

​This year Israel celebrates 75 years since it was established. That spawned the Arab-Israeli conflict and the displacement of the Palestinians, known as the Nakba. PRIO researchers have done extensive research on the formative years of Israel and the events surrounding the establishment.

Scenarios for UNRWA and the way forward. New report out

A CMI report co-authored by PRIO researcher Jørgen Jensehaugen takes stock of the UNRWA, its role and way forward in context of a funding crisis.

UN Resident Coordinator for Syria Visits PRIO

​On 12 May, researchers and practitioners held interesting discussions on Syria at a roundtable at PRIO.

New Case Brief: Ethical Issues and Controversies in the Astana Process: Questioning Representation and Ownership

​This new FAIR case brief by Zenonas Tziarras focuses on how the Astana process became central to the peace efforts regarding the Syria conflict after 2017, but it has been heavily influenced by the interests and positions of its three sponsors or guarantor powers: Russia, Turkey, and Iran.

Moscow Pulled Between Afghanistan and Syria

​In an article for UIK Panorama, Research Professor Pavel Baev writes about the inherent weaknesses in Russia's capacity to pursue an ambitious foreign policy, which are getting exposed in the wake Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan. 

MidEast Policy Brief: UN Humanitarian Aid Comes to Syria for Another Year

​In a MidEast Policy Brief, Research Professor Pavel Baev writes about the future of UN humanitarian aid to Syria, following the UN Security Council adoption of Resolution 2585 on 9 July 2021. Even though the resolution might appear to be a recycle of the compromise reached at the Security Council in 2020, it is different in many important aspects and will be tested again in 2022, argues Baev.

MidEast Policy Brief: Prospects for Repatriation for Syrian Refugees

​In the MidEast Policy Brief 'Irresolvable Dilemmas? The Prospects for Repatriation for Syrian Refugees', Research Professor Kristian Berg Harpviken and Research Assistant Bjørn Schirmer-Nilsen address the challenges for Syrian refugees in major host countries, the refugees' eroding opportunities for onward migration, and their prospects for repatriation.

Podcast Episode on Natural Resources and Struggles for Power in the Eastern Mediterranean

​Recent discovery of hydrocarbon has exacerbated existing geopolitical tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean. In an episode of PRIO's Peace in a Pod, PRIO Cyprus Centre Researcher Zenonas Tziarras gives an overview of the Eastern Mediterranean, laying out its key players and its recent history, and sheds light on why hydrocarbons are consequential for a region that includes several Middle Eastern countries.

Workshop on Ethical Issues in Peace Negotiations and Mediation

​On 9-10 September 2021, around 20 researchers met for a hybrid online-offline workshop to share their research on specific cases of ethical issues in peace negotiations and mediation. The workshop was part of the PRIO project 'On Fair Terms: The Ethics of Peace Negotiations and Mediation' (FAIR) and included both PRIO researchers and researchers from across the world. 

Russia Readying for Compromise on the UN Humanitarian Aid to Syria

​The UN Security Council is to decide on cross-border humanitarian aid to Syria by July 10. In his new blog post ahead of the decision on the controversial issue, Research Professor Pavel Baev looks at how the context of the problem facing the Council has changed from Moscow's perspective since it was last on the table in spring-summer 2020. Baev argues that there are good reasons to assume that Russia is maneuvering toward a compromise supporting the extension of Resolution 2533.

PRIO Paper: The Geopolitics of Syria’s Reconstruction

​In the PRIO Paper 'The Geopolitics of Syria's Reconstruction', Research Professor Hilde Henriksen Waage and Research Assistant Magnus Seland Andersson address the geopolitical competition which has effectively deadlocked the civil war in Syria.

Virtual workshop on education in conflict and exile

​Over four sessions in October, 20 academics and practitioners from around the world met virtually to discuss the question of how education can enable refugee individuals and communities to build durable futures when there is great uncertainty about where these futures will be? Recognizing the protracted nature of refugee situations, the latest UNHCR education strategy prioritizes the integration of refugees into the national education systems of host countries. While this strategy may increase refugee children and youth's access to 'inclusive and equitable quality education' (SDG4), it fails to recognize the limbo in which refugees find themselves in low- and middle-income host countries: they are non-citizens who cannot access the durable futures that education promises them.

COVID-19 Will Challenge Russia’s Ambitions in the Middle East

​In two recent articles, Pavel K. Baev argues that Russia's ambitions in the Middle East will be challenged in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Russia's objectives in Syria may be severely halted by the extraordinary force with which the pandemic has hit Moscow since early April. However, a setback in Syria may also lead Russia to re-enforce its role as 'champion of the counter-revolutionary cause' with yet another pro-active move in the Middle East – a region which is set to experience a new wave of revolutionary protests resulting from the economic decline following the pandemic.

Turkey’s Shifting Agenda in Syria: Understanding the Drivers

​In the new PRIO Paper ‘The Shifting Turkish Agenda in Syria’s Evolving Conflict: Understanding the Drivers of Turkey’s Policy in Syria’, Pinar Tank critically examines the Turkish agenda in Syria, identifying Turkey’s domestic drivers and situating the country’s policies within an ever-changing regional and international context. The focus is particularly on how internal dynamics and nationalist politics are driving Turkish foreign policy in Syria. These domestic factors influence both Turkey’s relationship to the West and its more recent pivot towards Russia. 

Fewer Lives Being Lost in Conflicts

In 2017, approximately 90,000 people died as the direct result of armed conflict. This figure is down for the third year in a row, and is now 31 percent lower than in 2014.

Nearly a third of all conflicts – and four of the 10 most serious wars worldwide – now involve a local division of Islamic State (IS).

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