Policy Alternatives

Policy Alternatives are monthly analysis and insights from engaged Arab scholars or activists dealing with all key reform issues in the social, economic, political and legal domains. 

October 2014
by Mohamed Benhlal

What have the 2011 protests in Morocco achieved in terms of governance reforms? The constitutional reforms undertaken by Morocco since the 2011 protests have modified legislative and institutional procedures, yet their real impact on governance needs to be assessed.

September 2014
by Félix Legrand

As calls emerge for cooperation with the Assad regime to help roll back the advances of the Islamic State (ISIS) in Iraq and Syria, Felix Legrand argues that the Free Syrian Army (FSA) is the only actor in the conflict with the capacity and local legitimacy to defeat ISIS in Syria.

August 2014
by Nadine Abdalla

In July 2014, the Egyptian government announced reductions in fuel subsidies as a first step in a framework to end the subsidy system. Now is the time to set the foundations for a new social contract. The state needs community structures, such as trade unions, that can manage social conflict. Affected social sectors need ways in which to express their anger and represent their interests in a sustained and focussed manner in order to successfully pressure the authorities.

August 2014
by Maged al-Madhaji

Is federalism the answer for Yemen? In this Policy Alternative paper, Yemeni researcher Maged Al Madhaji analyzes the challenge of introducing a federalist system in a complex country beset with internal divisions and major economic problems.

July 2014
by Hana Jaber

The Syrian conflict has brought new threats, new refugees and a new wave of political uncertainty to a country already struggling to manage the political upheaval of the Arab Spring. Set against the backdrop of shifting domestic and regional politics, this paper breaks down the impact of the Syrian conflict on Jordan.

July 2014
by Ilina Angelova

This insightful paper illustrates the evolution of civilian administration initiatives in rebel-held Syria and their effects on the resilience of the population in towns targeted by chemical attacks.

July 2014
by Ahmed Abd Rabou

This paper by Ahmed Abd Rabou shows how Egypt's June 2014 legislative election law endangers the functioning of Egypt’s political parties and parliament. Rabou outlines an alternative electoral system that would protect political space for political parties and the parliament while maintaining constitutional benefits for women, Christians and other groups.

July 2014
by Nacer Djabi

Abdelaziz Bouteflika, despite ill health and the belief of many Algerians that the 2014 elections would be an opportunity for change, used his carefully crafted connections in state institutions, private business, the media, and across the political landscape to win support for his fourth term as president of Algeria.

July 2014
by Hamadi Redissi

Tunisia’s National Dialogue quickly became an essential institution for resolving differences, notably with respect to the constitution, but is there still a role for the Dialogue?

June 2014
by Félix Legrand

Understanding the nature of ISIS’s integration into the Syrian political and social fabric is essential for the development of a realistic and efficient strategy to curb the expansion and the consolidation of the jihadist state currently under construction in Iraq and Syria.