Dr. James M. Dorsey

Dr. James M. Dorsey

Dr. James M. Dorsey

(Ph.D. University of Utrecht). Specializes in the Muslim world's political, social, and economic fault lines as well as Chinese policy towards the region with a focus on geopolitics, social movements, and political and militant Islam. James also focuses on the nexus of sports, politics, and society. Email: [email protected]

A Risky Gamble: Official Turkish Delegation to Inspect Troubled Xinjiang

| August 19, 2019

An official Turkish visit to the troubled northwestern Chinese province of Xinjiang to assess reports of a brutal crackdown on the region’s Turkic Muslims could shape Turkey’s challenge to conservative Gulf states’ leadership of the Islamic world and complicate Muslim silence about the most frontal assault on their faith in recent history.

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Muslim Causes vs. National Interests: Muslim Nations Make Risky Bets

| August 14, 2019

Saudi attitudes toward the plight of thousands of illegal Rohingya in the kingdom fleeing persecution in Myanmar and squalid Bangladeshi refugee camps help explain Saudi support for China’s brutal clampdown on Turkic Muslims in its troubled northwestern province of Xinjiang.

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The UAE Withdraws from Yemen

| August 4, 2019

A UAE decision to withdraw the bulk of its forces from Yemen shines a spotlight on hard realities underlying Middle Eastern geopolitics. The pullback suggests that the UAE is preparing for the possibility of a US military confrontation with Iran in which the UAE and Saudi Arabia could emerge as prime battlegrounds. It also reflects long-standing subtle differences in the approaches of Saudi Arabia and the UAE toward Yemen.

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Barreling Toward a Nuclear and Ballistic Missile Arms Race in the Middle East

| July 28, 2019

The Middle East is barreling toward a nuclear and ballistic missile arms race. That race is being aided and abetted by a US policy that views the region through the dual prism of the need to stop an aggressive, expansionary, and destabilizing Islamic Republic that seeks to dominate it, and the view of the region as a lucrative market for the US defense and nuclear industry.

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Public Decency Law Puts Saudi Reforms in Perspective

| July 15, 2019

A newly adopted Saudi law on public decency helps define Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman’s vague notion of “moderate Islam.” It lays bare the pitfalls of his social reforms as well as his preference for hyper-nationalism rather than religion as the legitimizing ideology of his rule and his quest for control of every aspect of Saudi life.

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Russia Joins Gulf States in Coaching Sudan’s Military

| July 9, 2019

Russia has emerged as Saudi Arabia’s and the UAE’s silent partner in assisting the Sudanese military’s efforts to weaken, if not defeat, a months-long popular revolt that has already toppled president Omar Bashir.

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Clerics and Entertainers Seek to Bolster MBS’s Grip on Power

| July 7, 2019

A public apology by a prominent Salafi scholar sheds light on Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman’s version of “moderate Islam,” which appears to be an effort to shape the Middle East and North Africa in his image and replace religion with hypernationalism.

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Soccer Emerges as the Potential Icebreaker of the Gulf Crisis

| July 1, 2019

June 5 was the second anniversary of the GCC boycott of Qatar. In a soccer-mad region, Qatar’s World Cup 2022 might turn out to be the catalyst to finally bring the boycott to an end.

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Arab, Russian, and Pakistani Protesters Learn the Lessons of 2011

| June 27, 2019

Demonstrators in Sudan, Algeria, and nations beyond the Middle East such as Pakistan and Russia are applying lessons learned from the 2011 popular Arab revolts as the Sudanese military uses an apparent Saudi-United Arab Emirates template to crack down.

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Russian-Iranian Strains Raise Possibility of US-Israel-Russia Deal on Syria

| June 14, 2019

With Israel set to host an unprecedented meeting of the national security advisors of the US, Russia, and Israel, this week’s efforts by German FM Heiko Maas and Japanese PM Shinzo Abe to mediate between the US and Iran could prove to be but a sideshow. The meeting of the national security advisors, against the backdrop of Syrian and Russian forces pummeling Idlib, the last major stronghold of Syrian rebels, takes on added significance with strains emerging in relations between Moscow and Tehran.

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