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]

The Future of the China-Russia Alliance

| April 24, 2019

Odds are that China and Russia will prove to be long-term US rivals. However, it may just as well be that their alliance will prove to be more tactical than strategic, with the China-Russia relationship resembling US-Chinese ties: cooperation in an environment of divergence rather than convergence.

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Protests Challenge Gulf Counterrevolution

| April 18, 2019

Much of the Middle East’s recent turmoil stems from internecine Middle Eastern rivalries spilling onto third country battlefields and Saudi and UAE-led efforts to roll back the achievements of the 2011 popular Arab revolts and pre-empt further uprisings. The recent successful toppling of ailing Algerian president Abdelaziz Bouteflika and months of anti-government demonstrations that have put Sudanese leader Omar al-Bashir on the defensive suggest that the Saudi-UAE effort may be faltering.

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US Designation of Revolutionary Guards Risks Escalation

| April 12, 2019

The US designation of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist organization, and the Iranian response, has potentially put US military personnel in the region in harm’s way. The designation increases economic pressure on Iran because the IRGC is not only an army but also a commercial conglomerate – but it remains to be seen to what degree the sanctions will affect the IRGC.

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Chinese Pressure Tactics

| April 3, 2019

Recent Chinese pressure on Myanmar to approve a controversial dam project and the arrest in Kazakhstan of a human rights activist suggest that China, in a seemingly tone-deaf pursuit of its interests, is forcing governments to choose between heeding increasingly anti-Chinese public sentiment and pleasing Beijing to ensure continued political and economic support.

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Turkey Plants Its Flag in Christchurch

| March 29, 2019

When, two days after the mass shooting in New Zealand, Turkish VP Fuat Oktay and FM Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu became the first high-level foreign government delegation to travel  to Christchurch, they were doing more than expressing solidarity with New Zealand’s grieving Muslim community. They were planting Turkey’s flag as part of a global effort to expand support for President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s style of religiously packaged authoritarian rule – a marriage of Islam and Turkish nationalism – beyond the Turkic and former Ottoman world.

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Iran and North Korea Highlight Pitfalls of Trump’s “Maximum Pressure” Strategy

| March 24, 2019

President Donald Trump’s hitherto failed “maximum pressure” approach to Iran, as well as, for that matter, North Korea, begs the question what his true objectives are and what options he will be left with should the policy ultimately fail.

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In Mideast Protests, Ultras Are Down but Not Out

| March 19, 2019

Middle East soccer fans played an important role in the 2011 popular revolts. Regimes across the region are determined to ensure that they will not have another such opportunity.

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Saudi Gas Export Plan Shines New Light on Efforts to Isolate Iran

| March 15, 2019

Saudi plans to become a major gas exporter within a decade raise questions about what the real goal of the kingdom’s policy, and by extension that of the US, is towards Iran.

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China’s Threat to Human Rights

| February 6, 2019

China is leading a charge to undermine accepted concepts of human rights accountability and justice around the world. This effort, backed by autocrats, has turned human rights into an underrated yet crucial battleground in the shaping of a new world order. 

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Saudi-UAE Aid Puts Pakistan-Iran Relations on the Spot

| January 29, 2019

Pakistan is stepping through a minefield as it concludes agreements on investment, balance of payments support, and delayed payment oil deliveries with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates worth $13 billion. These deals are likely to spawn growing distrust in its relations with neighboring Iran.

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