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 Battle for Libya: The UAE Calls the Shots

| January 20, 2020

Last week’s inauguration of a new Egyptian military base on the Red Sea was heavy with the symbolism of the rivalries shaping the future of the Middle East as well as north and east Africa.


Soleimani’s Death Opens Door to Alternative Security Arrangements in the Gulf

| January 12, 2020

The killing by the US of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani has widened the opening for a potential restructuring of the Gulf’s security architecture.


2019 Was Marked By Defiance and Dissent. 2020 Will Probably Be No Different

| January 6, 2020

Like 2019, the new year—and perhaps the new decade—is likely to continue to be marked by popular protest, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa. Protests are likely to produce uncertain and fragile outcomes at best, irrespective of whether the protesters or vested interests gain the immediate upper hand.


Is China Engaging in Debt Trap Diplomacy?

| December 27, 2019

The pending Chinese acquisition of a stake in Tajikistan’s aluminum smelter, coupled with earlier tax concessions to Chinese companies that would substantially reduce the trickle down effect of investments for the troubled Tajik economy, suggest that China has yet to fully take into account frequent criticism of its commercial approach to Belt and Road-related projects.


Iranian Port City Bears Brunt of Crackdown

| December 5, 2019

The Iranian port city of Bandar-e-Mahshahr, which is experiencing great violence during the crackdown on the anti-regime protests, is a microcosm of Iran’s broader domestic problems.


Global Protests: Russia and China Risk Ending Up on the Wrong Side of History

| November 17, 2019

Russia and China are widely perceived as the rising powers in the Middle East as a result of America’s flip-flops in Syria and President Donald Trump’s transactional approach to foreign policy. This perception also reflects an acknowledgement of Russian and Chinese support for regimes irrespective of how non-performing and/or repressive they may be. But they could both ultimately find themselves on the wrong side of history in an era of global breakdown of popular confidence in political systems and incumbent leadership and increasingly determined and resourceful protests.


Lebanese and Iraqi Protesters Transcend Sectarianism

| November 12, 2019

The protests in Lebanon have evolved into more than a fight against a failed and corrupt government. They constitute a rare demand for political and social structures that emphasize national rather than ethnic or sectarian religious identities in a world in which civilizational leaders who advocate some form of racial, ethnic, or religious supremacy govern the world’s major as well as key regional powers.


Trump’s Trade Wars: A New World Order?

| November 8, 2019

President Donald Trump’s declared economic protectionism has taken the US’s international relations with several foes and allies into uncharted territory. His open-ended trade wars with several nations have triggered criticism among conservatives and liberals alike in the US. He has justified his actions by arguing for a downturn of America’s trade deficit, but the American people don’t seem to be on board with his logic. This paper examines the ramifications of President Trump’s policy of economic sanctions and tariffs vis-à-vis several nations and international groupings. It also looks at China’s counter-strategy and considers whether Middle Eastern countries like Saudi Arabia will be caught in the web of the current trade wars.


Turkey and China Tie Themselves in Knots Over Syria and Xinjiang

| November 1, 2019

Turkey expects Chinese support for its incursion into Syria against the Kurds, but in return, China expects Turkey to turn a blind eye to its persecution of Turkic Muslims in Xinjiang. Turkey’s refusal to fully recognize Kurdish rights is thus intertwined with China’s brutal crackdown in its troubled northwestern province. Both parties justify their actions as efforts in the fight against terrorism.


Lessons Learned: Protesters Stay One Step Ahead of Rulers

| October 27, 2019

Violent protests have accelerated across the Arab world every day since they re-erupted on October 1. The evidence suggests that it is the protesters, not the rulers, who learned lessons from the “Arab Spring” protests of 2011.