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]

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Turkey and the Kurds: What Goes Around Comes Around

| October 23, 2019

Turkey, like much of the Middle East, is discovering that what goes around comes around. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan appears to have miscalculated the fallout of what may prove to be a foolhardy intervention in Syria and neglected alternative options that could have strengthened Turkey’s position without sparking the ire of much of the international community. His strategic error is rooted in a policy of decades of denial of Kurdish identity and suppression of Kurdish cultural and political rights that was more likely to fuel conflict than encourage societal cohesion.

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Hints of Gulf Rapprochement: Iranian Tactics Might Be Paying Off

| October 16, 2019

Fears of a potential military conflict with Iran may have opened the door to a Saudi-Iranian dialogue against the backdrop of a rethink of US military logistics, involving at least a gradual partial relocation to the US of command and control operations based in the Gulf for almost four decades.

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Eurasia’s Great Game: India, Japan, and Europe Play to Putin’s Needs

| October 11, 2019

Eurasia’s Great Game is anything but simple and straightforward. A burgeoning alliance between China and Russia that at least for now is relegating potential differences between the two powers to the sidelines has sparked a complex geopolitical dance of its own.

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Challenging the World Order: Erdoğan and Nukes

| October 6, 2019

Brinksmanship may be his trademark, but Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is unlikely to provoke the ire of the international community by launching a nuclear weapons program. Still, his demand that Turkey have the right to do so highlights the fracturing of the rules-based international order as well as changing regional realities.

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