Governance Under Decentralization: Oman And The Arab Region
This two-year study of Omani governance under decentralization seeks to better understand the many challenges facing the decentralization process in transitioning states. The study will employ a multi-method approach to explore how and when citizens turn to state and non-state institutions. The goal is not only to expand our understanding of decentralization in the context of strong social institutions, but also to establish sustainable scholarly and policy-relevant networks and dialogues around these issues. We aim to work with scholars, policy experts and officials from elsewhere in the Middle East, Europe, United States, and sub-Saharan Africa, whilst also bringing out and utilizing local knowledge and voices.
GLD in MENA
The Governance and Local Development in the Middle East and North Africa project aims to create a better understanding of local governance in the region. It explores a diverse set of issues including why some communities do better at providing services, resolving conflict, or engaging in environmental issues than others, as well as how authority and governance procedures vary across space and time. At a time when the discourse on the region focuses on national and international forces affecting refugee crises and terrorism, it reminds us that individuals ‘live locally’ and that governance varies greatly at the subnational level. By using a wide range of methodological and theoretical approaches to examine a diverse set of cases, the project aims not only to lend insights into local governance but also to foster further research.
Transitional Governance Project
The Transitional Governance Project (TGP) is a portal for gathering and disseminating research and data on governance in transitional societies in the Middle East and North Africa and beyond. It exists to build community, enhance scholars’ understanding of the pressures and processes of governance, and support policymakers engaged in improving development across a range of political contexts. The TGP spans several subject areas—service delivery, representation, electoral and identity politics (e.g., gender, race, ethnicity), transparency, and methodology—and contributes to a range of important research questions in the social sciences.
From Revenge to Forgiveness: Strengthening Durable Peace in Post-Conﬂict Societies
Civil conﬂicts gravely damage the state’s legitimacy. Institutions are rendered incapable of providing security; social trust among its citizenry diminishes; and non-state actors step in to ﬁll the vacuum of power. Following conﬂict, the state needs to re-establish itself as the legitimate arbiter of processes aimed at bringing former rebel collaborators to justice. This project employs innovative tools to identify both the subnational drivers of violent resentment towards the state and the drivers of reconciliation. This project develops and tests a novel framework in Iraq integrating political science theories of legitimacy with psychological theories of forgiveness, feelings of (in)justice and desire for revenge
To Punish or to Pardon? Attitudes Towards Justice and Reintegration for Europeans who Cooperated with the Islamic State
Most of the thousands of European citizens who traveled to Iraq and Syria to join the Islamic State (IS) now seek repatriation and reintegration into their home communities. This project seeks to understand the conditions under which Europeans view punishment of IS collaborators as fair. Can state-imposed punishments or rehabilitative measures contribute to reconciliation? Or should such transgressions result in the loss of citizenship for these Europeans, as some policymakers are promoting? Moreover, how do opinions about what should be done with returnees vary across sub-populations with differing perceptions of what constitutes legitimate justice? This project integrates political theories of state legitimacy with psychological theories of punishment, justice, and forgiveness.