DGAP Core Expertise Publication page

  • Mind the Gap: How France and Germany Can Spearhead Joint Foreign Policy Initiatives Now

    von Claire Demesmay, Jana Puglierin, Laure Delcour, Barbara Kunz, Stefan Meister, Andreas Rinke, Frédéric Charillon | France
    DGAPkompakt 4 (February 2018), 13 pp.

    Mind the Gap: How France and Germany Can Spearhead Joint Foreign Policy Initiatives Now

    Given the current instability on Europe's borders and uncertainty about the international role of the US under President Trump, it is high time for Franco-German foreign policy initiatives. However, differences between the two, both on policy issues and in their strategic cultures, also limit their cooperation. This study shows how France and Germany can bridge - and exploit - these gaps to facilitate joint initiatives on four key topics: Russia, transatlantic relations, Syria and Turkey.

  • Advancing Energy Transition While on the Road to Democracy

    Tunisia’s Double Challenge

    von Shahrazad Far | Tunisia, Democratization/System Change
    DGAPkompakt 2 (January 2018), 4 pp.

    Advancing Energy Transition While on the Road to Democracy

    The energy transition in Tunisia, which was first initiated in 2009 and reviewed in 2012, has underemphasized related social and political factors, such as employment and citizen participation in the country’s overall transition context. As the country continues on its path of democratization, the process of energy transition should underscore employment, enhance the role of local authorities and conducting energy-relevant surveys and opinion polls.

  • In the Triple Threat to Tunisia’s Democracy, Corruption is King

    von Fabian Stroetges | Tunisia, Corruption
    DGAPkompakt 1 (January 2018), 6 pp.

    In the Triple Threat to Tunisia’s Democracy, Corruption is King

    As austerity protestors clash with security forces in Tunisia, the country’s young democracy is threatened by a triple challenge: Insecurity, a lack of socioeconomic development and persistent corruption are interlinked and reinforce each other. Individually and in concert they undermine citizens’ confidence in the democratic system and hamper its ability to produce democracy dividends.

  • Tunisia: Security Sector Reform and Socio-Economic Woes

    Tunisia, Democratization/System Change

    Despite the progress Tunisia has made in past years, the ongoing process of democratic transformation remains fragile. Eight Tunisian and European alumni of the DGAP’s MENA program analyze key challenges facing Tunisia in the areas of security sector reform, socio-economic development, and radicalism and present policy recommendations for Tunisian and European decision-makers.

  • Political transition in Tunisia despite everything

    von Dina Fakoussa | Tunisia

    Elite consensus and power sharing during times of division and polarisation are core characteristics of the Tunisian democratic path that have proved immensely valuable. For this reason, the Tunisian experience is rightly applauded internationally.

  • The Iranian–Saudi Hegemonic Rivalry

    von Ali Fathollah-Nejad | Iran
    SPECIAL INITIATIVE Iran Matters, Best Analysis and Facts on Iranian affairs from Harvard's Belfer Center, Blog Post, Oct. 25, 2017

    The Persian Gulf region’s major powers, the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), have, at least since the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq, been engaged in a hegemonic rivalry over power and influence, marked by differences in sectarianism, nationalism, revolutionary ideology, competition over regional hegemony, oil prices, attitudes towards the US military presence in the Gulf, and towards the Hajj.

  • Foreign Policy and the Next German Government

    Experts from the German Council on Foreign Relations offer case studies

    von Josef Braml, Claire Demesmay, Dina Fakoussa, Ali Fathollah-Nejad, Wilfried Jilge, Laura Lale Kabis-Kechrid, Stefan Meister, Christian Mölling, Jana Puglierin, Henning Riecke, Claudia Schmucker, Daniela Schwarzer, Svenja Sinjen, Sebastian Sons, Sarah Wohlfeld | Germany, International Policy/Relations
    DGAPkompakt 7, Summer 2017, 42 pp.

    Foreign Policy and the Next German Government

    A new German government will take office after the elections on September 24, 2017. DGAP experts outline in 12 separate areas the foreign policy goals Germany should pursue (and with which partners).

  • Europe and Iran

    The Nuclear Deal and Beyond

    von Cornelius Adebahr | Iran, Security
    Europe and Iran The Nuclear Deal and Beyond, by Cornelius Adebahr, 2017 Routledge, 196 pages

    The EU’s approach to Iran has emerged as one of the few successes of European foreign policy. Still, its role in international negotiations from 2003, as much as its broader approach to Iran, are generally poorly appreciated by policy-makers in Europe, the United States, and around the world.

  • Assessing the 2017 Munich Security Conference

    The liberal order is under unprecedented pressure

    von Daniela Schwarzer, Sylke Tempel † | Security

    Assessing the 2017 Munich Security Conference

    The stakes were high, expectations even higher at this year’s Munich Security Conference (MSC): The liberal order, created by the United States after World War II, is under pressure, not least – ironically enough – from the new US administration. The social, political, and economic consequences of technological innovation are enormous. And there is, at least in Western liberal democracies, a growing sense of uncertainty. Did the 53rd MSC provide some orientation?

  • Trump, the EU, and Iran Policy

    Multiple Pathways Ahead

    von Cornelius Adebahr | Iran, Security
    Carnegie Europe, January 31, 2017, 12 pp (In English)

    The Trump administration’s unclear and conflicting views on Iran could jeopardize the nuclear deal and threaten critical relations with European allies.

  • Beyond Closing Mosques and Shutting Down Facebook Pages

    How Tunisia Can Address the Threat of Online and Offline Terrorist Recruitment

    von Marwa Fatafta | Near and Middle East/North Africa, Terrorism
    DGAPkompakt 24 (December 2016), 5 pp.

    Beyond Closing Mosques and Shutting Down Facebook Pages

    Tunisian nationals make up the largest number of foreign fighters affiliated with ISIS in Syria, Iraq, and Libya. ISIS is highly effective at using sophisticated online propaganda strategies to target young Tunisians. The government's fight against online and offline terrorist recruitment should include not only monitoring content that incites violence but also more constructive measures such as using social media to encourage civic engagement and bringing crowdsourcing to policy making.

  • Tunisia’s Postcolonial Identity Crisis

    A Key to Understanding the Lure of Extremism

    von Youssef Cherif | Near and Middle East/North Africa, Democratization/System Change
    DGAPkompakt 23 (December 2016), 5 pp.

    In Tunisia today, the hotly debated question of national identity opens up a vacuum for radical groups to fill. After years of repression, the post-2011 period of democracy and freedom of speech has allowed Tunisians to conduct grass-roots discussions of what they identify with. As political groups play different identity cards, and as jihadists cast a wide net for disaffected youth, defining what it means to be Tunisian turns out to be a divisive practice indeed.

  • ISIS and Wilayat Sinai

    Complex networks of insurgency on Egypt's Sinai peninsula

    von Omar Ashour | Near and Middle East/North Africa, Terrorism
    DGAGkompakt 15 (August 2016), 8 pp.

    ISIS and Wilayat Sinai

    The insurgency in Sinai has evolved over the past 15 years. Its stated goal shifted from supporting Palestinian armed groups in the early 2000s to controlling areas in northeast Sinai and fighting Egyptian security and military forces there. In 2014 the insurgent group Wilayat Sinai declared allegiance to ISIS. The Egyptian government’s counterinsurgency blunders and its humiliation and repression of the civilian population have helped give the insurgency ready access to a large pool of recruits.

  • The Resurfacing Turkish-Kurdish Question and its Regional Impact

    The Turkish time machine

    von Kristian Brakel | Near and Middle East/North Africa, War/Warfare
    DGAPkompakt 12 (April 2016), 6 pp.

    The Resurfacing Turkish-Kurdish Question and its Regional Impact

    The bomb that went off in downtown Ankara on March 13, killing 37 people, was a stark reminder that war has returned to Turkey. The second such attack within one month, it clearly shows that the conflict has the capacity to engulf all of Turkey. With the peace process in a shambles and the violent spillover from Syria intensifying, the resurgence of the Turkish-Kurdish conflict almost makes it seem as if the country has traveled back in time to the height of the civil war in the 1990s.

  • The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood in 2016

    Scenarios and recommendations

    von Abdelrahman Ayyash, Victor J. Willi | Near and Middle East/North Africa, Euro-Mediterranean Partnership
    DGAPkompakt 9 (March 2016), 6 pp.

    The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood in 2016

    The Egyptian army’s removal of Mohammed Morsi in July 2013 brought major structural transformations to Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood. Today, with thousands of MB leaders and mid-level cadres under arrest, it is nearly impossible for the organization’s leadership to control the movement’s lower ranks. Many rank-and-file members are frustrated with the old guard’s reluctance to advocate a more aggressive stance against the regime, despite its widespread human rights violations.

  • The Egyptian Interregnum

    The high cost of suppressing change

    von Ibrahim El Houdaiby | Near and Middle East/North Africa, Democratization/System Change
    DGAPkompakt 6 (February 2016), 6 pp.

    The Egyptian Interregnum

    Five years after the ouster of Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak, the alliance backing Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is fragile to the point of collapse. A lack of overarching vision is leading to unprecedented levels of politicization, fragmentation, discord, and violation of the law within the state apparatus. While the regime asks for patience as it pursues “stability,” “state building,” and a relentless “war on terrorists,” it seems to be taking a path with just two possible outcomes: total collapse or slow decay.

  • The Saudi-Iranian Conflict

    What are the roots of the rivalry and what are its consequences?

    von Ali Fathollah-Nejad, Sebastian Sons | Iran, Security
    DGAP Five Questions (January 2016); published in Handelsblatt Global Edition (January 29, 2016), pp. 32-35.

    The Saudi-Iranian Conflict

    What effect will the escalation between the two regional powers have on the Middle East’s multiple crises? How much influence does the West have, and where does it position itself between its recent rapprochement with Iran and its “business-as-usual” approach toward the Saudis? DGAP associate fellows Ali Fathollah-Nejad and Sebastian Sons discuss geopolitical goals, domestic power considerations, and the exploitation of religion. Translated by Imogen Taylor.

  • Insecurity in Sinai and Beyond

    Why the Egyptian Counterterrorism Strategy is Failing

    von Helena Burgrova | Near and Middle East/North Africa, Terrorism
    DGAPkompakt 1 (January 2016), 5 pp.

    Insecurity in Sinai and Beyond

    Years after the protests that launched the Egyptian uprising, Egypt’s military-led government continues to pursue heavy-handed counterterrorism measures in the Sinai Peninsula as part of its broad-gauged “war on terror.” Yet Wilayat Sinai, the most active armed group in Egypt today, has claimed responsibility for an array of deadly attacks, including the October 2015 downing of a Russian charter plane. Why has Cairo failed so spectacularly to contain Sinai-based terror?

  • Saudi Arabia's Engagement in Egypt

    Aid is not reaching the general population.

    von Sebastian Sons | Saudi Arabia, International Policy/Relations
    Cicero, November 10, 2015. In German.

    A recent contribution by Associate Fellow Sebastian Sons to the German political magazine, Cicero.

  • The Engagement of Arab Gulf States in Egypt and Tunisia since 2011

    Rationale and Impact

    von Sebastian Sons, Inken Wiese | Near and Middle East/North Africa, Democratization/System Change
    DGAPanalyse 9 (October 2015), 85 pp.

    The Engagement of Arab Gulf States in Egypt and Tunisia since 2011

    Saudi-Qatari relations are back in the headlines. Inken Wiese and Sebastian Sons examine here the complex nature of Gulf-state assistance to Egypt and Tunisia after the upheavals of 2011 and review the impact of aid on political and economic development in the two countries – particularly on democratization and inclusive socioeconomic change. If there is potential for synergy between Arab and Western donor countries, it remains untapped.