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"Knowledge from the region, for the region"


12 Jul 2015

WANA Fellows Participate in the Third Annual Hague Peace Conference

Last week, WANA Research Fellows Kim Wilkinson and Emily Hawley attended the Third Annual Peace Conference, hosted by The Hague University of Applied Sciences, in the Netherlands, after being selected from a highly competitive pool of applicants. The Third Annual Hague Peace Conference has a unique ...
08 Jul 2015

Green discourse for religious Islamic Leaders in Jordan: Lessons and Imperatives

West Asia witnessed the birth of early civilisation and was a hub of cultures and ideologies. It served as the crossroad of good governance from the North, beauty from the East, transparency from the West and sense of community from the South. Nevertheless, this same region is today reminiscent of c...
Author : Dr. Odeh Al-Jayyousi
06 Jul 2015

HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal Quarterly Address: Conceptualising Sustainable Development Goal 16 in the WANA Region

HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal Quarterly Address Conceptualising Sustainable Development Goal 16 in the WANA region In 2005, I had the privilege of joining an eminent group of scholars and policy leaders to reexamine the poverty challenge from the perspective of the four billion poor people who ar...
Author : HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal
25 Jun 2015

Wither the WANA state? Some thoughts on protracted conflict in the WANA region

In Syria and Iraq, the monopoly on violence is no longer the prerogative of the state. The monopoly over the legitimate use of force is seen as one of the foundations of the modern state, as Max Weber argued in his seminal work, ‘Politics as Vocation.’ However, in Syria we are witnessing the prolife...
Author : Kim Wilkinson
11 Jun 2015

WANA Institute visits the International Community School for Green Week

On June 2nd three Research Fellows from the WANA Institute visited the International Community School (ICS) in Amman during their annual Green Week. Kim Wilkinson from the Human Security team, and Laylla Rkiouak and Heather Elaydi from the Green Economy team, ran an interactive workshop for students...
Author : Heather Elaydi
09 Jun 2015

What’s Inspiring WANA: "Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security" by Sarah Chayes

Sarah Chayes’ early experience in Afghanistan parallels the missteps of the U.S.military intervention there; she’s well-intentioned, if uninformed. After arriving as a journalist at the beginning of the U.S. invasion, Chayes left her job to get involved in development She then made a classic error: ...
Author : Emily Hawley
19 May 2015

What’s Inspiring WANA: “Forced Migration and Global Politics” by Alexander Betts

As the WANA Institute’s Human Security Team continues to investigate the potential for greater economic empowerment of refugee populations in our region, I have found myself returning to this book repeatedly. Alexander Betts’ work is the first of its kind to apply the concepts and debates of Interna...
Author : Sean D. Thomas
11 May 2015

What’s Inspiring WANA: “Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell

Malcolm Gladwell’s “Outliers”, should be required reading by anyone remotely interested in how extraordinary things happen. It provides a point of departure from mainstream narratives on success, and in doing so, provides a recipe for empowerment at a time when the people of this region indisputably...
Author : Dr Erica Harper
07 May 2015

Women and Islam Part 2: custom, religion and civil society

My article of last week discussed the challenges faced by the women of West Asia-North Africa upholding their rights and protecting themselves from violence. I explained that deficiencies in the legal protection framework, legal illiteracy and poor access to the justice system leave women vulnerable...
Author : Annalisa Bezzi
30 Apr 2015

In a word: Women and the Law in Jordan

Cultural practices and weaknesses in the legal protection framework can (at times) work against women, whose rights are often curbed and abused (in Jordan). In our upcoming research paper, ‘Women and the Law in Jordan: Islam as a Path to Reform’, we argue that Islam itself is women’s best ally for ...
Author : Annalisa Bezzi
30 Apr 2015

Video: Women and the Law in Jordan

Cultural practices and weaknesses in the legal protection framework can (at times) work against women, whose rights are often curbed and abused (in Jordan). In our upcoming research paper, ‘Women and the Law in Jordan: Islam as a Path to Reform’, we argue that Islam itself is women’s best ally for ...
Author : Annalisa Bezzi
28 Apr 2015

Women and Islam Part 1: new strategies to strengthen protection

The women of West Asia-North Africa face complex and multifaceted challenges upholding their rights and protecting themselves from violence. In many jurisdictions, legislation does not afford equal opportunity and protection to women; certain laws are discriminatory and others, while not explicitly ...
Author : Annalisa Bezzi
26 Apr 2015

What’s Inspiring WANA: Guest Speaker Francesca de Châtel

The WANA Institute and Strategic Foresight Group were proud to host Francesca de Châtel as a guest speaker at the international conference ‘Exploring the Water-Peace Nexus — Blue Peace in West Asia’ in March. Inspired by her talk, I have found her recent paper equally compelling in drawing to our at...
Author : Sean D. Thomas
21 Apr 2015

What’s Inspiring WANA: “Soumission” by Michel Houellebecq

Houellebecq’s book is about a moderate Islamic party being democratically elected in a 2022 disillusioned France. After the election, society starts slowly changing, women wear more conservative clothes, concealing their body shapes, they quit their jobs to stay home with their children, men enter p...
Author : Annalisa Bezzi
01 Apr 2015

Resilience: A road-map to building a secure and sustainable future for West Asia and North Africa

The challenges facing the West Asia and North Africa region are dynamic, multi-faceted, and well publicised. Lack of entrepreneurial opportunity, competition over scarce resources, sectarianism, and a growing number of uprooted persons combine to shape a region in which the disadvantaged are victimi...
Author : HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal
08 Mar 2015

Making it happen this International Women's Day

This year, to recognise International Women’s Day, we are being urged to "make it happen". Julia O’Brien met with renowned women’s rights activist and lawyer, Hauwa Ibrahim, to get her perspective on what she hopes to make happen through her work at the WANA Institute. Hauwa and I have been on the l...
Author : Julia O'Brien
24 Feb 2015

Palestinian statehood and the UN

In the second instalment in our series of guest expert opinion, former British Consul-General in Jerusalem, Sir Vincent Fean, considers questions of Palestinian statehood. He considers whether recognition of the Palestinian State can be a contributor to a peaceful outcome, or merely symbolic, and th...
Author : Sir Vincent Fean
23 Feb 2015

Syria: Reflections on a Post-War Future

Kim Wilkinson argues that policy makers should look past the civil war in Syria to think about post-conflict reconstruction and reconciliation. When I was visiting the Zaatari refugee camp, I met a little girl whose mother had named her ‘Syria’. She was dishevelled, playing with her brothers and si...
Author : Kim Wilkinson
20 Jan 2015

Capturing the hearts and minds of the next generation of Jerusalemites

The deprivation of basic human rights of the citizens of Jerusalem is leading young people to take action – very young people, and their action is not always non-violent. Guest writer, Walid Salem, considers what is causing the younger generation of Palestinian Jerusalemite’s to take such action, an...
Author : Walid Salem
16 Jan 2015

WANA Institute Chairman calls for rational approach in the face of Daesh

Earlier this week, the Internationale Politik und Gesellschaft (International Politics and Society) journal published an article written by WANA Institute Chairman, HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal. Titled The Lesson of Daesh’s Triumph, the article critically examines the international community’s res...
16 Jan 2015

The rise of armed non-state actors and our failure to adequately react

In recent weeks, the international media spotlight has focused on Peshmerga forces joining the battle in Kobane, accusations of sexual slavery perpetrated by Daesh fighters, and continuing airstrikes by the US-led coalition, once again without UN Security Council approval. These developments beg the...
Author : Dr Erica Harper
03 Jan 2015

Part 2: Making sure justice is measurable and something to care about

Published as part of a three-part series on the Post-2015 development agenda. I’m back, and again it’s the post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda on my mind. Now that you’re all thinking about what this agenda means for the future of the West Asia-North Africa region, it’s time to hone in on speci...
Author : Dr Erica Harper
22 Dec 2014

Corporate Social Responsibility: the answer to WANA’s development prayers?

As the next round of development targets are agreed to we must ensure that partnerships with the private sector are designed to generate maximum impact for the social development issues that matter most. Over the past 15 years, the world has benchmarked its development progress against the United Na...
Author : Julia O'Brien
18 Dec 2014

Sunni and Shi’ites unite in their effort to denounce Daesh

In a recent visit to Italy, WANA Institute Chairman HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal, responded to Pope Francis’ call for universal condemnation of violent extremism in the name of religion. In a declaration signed by religious leaders of varying faiths, the actions of so-called “Islamist” groups such...
03 Dec 2014

A leap of faith: Religious leaders involved in waging peace

Tensions have grown in recent months regarding the holy site known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif, home to the al-Aqsa mosque. The President and Foreign Minister of the Palestinian Authority have recently warned against the political conflict turning into widespread re...
Author : Naomi Johnstone
02 Dec 2014

Part 1: Everything you need to know about the Post-2015 Development Agenda

Part one of our three part series on the Post-2015 Development Agenda. As the race to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) enters its final stretch, concerned citizens wait to see whether the findings of the Open Working Group will translate into a set of Sustainable Development Goals that c...
Author : Dr Erica Harper
26 Nov 2014

How much water do we really use?

There is no shortage of data and analysis showing the world’s deteriorating water supply. What has been harder to measure, however, is the full and actual quantity of water currently being used at the individual, industry and country level. Water foot printing is a new methodology that exposes the t...
Author : Sebastian Klos
20 Nov 2014

Shock and recovery: Jerusalem, sanctuary for all

This article was first published in the Huffington Post on 14 November, 2014. What is to be done about Jerusalem? Twenty-five years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, this region is witnessing new walls being constructed in vain attempts to contain problems between people. When will we realize that ...
Author : HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal
16 Nov 2014

Politics versus policy

In recent months, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon spoke of the need to redraw the Middle East, breaking up Western-created Arab states. His words reveal a trend in thinking on the West Asia-North Africa region; policy makers are trying to shrink their problems by shrinking nations and buildin...
Author : HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal
10 Nov 2014

Why the rule of law is important for the WANA region

Whether you subscribe to the human rights or development theories, it is generally accepted that the rule of law is key to poverty reduction, economic growth and human security. But is what we’re doing aligned with the aim we wish to achieve? For the better part of the last three decades, the approa...
Author : Dr Erica Harper
02 Nov 2014

Women’s access to justice must be prioritised in the WANA region

The justice systems of many West Asia and North African countries do not afford equal opportunity andprotection to large segments of the femalepopulation. Such exclusion from the justice system has proven negative implications for economic growth, livelihoods, social equity and stability. So why is ...
Author : Dr Erica Harper
02 Nov 2014

The international criminal justice system is neglecting the WANA region

As decade upon decade of conflict and rights violations in the West Asia-North Africa region clock up to shameful levels, it is time for the international criminal justice community to turn their attention to this region and begin to hold the responsible parties accountable. In the West Asia-North A...
31 Oct 2014

Revisiting the “peace process”: Jordan-Israeli relations

This article first appeared in the Jerusalem Post on 30 Oct, 2014. Over the last year, we have heard much about the possibility of a long and just peace between Israel and Palestine.  By contrast, far from peace-building, the conversation surrounding the harrowing scenes we witness coming out of Gaz...
Author : HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal
16 Oct 2014

Why now is not the time for Kurdish independence from Iraq

The sensational power displays of the self-proclaimed ‘Islamic State’ (hereafter Daesh), epitomised by the undoing of the legacy of Sykes-Picot at the Iraq-Syria border earlier this summer, have made for sobering viewing and have cast further doubt on the fate of Iraq as a unified entity. Can, or in...
Author : Sean D. Thomas
04 Oct 2014

Water security in the WANA Region: a weapon of mass destruction?

Jordan’s water availability ranks among the lowest in the world. This leads to a severe overuse of Jordan’s renewable and fossil groundwater, exacerbated by inefficient and uncontrolled use of scarce water resources. Demographic expansion, migratory influxes and economic growth have increased water ...
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