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Political Speechwriting and US Foreign Policy: A Conversation with Daniel Benaim

On Wednesday, October 24, IRIS hosted Daniel Benaim, a former speechwriter in the White House and State Department and current senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, to discuss political speechwriting and U.S. foreign policy with AUIS students and faculty. He began his discussion with the importance of storytelling with succinct arguments and truthful and empathetic representations of political leaders and their social and political endeavors. In order to be a...

The United Nations, Peacebuilding, and the Middle East

On Tuesday, October 19, IRIS hosted Dr. Peter Bartu for a discussion on the United Nations, Peacebuilding, and the Middle East.

Dr. Bartu is an expert on political transitions in the Middle East, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the Gulf States. In 2011 he was a member of the UN’s stand-by mediation team and worked in Benghazi and Tripoli during the Libyan revolution. In 2008-2009 he led a United Nations team...

Open Discussion with Yara Salem, World Bank Special Representative to Iraq

On Wednesday, October 17, 2018 IRIS and the AUIS Entrepreneurship Initiative hosted an open discussion with Yara Salem, the World Bank’s Special Representative to Iraq, during Women’s Entrepreneurship Week October 13-20. The discussion focused on existing World Bank initiatives in the context of Iraq’s reconstruction, rebuilding,...

Open Discussion: The Rise of Populism in Europe and the Middle East

On Wednesday, September 12, IRIS Fellow and London School of Economics PhD candidate Nicola Degli Esposti hosted an open discussion about the rise of populism in Europe. He discussed the recent polarization of European politics and emergence of anti-establishment parties on both sides of the political spectrum. He cited the Spanish left-wing Podemos party as an example of anti-establishment sentiment from the left aimed at highlighting corruption and inequality in...

Iraq's Investment Spending Deficit: An Analysis of Chronic Failures

The proposed 2019 budget law brought into sharp focus systemic failures in the crafting of successive Iraqi governments’ economic policy since 2003. For years, the structural imbalance between current and investment expenditure has undermined the Iraqi economy and is the primary reason why the country is vulnerable to external shocks - especially to shifts in the global price of oil. This year’s proposed budget perpetuates the same flaws. The lack of investment spending, particularly...

Security and Governance in the Disputed Territories Under a Fractured GOI: The Case of Northern Diyala

Originally published in the LSE Middle East Centre blog by IRIS Research Fellow Zmkan Ali Saleem, IRIS Director of Research and Policy, Mac Skelton, and IRIS Director Christine van den Toorn in November 2018. This blogpost is part of the LSE research project Public Authority and Iraq’s Disputed Territories led by Christine van den Toorn, examining the territorial dispute between the Government of Iraq...

The 2018 Iraqi Federal Elections: A Population in Transition?

IRIS's second report in the three-part election series, "The 2018 Iraqi Federal Elections: A Population in Transition?" evaluates the low turnout, unexpected wins and losses of competing coalitions, allegations of fraud, and implications for government formation. This report reinforces many of the predications of the first report, " Iraq Votes 2018: Election Mobilization Strategies ," and concludes that the lack of trust in Iraqi political parties not only contributed to low voter turnout,...