In June 2023, the Hicham Alaoui Foundation launched a new project in partnership with the University of Gothenburg around the theme of competing non-state authorities in the Middle East. As many of our recent projects reflect, too much emphasis within political science research in our region has fallen on political elites, formal institutions, and organized opposition. As a result, we lose sight of many other facets of public life that shape political behavior in many national arenas, such as religious orders, tribal groups, and local structures.
The Foundation, alongside the partnering Governance and Local Development program under leadership of Dr. Ellen Lust, held an inaugural conference about this topic in June, which attracted a dozen contributing scholars. We intend this collaboration to eventually culminate in fruitful research and insightful publications. Here are some pictures of our working group that convened.