What are the prospects for conflict resolution in Syria and other war-torn Arab countries, for reconstruction of their broken economies and societies, and for repatriation of the many refugees that have fled for their lives? This column discusses the notion of inclusive political settlements as a precondition for safe refugee repatriation and reconstruction plans for devastated communities.
Millions of refugees from the Arab conflicts want to return to their countries, rebuild their homes and get their lives back – but what kind of political settlements might support that prospect? This column explores types of political settlements, what happened in the past after conflicts in Algeria and Lebanon, and scenarios for future political settlement in Syria.
In the wake of the conflict in Syria, millions of people have fled for their lives, mainly to the neighbouring countries of Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey, while some refugees have settled in Europe, notably in Germany. This column outlines the characteristics of these populations – in terms of their education, employment and reception by host communities – which are key determinants of the prospects for social integration.
What have been the economic costs of conflict in Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen? And what are the prospects for post-conflict reconstruction in these countries and repatriation of some of the millions of refugees who have fled to safety? This column highlights the extent of the damage caused by war and outlines three scenarios for what comes next.
The prospects for early repatriation of refugees who have fled conflicts in Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen in recent years do not yet look promising. Nevertheless, not only have discussions about repatriation started at both national and international levels, but there is also a steady, though still limited, stream of refugees in neighbouring countries trickling back to their war-ravaged homes. This column summarises the latest ERF-FEMISE Euromed Report, which discusses the issue of repatriation in general and as a potential solution to the refugee crisis.
Sudan today is on a knife-edge: it can evolve toward peace and democracy – or spiral into instability and violence. As this Project Syndicate column argues, vital and timely international assistance can make the difference between success and failure for the new government.
Conventional wisdom, based mainly on surveyed household income distribution statistics, suggests that inequality is generally low in Arab countries. At the same time, little attention has been devoted to social inequalities, whether in terms of outcomes or opportunities. This column introduces a forthcoming report, which offers a different narrative: based on the largest research project on the subject to date and covering 12 Arab countries, the authors argue that the region is caught in an inequality trap.
Bitter experiences in the last two decades have made the international community hesitant to engage in robust reconstruction activities. This Brookings column asks how the process of reconstruction can be managed effectively, and what lessons – positive and negative – can be drawn from the experience with Iraq.