Newsletter: RAND Center for Middle East Public Policy | Web version

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June 2016

Center for Middle East Public Policy

In the News

Women cleaning a compound housing Syrian refugees in Sidon, Lebanon

Ali Hashisho/Reuters

A Different Kind of Refugee Crisis

In Jordan and Lebanon—middle-income countries with robust public sectors where a significant Syrian population may be present for years to come—solutions should be more about supporting the expansion of existing national public services, rather than creating new, internationally run parallel services.

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Recent Work

A Peace Plan for Syria

Boys help members of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent unload parcels of medical and humanitarian aid in Damascus, Syria, July 23, 2015, photo by Bassam Khabieh/Reuters

The best chance for peace in Syria is for external parties to persuade stakeholders to accept a ceasefire, with further negotiations on a political settlement to follow later. The alternative is the indefinite continuation or even escalation of a devastating war.

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RAND Arabic Language Website

Young entrepreneurs work on their laptops at the Amman-based Oasis 500, photo by Muhammad Hamed / Reuters

RAND's new Arabic-language website provides an overview of RAND work in the Middle East, as well as other research that is relevant to the region. Find Arabic reports on health, education, political transitions, and more.

Visit the site »

Lessening the Risk of Refugee Radicalization: Lessons for the Middle East from Past Crises

A Kurdish refugee woman from Syria walks with her children at a refugee camp in Suruc, Turkey, November 17, 2014, photo by Osman Orsal/Reuters

Radicalization among refugee populations, such as the millions fleeing Syria, is not inevitable. Rather, comprehensive policies that go beyond immediate life-saving needs can mitigate the risk. But such policies were rare in past crises and even today can be difficult to put in place and sustain.

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Foundations of the Islamic State: Management, Money, and Terror in Iraq, 2005–2010

Silhouettes of militants

A thorough examination of the Islamic State's history and practices is useful for designing a coordinated and effective campaign against it—and for understanding why the group might be able to survive such an effort and sustain itself in the future.

Read the report »

Expert Insights

Countering Extremism: Early Childhood Education Forgotten

Rita Karam and Gail L. Zellman, The National Interest

Will the Iran Deal Survive? Video Recap

Dalia Dassa Kaye et. al, RAND Conference Proceedings

Solutions for Educating Young Syrian Refugees

Shelly Culbertson, Georgetown Journal of International Affairs

Before Obama Leaves Office, Here's What He Should Do About Iran

Zalmay Khalilzad and James Dobbins, Washington Post

Researcher Spotlight

Q&A with Peter Glick

We recently sat down with RAND senior economist Peter Glick to learn more about his research background and discuss his ongoing project on Palestinian youth.

1. On what does your research focus?

I look at a lot of areas that are inter-related—employment, health, education, poverty. My work has been largely international and focused on developing countries.

2. What are you currently working on?

Perhaps the most exciting work I've done recently is an NIH-funded study of health risk behaviors among Palestinian youth in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. For this project RAND partnered with several leading health researchers associated with the Juzoor Foundation in Ramallah, Palestine. At RAND, the initial team included Ryan Brown, Rita Karam, and Sebastian Linnemayr and has added several other researchers since its inception.

3. Why is this issue so important?

Young peoples' vulnerability to engaging in risky activities—tobacco use, alcohol and drug use, sexual behavior, engagement in violence—is of concern globally. But Palestinian youth face heightened pressures due to the ongoing conflict, economic deprivation, and a situation where they reasonably would feel little hope for the future. All this may increase their vulnerability to risk behaviors.

When we first started thinking about this issue, there was very little reliable information on risk behaviors among youth in Palestine or elsewhere in the Arab world. But it's important for policymakers to have this information in order to develop appropriate prevention (or treatment) programs for youth.

4. What have you discovered so far?

Basic descriptive findings about the prevalence of risk behaviors can be found in our working paper. We are currently engaged in further analysis to understand the causes or correlates of risk behaviors, including exposure to violence, mental health, and risk perceptions.

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