Forum Aims and Themes

Building on the success of our previous forums, MERI Forum 2018 will bring together its participants to discuss a diverse range of social, economic, and political issues. Centring on the key themes of stability, democracy, and governance, the Forum will highlight key areas of research from MERI’s work.

Over the course of the conference will seek to:

  • Provide a forum for dialogue and exchange of visions between policymakers, academics, and decision makers.
  • Develop creative and constructive answers to today’s most pressing policy issues, focusing on the prospects for legitimate stability in the Middle East.
  • Highlight areas for further research that can contribute to greater understanding of the challenges facing the Middle East in the future.


  • Reforming the governing system: Decentralisation and institutionalisation in Iraq.
  • State-Building and Nation-Building in a fragile Iraq.
  • Kurdistan in the New Middle East.
  • EU in the Middle East: Responsive state-building to prevent violent extremism.
  • Legitimate Stability in Iraq, and the role of the international community
  • Regional and Global Power dynamics in the Middle East: Conflict and Collaboration
  • Thinking Globally, Acting Locally. Visions for the future