The Middle East is going through historic changes in its security, political, economic and social order.  Iraq and Kurdistan Region are aspiring to become democratic, however, their system of governance, public and private sectors and civil society remain in their infancy and are evolving with inadequate academic support. There is, therefore, an urgent need in Kurdistan, Iraq and the entire region for modern strategic research institutions, hence, the establishment of the Middle East Research Institute (MERI) in the capital of Kurdistan Region in 2014.

Status: MERI is an independent, not-for-profit organisation, focused on policy issues relating to the people, the land and the system of governance in the Middle East in general, and Iraq and Kurdistan in particular. It is based in Erbil, Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

Mission: To contribute to the process of nation building and democratisation in the Middle East via engagement, research, analysis and policy debates.

Objectives: To promote and develop human rights, democracy, good governance, the rule of law and social and economic prosperity.

Core values: Rigorous, independent and objective research and analysis;

Remit: A broad range of activities, grouped under five main programmes, including:

  • International Politics and National Security
  • Democracy and Governance
  • Economics, Energy and Environment
  • Health, Education and Public Services
  • Community, Civil Society and Cultural Development

MERI is committed to open access and makes its research available to the general public through publications, workshops, seminars and conferences.

MERI aspires to become a global leader in strategic research.