Policy Paper

Education and Employment: Critical for Securing Peace for Gypsies in Iraq

Gypsies have been living in Iraq & KRI for centuries, adding to the country’s diversity. This report examines experiences of conflict, displacement & post-conflict priorities of Gypsies.

Congregations turned to Actors: The case of Christian Local Reconstruction Committees in Nineveh

The role of the Church-led local reconstruction committees in sustainable community rehabilitation in the Nineveh Plains is examined & policy recommendations are offered.

Violent Extremism in Mosul & the Kurdistan Region: Context, Drivers, and Public Perception

This field study underlines that building resilience against VE is a long-term process, requires building intra- & inter-community trust, & trust between people & the authorities.

Sectarianism and Sectarianisation in Iraq: Ambassadorial Appointments as an Exemplar

Sectarianisation of Iraq’s governance has already become a powerful driver of conflict. Left unaddressed, it can become irreversible. Here, ambassadorial appointments are used to underline the issues and offer ways forward.

“We’re Real Iraqis”: Securing Roma Rights and Integration

This brief examines the socio-political & socio-economic circumstances of the Iraqi Roma & urge the Federal & KR Governments to prioritise addressing the marginalization of the Roma.

Decentralisation in Iraq: Process, Progress & a New Tailor-Made Model

In this policy report an enhanced model is proposed that builds on existing culture and understanding of decentralisation, and is designed to provide solutions for the numerous challenges Iraq currently faces

Ninewa: Initiative Mapping of Sustainable Returns & Stabilization Efforts

Through an analysis of the current initiatives in Ninewa, this report highlights critical challenges relating to stabilization and the return of internally displaced persons.

Ninewa: Barriers to Return and Community Resilience – A Meta Analysis

Designed to inform & enhance stakeholder policies, this meta-analysis of the vast literature on the barriers to IDP return covers important analytical and contextual gaps.

A Decade of US & Iranian Policy Towards Iraq Will Shape 2020

The latest Iran-US crisis in Iraq is not an isolated incident and will not be the last one. This policy brief reviews these powers’ policies and presents likely scenarios for 2020

Securing the Participation of Women in Iraq’s Reconciliation Program

This policy brief examines current gender deficits throughout Iraq’s reconciliation process and offers relevant recommendations.

Development of a National Policy on Displacement in Iraq

This paper analyses the contemporary displacement context of Iraq, identifies protection gaps and offers policy recommendations to national & international stakeholders.

Durable Solutions for Syrian Refugees in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq

Forced displacement from Syria is the most protracted in the Middle East. This report highlights the urgent need to address policy flaws and offers policy recommendations to local, national and international stakeholders.

The Caliphate’s defeat: the future of Iraq

In spite of the Caliphate’s defeat, Iraq remains a fragile country with its sovereignty grossly undermined, and its state institutions weakened. Unless the Iraqi leaders focus on good governance and rule of law, ISIS is capable of re-emerging

State-building: A Roadmap for the Rule of Law and Institutionalisation in the Kurdistan Region

This policy book addresses the structural & functional weaknesses in th KRI’s governance system, and makes practical recommendations for its reform.

Turkey and the European Union: Conflicting Policies and Opportunities for Cohesion and Cooperation In Iraq and Syria

“dissent between Brussels and Ankara is highly likely given the Turkish Armed Forces’ broad kinetic engagement in both Iraq and Syria”

EU and Turkish Energy Interests in the Caspian and Middle East Regions

We found that multiple energy drivers strategically incentivize the EU and Turkey to cooperate and converge on overall political and economic policies and priorities.

Confessionalism and Electoral Prospects in Iraq

” given the unpopularity of Iraq’s political class, no single alliance is expected to win a majority of parliamentary seats, forcing the formation of a grand-coalition government”

Displacement-Emigration-Return: Understanding Uncertainty in Iraq

The findings stress the destabilizing and traumatic effects of displacement and the urgency of addressing them

Perceptions of EU Crisis Response in Iraq

This report examines perceptions of local actors towards EU’s crisis response mechanisms in Iraq.

The Yazidis: Perceptions of Reconciliation and Conflict

This report focuses on the Yazidi community and their perceptions on conflicts and future reconciliation following the Islamic States invasion in 2014

The Christians:Perceptions of Reconciliation and Conflict

Inter and intra-communal rivalries have caused grave instability among the Christians. Left unaddressed, the conflicts become protracted, causing further instability and onward migration.

The Shabaks: Perceptions of Reconciliation and Conflict

This policy report explores perceptions of reconciliation among the Shabak community in the Nineveh Plain through examining concepts of justice, security and also the process of return.

The Sabean-Mandaeans: Perceptions of Reconciliation and Conflict

This report explores the plight of the Sabean-Mandean community and examines their perceptions towards reconciliation and conflict in Iraq.

Turkmen in Tal Afar: Perceptions of Reconciliation and Conflict

This report explores perceptions of reconciliation among the Turkmen community in Tal Afar through examining concepts of justice, security and return.

Competing Interests in Shingal District: Policy Recommendations for Defusing Tensions

Since 2014, Shingal has become an arena of competition between local, national and regional actors. This report outlines the competing interests and provides recommendations to all stakeholders.

Assessing the Post-Disaster Needs in Agriculture Sector

Recommendations aiming at improving the current standardized processes of assessing the impacts and effects of disasters: How to enhance the effectiveness of needs assessment towards resource mobilization and recovery processes.

The Hashd al-Shaabi and Iraq: Subnationalism and the State

The report assesses the role of the Popular Mobilisation Forces in the provision of security in Iraq, arguing that dealing with the multiple competing subnationalisms within it must be addressed after defeating ISIS.

The Catch-22 in Nineveh: The Regional Security Complex Dynamics between Turkey and Iran

This paper argues that the future political stability of Nineveh depends on a two-level normalisation.

Could the Trump Administration Mean a New Beginning for the Kurds?

This Policy Paper discusses some of the Trump administration’s most likely foreign policy advisers and their positions on Kurdish self-governance.

Governing Nineveh After the Islamic State: A Solution for All Components

Calls for a separate Nineveh Plain province could end up harming minorities and threaten stability. Instead, a Nineveh Federal Region could prove a better solution for post-IS governance in Nineveh.

Averting an Economic Meltdown in the KRI: Aligning Political Objectives with Economic Necessities

This Report analyses the crucial aspects of the current economic crisis and the KRG’s immediate response. The author argues that it is only when the economic meltdown is averted in the short-term that the KRG will be able to proceed with deep structural reforms.

Time for a Radical Rethink. Full report on the MERI Economic Forum 2016

This first MERI Economic Forum explored the challenges and policy options available to mitigate the current economic crisis in the Kurdistan Region and Iraq. The title, “Time for a Radical Rethink,” was reflected in the debates that resulted in actionable recommendations for the government and private sector.

Compliance of Armed Forces with International Humanitarian Law

This initiative is aimed at raising awareness of the norms and principles of IHL at all levels of Peshmerga forces; developing comprehensive mechanisms and policy recommendations that support compliance with IHL; and demonstrating the Peshmerga’s commitment to protecting fundamental human rights during times of war.

Sharing Visions for the Future of the Middle East

In convening such high-level panels and making room for the participation of diplomats, government officials, civil society representatives, and media, the MERI Forum 2015 fostered greater debate and, more importantly, action on these issues.

Pathways to Resilience for Syrian Refugees Living in Camps in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq

A feasibility assessment on how to transform the refugee camps and the neighbouring towns into resilient communities, as part of a new longer term approach to the Syrian refugee crisis.

Addressing the Structural Weaknesses of Kurdistan Region’s Economy

An analysis of the major gaps in Kurdistan’s economic development and potential ways forward in terms of reinforcing initiatives aimed at private sector development; improving the functioning of the State and its budget; and transforming Kurdistan’s institutional landscape linked to the economy.

In it for the Long Haul: A New Response for IDPs in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq

This report is a compilation and analysis of critical issues and possible next steps for dealing with the challenges posed by increasingly protracted displacement in the Kurdistan Region.

Protecting Minorities’ Rights in the Kurdistan Region: A Tailor-Made Model

The Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) should be proud of its reputation as a guardian of minorities, providing at risk groups with security and shelter.

Policy Report “The Future of Kirkuk: A Roadmap for Resolving the Status of the Province”

MERI’s Kirkuk Policy report outlines clear recommendations for all relevant actors with the aim of bringing the issue of their province to the fore and fostering a constructive debate on Kirkuk’s future.

Policy Note | The Middle East at Breaking Point: Turkey’s Neighbourhood Policy and the Need for Enhanced ‘Soft’ Power

Is Turkey’s failure in the ME because of the changing dynamics following the Arab Spring transcending the country’s foreign policy capacity, or is it because of the under-performance of its foreign policy?