AUTHOR ARCHIVES

Shadi Hamid

Shadi Hamid is a fellow at the Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World at the Brookings Institution's Saban Center, and the author of Temptations of Power: Islamists and Illiberal Democracy in a New Middle East. Hamid's research focuses on democratization and the role of Islamist movements in the Arab world. Prior to joining Brookings, he was director of research at the Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED) and a Hewlett Fellow at Stanford University's Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law. He has written on the Middle East and U.S. policy for The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, Foreign Affairs, The New Republic, Slate, The National Interest, Foreign Policy, Journal of Democracy, and many other publications. He has appeared as a guest on NBC Nightly News, CNN, MSNBC, PBS NewsHour, and Al Jazeera. Hamid received his B.S. and M.A. from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service, and his Ph.D. in political science from Oxford University. His previous publications can be found at the Brookings Institution.
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Seven Dubious Arguments for Not Fighting Assad

April 10, 2017 It’s remarkable just how little the basic contours of the Syria debate have changed, despite more than five years of brutal civil war. The same perceptions and misperceptions about intervention dominate today. In some ways, they are even worse now because of the distorting figure of President Donald Trump. Is...

The World Needs the American Military

October 19, 2016 Is a better world possible without U.S. military force? The eight years of the Obama presidency have offered us a natural experiment of sorts. Not all U.S. presidents are similar on foreign policy, and not all (or any) U.S. presidents are quite like Barack Obama. After two terms of George...

Is ISIS Rational?

November 23, 2015 In killing 130 civilians in Paris—the worst such attack in France since World War II—ISIS has forced us to contend, once again, with the question of the “rationality” of self-professed ideologues. Since it wrested the world’s attention with its capture of Iraq’s second-largest city in June 2014, the extremist group...

Was the Iran Deal Worth It?

July 17, 2015 I’ve long wanted to support a deal with Iran. Now that an agreement has been struck, I do. But I do so with major reservations. I can’t help feeling that the United States has paid a tremendous cost for what can only be described as a narrow—if understandable—focus on the...

The Roots of the Islamic State's Appeal

October 31, 2014 In a long, rambling statement in September, ISIS spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani expounded on his group’s inherent advantage: “Being killed … is a victory,” he said. “You fight a people who can never be defeated. They either gain victory or are killed.” In this most basic sense, religion—rather than what...

Democracy's Future in the Middle East

May 6, 2014 After the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings, a debate raged among Egyptians and Tunisians over the very nature of their societies. How much of the ongoing “Islamization” was imposed and manufactured, and how much of it was an “authentic” representation of society? Without the stifling yoke of dictatorship, some reasoned, Arabs...

Analysis: The U.S. Is Giving Up on Middle East Democracy—and That's a Mistake

January 8, 2014 With the rise of al-Qaeda, increasingly repressive regimes, and weak, even collapsing states, the Arab Spring is looking more and more like a nightmare for U.S. security interests. Perhaps, then, it makes some sense that the Obama administration would increase security assistance to the Middle East, from 69 percent of...

Why Did We Suspend Aid to Egypt Again?

November 13, 2013 John Kerry felt more threatened by his own administration's partial aid "cut" to Egypt than Egypt's generals did. Or so it seemed. In a visit to Cairo on November 3, America's top diplomat insisted that the "aid issue is a very small issue," as if to tell Egyptians not to...

Why America Has to Work With Syria's Islamist Rebels

October 9, 2013 The announcement of a new Islamist "alliance " in Syria—bringing together the largest and most influential rebel factions—is only the latest sign of a failed Western strategy. Several of these groups, including Liwa al-Islam and Liwa al-Tawhid, were previously linked to the Western-backed "moderate" Supreme Military Council (SMC). The implications...

The Winner of the U.S.-Russia Deal? Bashar Al-Assad

September 16, 2013 A deal with Russia on chemical weapons may be a "win" for President Obama but only in the narrowest sense. He managed to avoid a war he desperately did not want. But with the near-obsessive focus on chemical-weapons use, the core issues have been pushed to the side. These were...

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