American Univesity of Beirut

Arab and International Affairs




    The Arab and International Affairs Program (AIA) studies general trends of world politics from the perspective of their influence on Arab realities. More specifically, it examines the impact of policies designed and pursued by major international actors, states and international organizations, on policies in Arab countries. The pro​gram focuses on the analysis of foreign policies in Arab countries as they are shaped by region​al and national developments. It seeks to contribute towards informing the making of foreign policy drawi​ng on research-based activities, contacts with the diplomatic community and other exchanges with actors concerned.​​

    Building on the existing research agenda of the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs (IFI), the AIA component will involve a number of programs which will carry out research and analysis on a wide range of issues pertaining to contemporary international affairs, participate in national and international debates and​​​ academic networks, and focus on disseminating high quality publications, including policy-relevant research. It must be emphasized that International Affairs should not be perceived as a program, but rather a comprehensive understanding, encompassing a variety of research programs spanning contemporary regional and global issues and the challenges they present.​

    ​Goals and Aims

    The Arab and International Affairs component of the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs seeks to harnes​s both the policy-related and international relations research of AUB’s internationally respected faculty in order to achieve several goals: to enhance the Arab world’s input into regional and global issues, to raise the quality of international affairs-related debate and decision-making in the region, and to enrich the quality of interaction among scholars, officials and civil society actors in the Middle East and abroad.

    The aim of the AIA component of IFI is to collect, support and initiate research relevant to international affairs, regional and global politics, and foreign relations. By organizing research studies, lectures, roundtable discussions, and workshops, this component hopes to bring together scholars and decision-makers to discuss salient issues that fall under the spectrum of international affairs-related programs. IFI aims to fund and promote research programs that would provide insights and analysis to:

    • Improve our understanding of international affairs and
    • Develop a rich academic environment in the Middle East; and 
    • Inform public-policy decisions made by regional leaders and decision-makers

    The AIA component of IFI bridges existing knowledge gaps about international affairs issues in the Arab world by disseminating the regional experiences of Middle Eastern governments and addressing policy problems within their regional and global context. Thus, the objective of the IA component at IFI is to strengthen research, analysis and information sharing from a local, regional and global perspective, particularly with respect to issues surrounding the United Nations, refugees and internally displaced persons, and climate change negotiations. The IA component’s unique integration of international affairs and policy-relevant/policy-oriented research will create productive synergies and ensures the relevant capacity and expertise to effectively frame and conduct high-caliber studies.​

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