1. Research and Themes
While it is true that a large number of Western research centers deal with (and are still dealing with) issues related to the Arab world on a large scale, it is essential for Arab researchers who live in the region, to address the political, social and economic crises afflicting the Arab world.
Arab scholars are best positioned to study the region as participant observers who are able to produce the most objective in-depth research as they neither suffer from methodological flaws, nor from the cultural and linguistic barriers that beset Western institutions.
The Center will address broad themes including:
A. Politics and Public Administration
Political and administrative reform issues, the foreign relations of Arab states and other actors, security issues, national security, and economics.
Some of the most pressing topics on the Center's research agenda include, but are not confined to: Arab national and social security; the crisis in Iraq; the Arab-Israeli conflict; sectarian relations and tensions; identity politics; the relationship between Arab states and political Islam; political, social, economic and security reform in the region; US foreign policy in the Middle East; Israeli politics and society; the politics of oil and energy; the roles of Iran and Turkey in the region.
Social change and population studies, education, health and mortality, gender discrimination and youth studies, identity issues, working forces and employment, poverty, unemployment, migration and marginalization, social movements and the role of civil society and non-governmental organizations, integrated social policies, social integration, the concept of development , international development policies, world demographic projections.
Media studies, including media policies and Arab media: its role, independence and ownership, the making of public opinion and information technology. Moreover the Center will encourage studies dealing with the portrayal of Arabs, Muslims and Arab issues in Western media. A project aiming at monitoring and evaluating Arab media is in process.
Arab world economy, economy of the region as whole, regional integration, opportunities for Arab economic cooperation, impact of the World Bank and IMF policies on poor Arab countries, globalization, prospects and economic models, local financial resources, private capital flows, official development assistance, external debts, monetary, financial and trade systems, world trade, basic commodities, investment, technology, project development, and basic service structures.
E. Environment and Natural Resources
Food security, food sovereignty, water, poverty and pollution, social impact on natural resource degradation.
The Center will study and evaluate education policies in the Arab region, including higher education, with a special focus on threats and opportunities facing the advancement of education, teaching curricula and private education.
G. Israeli studies
The Unit for Israeli Studies aims at examining the Israeli state, society, and economy insofar as it is crucial to a decision-making process in the Arab world which is informed by the notion of Arab national security. The unit also aims at keeping the research community and Arab public opinion informed about Israeli affairs. The unit will outsource its work to Arab researchers in Palestine.
H. Turkey and Iran Unit
The role of the two countries in formulating the region's economy and politics; their influence over the course of its events; potential policies and plans to deal with these two countries including the opportunities and threats they represent to the unity, integration and security of the region in general, and the Arab world in particular; actual and potential interactions and intersections between these two states on the one hand, and between the two states and Arab social forces, political and religious movements on the other.
The unit will also explore the potential alliances between each of the two states and Arab regional and international forces and their impact on the Arab national security, the development of Arab societies and the official Arab political order.
2. Polling Center and Public Opinion Survey
The Center runs a project that measures Arab public opinion on political, cultural and social issues. The program is headed by a specialist, assisted by a group of researchers and experts to carry out periodic surveys. Opinion polls will be conducted in collaboration with researchers and academic institutions in all Arab States so as to facilitate data collection and analysis, as well as the dissemination of survey findings in regularly published reports which are available to the general public, researchers and decision makers.
The Center will establish a database and develop working methods which adopt modern technologies and communications Such tools will be used to conduct opinion polls which measure specific issues and require pre-specified population samples.
3. The Book Translation Unit
In line with the overall programs of the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies, and in response to the serious gaps in the processes of cultural dialogue and educational exchange between the Arab development sectors and contemporary trends in scholarship and research, the Book Translation Unit is dedicated to translating, publishing, and disseminating quality contemporary works by non-Arab writers and researchers in the fields of economics, sociology, political science, management, culture and art. It aims to provide the key shapers of Arab leadership and its agenda - academics, researchers, scholars, policy-makers, and the media - with recent, significant and authoritative works by their counterparts outside the Arab world.
4. The Library
The Center will establish a specialized library including all books, references and periodicals related to its fields of specialization.
The library is managed and administered by a library director and an assistant and books and periodicals are acquired upon consultation with researchers and specialists. It is connected electronically with other libraries in the world and will generally be open to researchers in Qatar.
A. Specialized books: The Center produces books through its various research programs, and when deemed necessary, will also publish relevant works written by researchers and PhD candidates outside the Center.
B. Research Papers: In-depth papers tackling a specific topic (6000-12000 words).
C. Policy Analysis: Studies focusing on general policy issues and which recommend solutions to ongoing crises or conflicts in the region, which involve states, governmental and non-governmental actors (3000-5000 words).
D. Case Analysis: Studies providing in-depth investigations of current regional issues as well as international issues of relevance to the Arab World and the wider region. They may be either written by individuals or produced collectively as a result of group discussions (3000-5000 words).
E. Doha Report: Studies, recommendations and reports issued collectively after sessions of brainstorming involving the Center's researchers and key stakeholders in the sectors under discussion, including current and former officials.
F. Dossier: Set of files, each comprising a compilation of documents related to a particular issue.
G. Book Reviews: Critical analysis of relevant publications.
H. Semi-annual Periodical: To be issued by the Center (twice a year) and comprised of various geostrategic studies.
The Center will organize workshops, conferences and seminars that will be held by the various program coordinators specializing in different fields. Moreover, the Center will hold an annual conference for its research programs and units. The annual conference is envisioned as a unique event that brings together similar research centers, or those with similar areas of concern, from all corners of the globe: East and West, including North and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and the Arab world.