Book Launch: Security Assistance in the Middle East: Challenges ... and the Need for Change

Friday, May 12, 2023
10:00 AM - 11:30 AM

Online via Zoom

  • Hicham Alaoui,
  • Robert Springborg,
  • Lindsay Benstead,
  • Glenn E. Robinson,
  • Sean Yom
Security Assistance in the Middle East: Challenges ... and the Need for Change event details

Hicham Alaoui, Robert Springborg, Lindsay Benstead, Glenn E. Robinson, and Sean Yom join ARD to discuss their recently released book, Security Assistance in the Middle East: Challenges ... and the Need for Change (Lynne Rienner, 2023). To order, click here.

Why, given the enormous resources spent by the US and Europe on security assistance to Arab countries, has it led to so little success? Can anything be done to change the disheartening status quo? Addressing these thorny questions, the authors of this state-of-the-art assessment evaluate the costs and benefits to the main providers and recipients of security assistance in the MENA region and explore alternative strategies to improve outcomes for both.


Hicham Alaoui

Hicham Alaoui

Hicham Alaoui is the founder and director of the Hicham Alaoui Foundation, which undertakes innovative social scientific research in the Middle East and North Africa. He is a scholar on the comparative politics of democratization and religion, with a focus on the MENA region. In the past, he served as a visiting scholar and Consulting Professor at the Center for Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law at Stanford University. He more recently served as postdoctoral fellow and research associate at Harvard University. He was also Regents Lecturer at several campuses of the University of California system. Outside of academia, he has worked with the United Nations in various capacities, such as the peacekeeping mission in Kosovo. He has also worked with the Carter Center in its overseas missions on conflict resolution and democracy advancement. He has served on the MENA Advisory Committee for Human Rights Watch and the Advisory Board of the Carnegie Middle East Center. He served on the board of the Freeman Spogli Institute at Stanford University and has recently joined the Advisory Board of the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard. He holds an A.B. from Princeton University, M.A. from Stanford University, and D.Phil. from the University of Oxford. His latest book is Pacted Democracy in the Middle East: Tunisia and Egypt in Comparative Perspective (Palgrave, 2022). His memoirs, Journal d'un Prince Banni, were published in 2014 by Éditions Grasset, and have since been translated into several languages. He is also co-author with Robert Springborg of The Political Economy of Arab Education (Lynne Rienner, 2021), and co-author with the same colleague on the forthcoming volume Security Assistance in the Middle East: Challenges and the Need for Change (Lynne Rienner, 2023). His academic research has been widely published in various French and English journals, magazines, and newspapers of record.

Robert Springborg

Robert Springborg

Robert Springborg is a Scientific Advisor of the Istituto Affari Internazionali and Adjunct Professor at SFU School for International Studies (Vancouver). Formerly he was Professor of National Security Affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, and Program Manager for the Middle East for the Center for Civil-Military Relations; the holder of the MBI Al Jaber Chair in Middle East Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, where he also served as Director of the London Middle East Institute; the Director of the American Research Center in Egypt; University Professor of Middle East Politics at Macquarie University in Sydney Australia; and assistant professor of political science at the University of Pennsylvania. He has also taught at the University of California, Berkeley; the College of Europe; the Paris School of International Affairs of Sciences Po; the Department of War Studies, King’s College, London; and the University of Sydney. In 2016 he was Kuwait Foundation Visiting Scholar, Middle East Initiative, Kennedy School, Harvard University. His publications include Mubarak’s Egypt. Fragmentation of the Political Order (1989); Family Power and Politics in Egypt (1982); Legislative Politics in the Arab World (1999, co-authored with Abdo Baaklini and Guilain Denoeux); Globalization and the Politics of Development in the Middle East first and second editions, (2001 and 2010, co-authored with Clement M. Henry); Oil and Democracy in Iraq (2007); Development Models in Muslim Contexts: Chinese, ‘Islamic’ and Neo-Liberal Alternatives(2009) and several editions of Politics in the Middle East (co-authored with James A. Bill). He co-edited a volume on popular culture and political identity in the Gulf that appeared in 2008. He has published in the leading Middle East journals and was the founder and regular editorialist for The Middle East in London, a monthly journal that commenced publication in 2003.

Lindsay Benstead

Lindsay J. Benstead

Lindsay J. Benstead is Associate Professor of Political Science in the Mark O. Hatfield School of Government and Director of the Middle East Studies Center (MESC) at Portland State University. Her research on women and politics, public opinion, and survey methodology has appeared in Perspectives on Politics, International Journal of Public Opinion Research, Governance, and Foreign Affairs. She holds a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Political Science from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and served as a doctoral fellow at Yale University and a post-doctoral fellow at Princeton University. For more on her research, see

Glenn E Robinson

Glenn E. Robinson

Glenn E. Robinson is Professor of Defense Analysis at the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) in Monterey, California, and is also affiliated with the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at the University of California at Berkeley.  He retired from NPS after 30 years in December 2021. He has authored or co-authored four books on Middle East politics as well as over 150 journal articles, book chapters, government reports and conference papers.  His most recent book, Global Jihad: A Brief History, was named by both Foreign Affairs and Foreign Policy as a "Best Book of 2021."  He has won awards for his teaching at both Berkeley and NPS.  Robinson has been active in policy work, especially for USAID and DOD, and in his professional work for the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) and (as a Founding Board Member and Treasurer) for the Association for Gulf and Arabian Peninsula Studies (AGAPS).

Sean Yom

Sean Yom

Sean Yom is Associate Professor of Political Science at Temple University, Senior Fellow in the Middle East Program at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, and Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Project on Middle East Democracy in Washington, DC.  He is a specialist on regimes and governance in the Middle East, especially in Arab monarchies like Jordan, Kuwait, and Morocco. His research engages topics of authoritarian politics, democratic reforms, institutional stability, and economic development in these countries, as well as their implications for US foreign policy. His publications include the books From Resilience to Revolution: How Foreign Interventions Destabilize the Middle East (Columbia University Press, 2016); the co-edited volume The Political Science of the Middle East: Theory and Research since the Arab Uprisings (Oxford University Press, 2022); and articles in print journals like Comparative Political Studies, European Journal of International Relations, Studies in Comparative International Development, and Journal of Democracy.