Most recent article by: Volker Perthes

Ravaged by war: The Northern Syrian city of Homs (photo: Reuters)

Syria and the Middle East

The End of the Sykes Picot System?

Aside from the human suffering caused by Syria's ongoing war, we should be aware of the potentially dire regional consequences of Syria's disintegration: It would call the entire post-World War I Middle Eastern state system into question. By Volker PerthesMore

Protests on Tahrir Square, Cairo (photo: Reuters)

The Aftermath of the Arab Spring

The Changing Map of Middle East Power

The eruption of the Arab revolts put power relations among Middle Eastern countries in a state of flux, and both winners and losers have emerged. But, given that the strengths and weaknesses of most of the actors are highly contingent, the regional balance of power remains highly fluid. By Volker PerthesMore

Protests against Mohammed Morsi in Cairo (photo: Reuters)

Power Struggle in Egypt

Courting Disaster

The growing gulf between Egypt's President Mohammed Morsi and the secular opposition threatens to tear the country apart with unforeseeable consequences for Egypt's economy and political future. A commentary by Volker PerthesMore

Abdelbasset Sida, leader of the opposition Syrian National Council (R), chats with council member George Sabra during a news conference in Istanbul July 13, 2012 (photo: REUTERS/Murad Sezer)

The Opposition in Syria

The Least Common Denominator

Syrian oppositionists must recognize that the lack of decisive international action is not only the result of Russia and China vetoing any meaningful action in the Security Council, or NATO countries' unwillingness to enter into another war in the region. A commentary by Volker PerthesMore

Tahrir protests (photo: AP)

Twelve Months after the Start of the Arab Spring

Year Two of the Rebellions

According to Middle East expert Volker Perthes, the phrase "Arab Spring" is misleading because the Arab World is only at the start of what will be a prolonged period of change. Perthes identifies four factors that will have a major influence on how things develop in the regionMore

Anti-Assad protests in Syria (photo: dapd)

Uprising against the Assad Regime in Syria

What Support for the Protest Movement?

If the creeping massacre of the Syrian population is to be stopped, now is the time to send out an unambiguous message, warns Volker Perthes, expert on the Near East and director of the German Institute for International and Security AffairsMore

Teenage protestor in Yemen (photo: dpa)

The Arab Spring and Its Implications

Departure from Ideology

The Arab revolts of 2011 have been above all an uprising by the region's youth. From Rabat to Riyadh, from one end of the Arab world to the other, this is a generation which is sceptical towards any ideology, including that of Islamism. An analysis by Volker PerthesMore

Secretary General of Nato Rasmussen and Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan (photo: picture alliance/dpa)

Political Change in the Middle East


The Reordering of the World

No-one yet knows what the course and the outcome of the processes of change in the Arab world will be. That being said, it is becoming clear whose star is rising and whose is not. Above all, it seems likely that Turkey's political influence is set to increase. Volker Perthes analyses current developmentsMore