About the PRIO Middle East Centre

This PRIO Middle East Centre conducts research on the dynamics of peace and security in the Middle East, informing constructive political engagement for the prevention, management and resolution of armed conflicts in the region. In recent years, the bulk of the world’s most deadly conflicts have been located in the Middle East. The region has also reemerged as a focus of competition between global powers. In no part of the world do we see the same level of uncertainty about a region’s future, neither in terms of the longevity of existing member states nor in the composition of the region at large. We include in the region the states from Egypt in the west to Iran in the east, the countries of the Gulf, and Turkey. Yet, reflecting the extreme fluidity of the region, we also explore interactions with countries in the Mediterranean, East Africa, South Asia, Central Asia and the Caucasus, which transcend the traditional boundaries. The Centre draws on a combination of regional experts and scholars with relevant comparative or thematic expertise. Its research agenda builds on five thematic pillars:

  • The role of great powers
  • Regional dynamics
  • State-building
  • Migration
  • Transnational movements

This research agenda is dynamic and will be developed in accordance with regional trends and in consultation with stakeholders. A contingency fund is held to be able to respond to emerging knowledge needs related to the regional conflict dynamics. The Centre’s overarching objective is to cultivate competence, and to offer up-to date, nuanced and solution-oriented research insights on the dynamics of peace and security in the Middle East, built in close dialogue with the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and key stakeholders in the region. The Centre communicates its finding in a variety of channels, convenes interactive policy dialogues and  meetings between various types of actors, and offers public commentary.


The PRIO Middle East Centre hosts a variety of dialogues, bringing together actors from various sectors – including academia, civil society, governments and multilateral organizations – in order to exchange views and develop constructive initiatives. These dialogues are by invitation only, some may require full discretion and will therefore not be made available to the public, other dialogues will be made available and their outcomes will be communicated openly.


The Centre draws extensively on PRIO’s network of researchers and institutions in the region, as well as relevant milieus in other parts of the world. Scholarly exchange goes both ways, with PRIO scholars visiting institutions in the region and scholars from the region visiting PRIO.

An error has occurred. This application may no longer respond until reloaded. Reload 🗙