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Kirk H Sowell is the principal of Utica Risk Services, a Middle East-focused political-risk firm. He is a specialist in Arabic-language research, and aside from consultancy work he regularly publishes on topics related to politics, political economy and Islamist movements in the region.

Articles By

Pakistan Pays Heavy Price For Domestic Turmoil By Arif Rafiq - Nov 25, 2022

Pakistan’s economy is in a deep mess. This summer’s epic floods took more than a thousand lives and inflicted billions of dollars in damage and devastation. In spite of an International Monetary Fund bailout, Pakistan’s external account position remains precarious. Foreign exchange reserves at hand cover less than two months of imports. Exports and remittances are in decline. Pakistan’s perceived default risk, as reflected by … Continue reading “Pakistan Pays Heavy Price For Domestic Turmoil”

The ‘Loss and Damage’ Climate Agenda Will Sink Us All By Jonathan Gornall - Nov 24, 2022

Throughout COP27, which ended on Friday, there was the usual juvenile sniping at the engagement in the climate-change mitigation process of the oil-producing countries, as if anything could possibly be achieved without their collaboration. The UK Guardian, which can always be relied upon to bash the Gulf states on the slightest pretext, dedicated a long article … Continue reading “The ‘Loss and Damage’ Climate Agenda Will Sink Us All”

It’s Not All Sunshine: Middle East Invests Big in Wind Power By Robin Mills - Nov 21, 2022

The story of renewable energy across the Middle East and North Africa is usually told from one viewpoint: the sun that beats down relentlessly on the region’s deserts. Solar is indeed a tremendous source of power and increasingly made to move electrons. But wind also blows across the Middle East’s plains, hills and seas – … Continue reading “It’s Not All Sunshine: Middle East Invests Big in Wind Power”

With an Election Approaching, Turkey Tightens Grip on Social Media By Alexandra de Cramer - Nov 20, 2022

Last month, Turkey declared war on disinformation with the passage of a 40-item law designed to govern how information is shared online. But by legally enshrining the power to regulate the country’s online discourse, Turkish authorities have made it even harder for the public to access news and brought new penalties for merely stating an opinion. Free speech and … Continue reading “With an Election Approaching, Turkey Tightens Grip on Social Media”

The Cost of Iraq’s Empty Promises By Hussain Abdul-Hussain - Nov 19, 2022

Less than a month after being inaugurated as Iraq’s prime minister, Mohammed Shia Al Sudani is already reneging on promises he made to secure his governing coalition. The longer these pledges go unmet, the longer Iraq’s destabilizing political polarization will persist. To elect a president and form a cabinet, Al Sudani’s pro-Iran Shia political bloc, the Coordination Framework, … Continue reading “The Cost of Iraq’s Empty Promises”