I am an Associate Professor of Political Science at Boston College and a Research Affiliate with the MIT Security Studies Program. I have recently published books on navigating field research, coercion in international politics, and the strategy and success of nationalist rebels in civil war. My research and teaching focus on Middle East politics, political violence, nationalism, rebels and regime change, and peace-building. I give talks and facilitate discussions with universities, think tanks, and business and community groups, and I conduct media interviews. I have a Ph.D. in political science from MIT and a B.A. in political science and history from Williams College.
On November 1, I gave a presentation as part of a panel at the MIT Center for International Studies on the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict. I discussed some of the historical context for the conflict, explained how my book Rebel Power helps to explain the use of violence and pursuit/prevention of statehood by Israel and the Palestinians, analyzed seven possible scenarios for Gaza, and explained how the spoiling of the peace process helped bring us to this point. I was honored to be on the panel with other great academics, journalists, and policymakers, all of whom are worth watching.
From March 2021: President Biden has taken Trump-era policies out and put Obama-era policies (back) in in the Middle East. The problem for Biden is that he cannot return to the pre-Trump ante in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Ir's either Trump-style coerced Israeli victory or robust coercive diplomacy towards two states--which Biden claims "remains the only path forward." But toothless rhetoric in support of the latter outcome will only yield the former. Trump’s plan punctured any remaining illusions about the realities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. If Biden wants to help move the conflict towards a different resolution, he needs to do far more than return to the prior approach.
On January 3, 2023, Itamar Ben Gvir strolled up the Mughrabi Bridge, through the gate, and into the most contested sacred site in the world, the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif in Jerusalem. Observers are correct to point out the inflammatory potential of the Israeli National Security Minister's actions, especially given the recent clashes in and around Al-Aqsa Mosque, as well as the ongoing, unprecedented civil unrest in Israel over the government’s attempted judicial reform. But most are unaware both of the small but significant changes on the ground that predate Ben Gvir’s ascension—and of the major differences of opinion regarding Jerusalem’s holy sites within the governing coalition of which he is a part. This Brief will explain why the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif is such a sacred and important site; the recent history of both incrementalist and dynamic challenges to the status quo that has heretofore defined the site; how the factions in Israel’s current governing coalition perceive the situation; and what new developments involving the site mean for the stability of Israel’s government and its relations with the Palestinians, with Arab states, and with the U.S.
© 2023 by PETER KRAUSE
Main Photo: Caitlin Cunningham, Boston College