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Centre for Geopolitics

Providing historically-grounded solutions to enduring geopolitical problems

Photo credit: M. Darchinger


The Westphalia for the Middle East project is to open new, creative approaches for resolving conflict in the Middle East by looking at solutions that worked in the Peace of Westphalia.

Ever since the 1970s, perhaps longer, the Middle East has been in the grip of a new Thirty Years War which echoes that of the seventeenth century. Then, the Habsburgs and Bourbons faced off in Germany, Italy and the Low Countries; the Emperor and Princes clashed in Germany; and conflicts erupted between Catholics and Protestants pretty much everywhere. Confessional, political and international conflicts all interpenetrated and produced the most destructive war Europe has ever seen.

Today, the Middle East is riven by religious conflicts, the Israel-Palestine issue, the Iranian question and the competing interests of the great powers, resulting in a circle of conflicts to which there is no end in sight.

Can conflict resolution models from the European past help here?


Our chief publication output has been a project monograph:

Hurst - Towards A Westphalia for the Middle East

Book review: 

Foreign Affairs - Towards a Westphalia

We have also written several articles on the topic: 

Foreign Affairs - A Westphalian Peace for the Middle East

Foreign Affairs - The Myth of Westphalia

New Statesman - Ending the New Thirty Years War

See also: 

Foreign Policy - Meet the Middle East’s Peace of Westphalia Re-enactors


For more information, please watch the short video about the project (link on the right side of the page) or visit 


People specialising in this area


 Professor Ali Ansari

 Dr Patrick Milton 

  Dr Thomas Peak 


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