February, 11

A Divided Island: Sri Lanka’s Constitutional Crisis

A constitutional crisis created by the sacking of Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe by President Maithripala Sirisena, and a plan to replace him with former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, paralysed the country’s legislative and executive branches as both Wickramasinghe and Rajapaksa claimed the office of prime minister.


Against this background, the panel considers how Sri Lanka’s opaque domestic politics is reflected by the government’s slow progress toward its pledges to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to address accountability and political reconciliation emerging from the country’s 26-year civil war.

February, 05

How Saudi Arabia and Iran use Islam in foreign policy

Peter Mandaville and Shadi Hamid, both experts in the Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World at Brookings, discuss their new paper, “Islam as statecraft: How governments use religion in foreign policy.”