Matthew Batten-Carew is the Global Program Coordinator at ACLED. He led the Afghanistan, Iraq and Turkey projects, and was formerly a Middle East Research Manager, as well as an Associate Manager with ACLED's Asia project. Mr. Batten-Carew holds an M.A. in Geopolitics & Grand Strategy and a second M.A. in Eurasian Studies, with research focusing on regional governance and conflict management. He has worked for the Canadian government's Departments of Global Affairs and National Defence, and for consulting firms in policy development and political risk analysis. He is fluent in English and French, and is based in Ottawa, Canada.

Political Peril in Pakistan: Comparing Levels of Violence in the 2013 and 2018 General Elections

On July 25, 2018, Pakistan held its first general election in five years. With the 2013 election described as one of the “bloodiest” in Pakistan’s history (BBC News, May 2, 2013), the 2018 election seems to have followed the trend following high-casualty attacks carried out by the Islamic State and a number of reports of…

Regional Overview – Asia 30 June 2018

Demonstrations dominated the headlines across much of South & Southeast Asia last week, with several of the most notable focusing on demands for changes in government policy in India and Nepal. The Pakistani government also held its 2018 general election last week, which was marred by violence both by those inside and outside the political…

Special Focus on Coalition Forces in the Middle East: The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Forces in Afghanistan

On October 7, 2001, the United States (US), supported by the United Kingdom, invaded Afghanistan with the stated aims of dismantling al-Qaeda and denying it a safe haven by overthrowing the Taliban government in Kabul (ABC News, August 21, 2017). After the fall of the Taliban government, the force was formalized into the NATO-led International…

Regional Overview – Middle East 9 July 2018

Demonstrations dominated the events reported last week in several countries across the region including in Bahrain, Iran, and Turkey. In Syria, intense activity was reported in Dar’a governorate last week as the government and its allies continued their offensive against rebel and Islamist factions, while parallel offensives in Idleb and northern Hama governorates also continued.…

Regional Overview – Middle East 02 July 2018

A concentration of political violence was reported last week in Syria and Yemen with proportional rises in events in both southern Syria and Hudayda governorate in Yemen, respectively. Meanwhile, a rise in particular event types has been recorded in other countries in the region, including a rise in reports of kidnappings by Islamic State (IS)…

Regional Overview – Middle East 25 June 2018

Notable trends, including offensives, continued in several countries, including Israel, Palestine, Syria and Yemen. Meanwhile, counter-insurgency operations by Turkish forces were stepped up both inside and outside of the country. Rocket fire and airstrikes continued to be exchanged between Palestinian militants and Israeli military this past week, with these activities making up the majority of…

The Effect on Political Violence of the Turkish Constitutional Referendum

On April 16 of last year, the people of Turkey voted in favor of a constitutional referendum approving a series of amendments which significantly expanded the powers of the presidency, held by Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The referendum resulted in an extremely narrow victory at 51% for and 49% against,…

Regional Overview – Middle East 14 May 2018

Both Lebanon and Iraq held elections last week, with the number of riots and protests as well as election-related violence rising, respectively, in each case. Demonstrations in Iran were focused on “Teacher’s Week” while a smaller subset of demonstrations were focused on the United States’ pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal. Demonstrations were held…