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Fahad Desmukh, Marc Owen Jones, and Ala’a Shehabi


The IISS: The Myth and Ethics of Think-Tank Independence

[US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel shares a laugh with John Chipman, director general of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), before his speech at the Manama Dialogue in Manama, Bahrain, 7 December 2013. DOD photo by Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo]

Last week, Bahrain Watch published an investigation into the secret funding of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), ahead of its annual Manama Dialogue. The investigation demonstrated that one third of the think-tank’s funding was coming from the Bahraini ruling family. In this article, the investigative researchers behind these revelations delve into the activities and role that the IISS has played over the past twenty-five years—critically questioning ...

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Fahad Desmukh, Marc Owen Jones, and Ala’a Shehabi


Fahad Desmukh is a freelance journalist based in Islamabad, and a researcher with Bahrain Watch. His work has appeared in PRI's The World, BBC World Service, Foreign Policy, and the Guardian, among others. He grew up in Bahrain.

Marc Owen Jones is a Research Fellow in Gulf Studies at the Institute for Arab and Islamic Studies at Exeter University. He is also a researcher at Bahrain Watch and co-editor of the book Bahrain's Uprising: Resistance and Repression in the Gulf. 

Ala'a Shehabi is a researcher, writer, and consultant. She is the co-editor of Bahrain's Uprising (London: Zed Books) and co-founder of Bahrain Watch, an investigations and research collective. She holds a PhD in economics from Imperial College London and is a former policy analyst at the RAND Corporation and lecturer at the Bahrain Institute of Banking and Finance.