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LSE Middle East Centre Podcasts
68 minutes | 13 days ago
Kurds and Yezidis in the Middle East (Webinar)
This event was co-organised with the Kurdish Studies Programme at the University of Central Florida. It was the book launch of 'Kurds and Yezidis in the Middle East: Shifting Identities, Borders, and the Experience of Minority Communities'. The diversity of Kurdish communities across the Middle East is now recognized as central to understanding both the challenges and opportunities for their representation and politics. Yet little scholarship has focused on the complexities within these different groups and the range of their experiences. This book diversifies the literature on Kurdish Studies by offering close analyses of subjects which have not been adequately researched, and in particular, by highlighting the Kurds' relationship to the Yazidis. Case studies include: the political ideas of Ehmede Xani, “the father of Kurdish nationalism”; Kurdish refugees in camps in Iraq; the perception of the Kurds by Armenians in the late Ottoman Empire and the Turks in modern Western Turkey; and the important connections and shared heritage of the Kurds and the Yazidis, especially in the aftermath of the 2014 ISIS attacks. The book comprises the leading voices in Kurdish Studies and combines in-depth empirical work with theoretical and conceptual discussions to take the debates in the field in new directions. The study is divided into three thematic sections to capture new insights into the heterogeneous aspects of Kurdish history and identity. In doing so, contributors explain why we need to pay close attention to the shifting identities and the diversity of the Kurds, and what implications this has for Middle East Studies and Minority Studies more generally. Majid Hassan Ali completed his doctoral research with a focus on religious minorities in Iraq, at the Institute of Oriental Studies, University of Bamberg, Germany. He is an associate member of the Department of Yezidi Studies at the Giorgi Tsereteli Institute of Oriental Studies, Ilia State University, Tbilisi, Georgia. His research interest includes the difficulties and challenges the ethnic and religious minorities are facing in Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East. Ohannes Kılıçdağı researches the history of non-Muslims in the Ottoman Empire and Turkey. He was Kazan Visiting Professor in Armenian Studies at California State University in Autumn 2020. In Spring 2020 he was appointed as Nikit and Eleanora Ordjanian Visiting Professor in the department for Middle Eastern, South Asian and African Studies (MESAAS) at Columbia University. Güneş Murat Tezcür is the Jalal Talabani Chair and Professor at the School of Politics, Security, and International Affairs at the University of Central Florida (UCF). He also directs UCF's Kurdish Political Studies Program. Most recently, he has edited Kurds and Yezidis in the Middle East: Shifting Identities, Borders, and the Experience of Minority Communities, and The Oxford Handbook of Turkish Politics. He is currently writing a book on liminal minorities in the Middle East. Arzu Yilmaz is a visiting scholar at the University of Hamburg. She moved to Berlin in 2018 as Istanbul Policy Centre (IPC)- Mercator Fellow at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP). She spent seven years in the Kurdish Region of Iraq (KRI) as a lecturer in the Department of Political Science at the University of Duhok and as the Chair of the Department of International Relations at the American University of Kurdistan. Zeynep Kaya is a Lecturer in International Development in the Department of Social and Policy Studies, University of Bath, and a Visiting Fellow with the LSE Middle East Centre. Previously she was a Senior Teaching Fellow at the Department of Development Studies at SOAS and an Academic Associate at Pembroke College, University of Cambridge. Her research looks at the relationship between gender, violence and development in conflict and post-conflict contexts.
61 minutes | a month ago
Redefining Deprivation in a Conflict Area: Learning from the Palestinian Experience (Webinar)
This event was the launch of the publication 'Redefining deprivation in a conflict area: learning from the Palestinian experience using mixed methods' produced as part of the Academic Collaboration with Arab Universities Programme, led by Principal Investigators Tiziana Leone, Rita Giacaman and Weeam Hammoudeh. Conflicts threaten public health, human security, and wellbeing. While their visible impacts garner considerable attention (such as physical disability, injury, and death), they affect populations in other important ways. This paper reviews findings from a two-year collaboration project to understand how people make sense of, and cope with, various forms of deprivation and trauma resulting from experiences of conflict and military occupation in the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt). Using mixed methods, the paper explores mental health and wellbeing outcomes associated with deprivation in a conflict setting. Weeam Hammoudeh is currently an Assistant Professor at the Institute of Community and Public Health, Birzeit University and formerly ACSS (Arab Council for the Social Sciences) Postdoctoral Fellow and Visiting Researcher at the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Birzeit University. She is interested in understanding how political and social transformations impact health, psychosocial wellbeing, and population processes, particularly in conflict areas; as well as how health systems and social institutions develop and shift in relation to political, economic, and structural factors, particularly in developing countries and post-colonial settings. Tracy Kuo Lin is an Assistant Professor of Health Economics at the University of California, San Francisco. Her research examines health policy and health system resource allocation and their impact on public health and healthcare processes. She received her PhD from the University of California, Davis and held a fellowship at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Her work has been published in journals such as Cancer, Journal of Managed Care and Specialty Pharmacy, Globalization and Health, and Implementation Science Communication. She is a researcher on the project 'Re-Conceptualising Health in Wars and Conflicts: A New Focus on Deprivation and Suffering'. Suzan Mitwalli is an academic researcher at the Institute of Community and Public Health - Birzeit University, and assistant coordinator of the Masters in Public Health program. Her main research interest is mental health, and she has worked for many years on intervention research with the Community Based Rehabilitation organization (CBR). She has also been involved in several research projects at the Institute relating to women’s health, population health, child health, and occupational health using quantitative and qualitative research methods. Tiziana Leone is an Associate Professor at the London School of Economics. Tiziana’s research agenda is focused around maternal and reproductive health, including a lifecourse approach to women’s health. She is currently analysing secondary data on the linkages that menarche, menopause and mid-life age have on fertility outcomes and health in later life. She has collaborated in expert roles with international organisations (eg: WHO, UNFPA and UNICEF) in tracking the progress of the MDGs and SDGs in LMICs in maternal and child health.
62 minutes | 2 months ago
Hitting The Glass Ceiling? Women's Political Participation in Kuwait (Webinar)
This Kuwait Programme event was a discussion about Dr Zeynep Kaya’s recent research on women's political participation in Kuwait. Dr Lubna Al-Kazi acted as a discussant, and Dr Courtney Freer chaired the event. Since the introduction of women’s suffrage in 2005, the number of women elected to parliament in Kuwait has been very small. Despite this, their presence in high political office has changed the discourse around women’s political and public roles, while also generating a misogynistic backlash against women. The paper Dr Kaya will present at this event provides an overview of the discussions about women’s electoral participation in Kuwait building on 27 semi-structured interviews conducted in 2019 with politicians, public officers, academics and activists and the academic literature on women’s political participation. The paper captures the state of the discussions on women’s electoral participation and provides an account of what issues are emphasised and omitted in these discussions in 2019. The interviews provided important insights on the dynamics that influence women’s electoral participation in Kuwait and the strategies they used to get elected. Dr Zeynep Kaya is a Lecturer in International Development in the Department of Social and Policy Studies, University of Bath, and a Visiting Fellow with the LSE Middle East Centre. Previously she was a Senior Teaching Fellow at the Department of Development Studies at SOAS and an Academic Associate at Pembroke College, University of Cambridge. She is interested in understanding how communities and political groups perceive, interact with and challenge international processes and dominant norms. Her research looks at the relationship between gender, violence and development in conflict and post-conflict contexts. Zeynep has a PhD in International Relations from the LSE, where she conducted research on the transformation of Kurdish nationalism and territorial identity in an international context. Her book Mapping Kurdistan: Territory, Self-Determination and Nationalism was published by Cambridge University Press in 2020. Dr Lubna Ahmed Al-Kazi is Director of the Women’s Research and Studies Center at Kuwait University. Lubna has been a professor in the Sociology Department at Kuwait University since 1984, after graduating from the University of Texas in 1983 with a PhD in Demography and Sociology. She was a consultant with the Population Division at the United Nations for one year from 1986-87, and in 2009 a consultant for the United Nation Development Programme, when she prepared the section on Gender and Development for the Kuwait National five-year plan 2010 – 2015. Lubna is on the editorial board of Arabic Journal Al-Thaqafa Al-Alamiah and the Journal of Arabian Studies. She is a member of the ‘Women’s Cultural and Social Society’ and ‘the Sociologists Association’ in Kuwait. She is also a member of Advisory Board of Vital Voices, an women‘s organization established by Hillary Clinton when she was the First Lady in the United States. Her areas of interest and research are gender, population change and family. Dr Courtney Freer is an Assistant Professorial Research Fellow at the Middle East Centre. Her work focuses on the domestic politics of the Gulf states, particularly the roles played by Islamism and tribalism. Her book Rentier Islamism: The Influence of the Muslim Brotherhood in Gulf Monarchies, based on her DPhil thesis at the University of Oxford and published by Oxford University Press in 2018, examines the socio-political role played by Muslim Brotherhood groups in Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. Join the conversation on Twitter using #LSEKuwait
68 minutes | 2 months ago
Sino-Algerian Relations: From Anti-Colonial Allies to Strategic Partners? (Webinar)
This webinar was co-organised with the Society for Algerian Studies. Sino-Algerian relations date back to the Afro-Asian Bandung conference in 1955. China’s status as first non-Arab country to recognise Algeria’s pre-independence provisional government in 1958, coupled with Algiers’ support in helping China restore its security council seat at the UN in 1971, represent key moments that consolidated the historic bilateral relationship. Despite this early political and diplomatic alliance, economic relations did not take off until the early 2000s, propelled by Algeria’s accumulation of hydrocarbon revenues. Chinese companies obtained major billion dollar contracts in construction and infrastructure works. Despite many challenges, Algeria found in China a reliable partner supporting its development. The two countries continue to cooperate not only bilaterally, their preferred framework for economic and commercial exchange, but also through multilateral fora such as FOCAC and CASCF. In 2014, China elevated the relationship to a “comprehensive strategic partnership”, the highest level of diplomatic-cum-economic relations which Beijing extends to key partners. Algeria is also a signatory to Beijing’s flagship Belt and Road initiative. For Beijing, the North African state has a geostrategic location with proximity to Europe and to the Sahel and sub-Saharan Africa. The scope and strength of relations in the post-pandemic era will likely continue to strengthen. This webinar explored the historical background and the evolution of the political and economic relations between the two countries, highlighting opportunities and challenges going forward. Francesco Saverio Leopardi is Research Fellow at the Marco Polo Centre for Global Europe-Asia Connections, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice and teaches Global Asian Studies at Ca’ Foscari International College. His research interests currently focus on the Sino-Algerian economic relations and the history of economic transformation in Algeria. He also has a long-time interest in the history of the Palestinian national movement and in 2020 he published with Palgrave Macmillan his first monograph The Palestinian Left and its Decline. Loyal Opposition. Chuchu Zhang is Associate Professor at the School of International Relations and Public Affairs, Fudan University, China. She received her PhD in Politics and International Studies at the University of Cambridge, UK. Her research focuses on Middle Eastern Politics, China-Middle Eastern relations and China’s foreign policy. She is author of Islamist Party Mobilization: Tunisia’s Ennahda and Algeria’s HMS Compared, 1989-2014 (Palgrave, 2020). She has published in a number of peer reviewed journals including Middle East Policy, Environment and Planning: Economy and Space, Globalizations, Pacific Focus, and Chinese Political Science Review, Asian Journal of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies. Yahia H. Zoubir is Professor of International Relations and International Management, and Director of Research in Geopolitics at KEDGE Business School, France. He taught at multiple universities in the United States and was a visiting faculty member at various universities in China, Europe, the United States, India, Indonesia, South Korea, and the Middle East and North Africa. His recent book is Algerian Politics: Domestic Issues & International Relations (Routledge, 2020). He has published in academic journals, such as Journal of Contemporary China, Foreign Affairs, Third World Quarterly, Mediterranean Politics, International Affairs, Africa Spectrum, Journal of North African Studies, Democratization, Middle East Journal, Arab Studies Quarterly, Africa Today, Middle East Policy, etc. He has also contributed many book chapters and written various articles in encyclopedias. In 2020, he was Visiting Fellow at Brookings Doha Center.
57 minutes | 2 months ago
غزة مفتوحة: عمران الأمل
غزة مفتوحة: عمران الأمل by LSE Middle East Centre
61 minutes | 2 months ago
Open Gaza: Architectures of Hope (Webinar)
This webinar launched the book 'Open Gaza: Architectures of Hope' edited by Deen Sharp and the late Michael Sorkin. The Gaza Strip is one of the most beleaguered environments on earth. Crammed into a space of 139 square miles (360 square kilometers), 1.8 million people live under an Israeli siege, enforcing conditions that continue to plummet to ever more unimaginable depths of degradation and despair. Gaza, however, is more than an endless encyclopedia of depressing statistics. It is also a place of fortitude, resistance, and imagination; a context in which inhabitants go to remarkable lengths to create the ordinary conditions of the everyday and to reject their exceptional status. Inspired by Gaza’s inhabitants, this book builds on the positive capabilities of Gazans. It brings together designers, environmentalists, planners, activists, and scholars from Palestine and Israel, the US, the UK, India, and elsewhere to create hopeful interventions that imagine a better place for Gazans and Palestinians. Open Gaza engages with the Gaza Strip within and beyond the logics of siege and warfare, it considers how life can be improved inside the limitations imposed by the Israeli blockade and outside the idiocy of violence and warfare.
62 minutes | 3 months ago
Reforming The Gulf Rentier State: From Patronage to Cash Grants?
GCC countries share their national wealth with citizens through public employment and subsidies, policies that are inefficient, inequitable, economically distortive and fiscally unsustainable. This talk discusses how unconditional cash grants for adult nationals could replace government jobs and subsidies, drawing on Dr Steffen Hertog’s recent research on Kuwait. Dr Hertog's PowerPoint presentation can be viewed at https://www.lse.ac.uk/middle-east-centre/events/2021/reforming-the-Gulf-rentier-state.
57 minutes | 3 months ago
Is Demography Destiny? The Economic Implications of Iraq's Demography (Webinar)
This webinar was the launch of Alexander Hamilton's latest report 'Is Demography Destiny? The Economic Implications of Iraq's Demography' published under the LSE Conflict Research Programme–Iraq. In this report, Hamilton examines the fiscal and economic implications of Iraq’s current demographic trajectory and finds that, given Iraq’s almost total dependence on oil for government revenues, slight changes in the demographic transition rate could result in significant cumulative per capita expenditure changes – equivalent to $2.9bn. This paper combines the data on Iraq’s demography with projections on economic growth and oil revenues to examine how variations in demographic transition might affect public finances and hence the viability of the current social contract and offers recommendations for policy-makers.
68 minutes | 3 months ago
US-Iran Relations in a Post-Trump World (Webinar)
In a recent cabinet meeting in Tehran, President Rouhani stated "Trump is dead but the nuclear deal is still alive". From the Iranian perspective, the ball is now in the United States' court to mend relations after former President Trump's policy of maximum pressure, including the withdrawal from the nuclear deal and the reimposition of sanctions on Iran. This webinar discussed what the short-term prospects are for US-Iran relations under the Biden administration. Hassan Ahmadian is an Assistant Professor of Middle East and North Africa studies at the University of Tehran and an Associate of the Project on Shi'ism and Global Affairs at Harvard University's Weatherhead Center for International Affairs. He is also a Middle East security and politics fellow at the Center for Strategic Research, Tehran. Dr. Ahmadian received his PhD in Area Studies from the University of Tehran and undertook a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the Iran Project, Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. Fluent in Arabic, Persian, and English, his research and teaching is mainly focused on Iran’s foreign policy and international relations, political change, civil-military relations, and Islamist movements in the Middle East. Aniseh Bassiri Tabrizi is a Visiting Fellow at the LSE Middle East Centre and Senior Research Fellow at the International Security Studies department at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI, London). She is also a Non-Resident Associate Fellow in the Research Division at the NATO Defence College (NDC, Rome). Her research is concerned with security and geopolitics in the Middle East, with a particular focus on Iran and Iraq’s foreign and domestic politics, drivers of radicalisation, and drones proliferation. Ali Vaez is Iran Project Director and Senior Adviser to the President at International Crisis Group. He led Crisis Group’s efforts in helping to bridge the gaps between Iran and the P5+1 that led to the landmark 2015 nuclear deal. Previously, he served as a Senior Political Affairs Officer at the United Nations Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs and was the Iran Project Director at the Federation of American Scientists. He is an adjunct professor at Georgetown University's Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service and a Fellow at the Foreign Policy Institute of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.
64 minutes | 3 months ago
Praetorian Spearhead: The Role of the Military in the Evolution of Egypt’s State Capitalism 3.0
This webinar will be the launch of Yezid Sayigh's latest report 'Praetorian Spearhead: The Role of the Military in the Evolution of Egypt’s State Capitalism 3.0' published under the LSE Middle East Centre Paper Series. In this report, Sayigh explores how military involvement in the Egyptian economy is giving rise to a new version of state capitalism. Driven by Arab socialism in the 1960s and reshaped by privatisation in the 1990s, under President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi the state has sought to bend the private sector to its capital investment strategy while continuing to profess commitment to free market economics. His administration seeks private sector investment, but exclusively on its own terms. This is demonstrated through the expansion and diversion of military economic activity in five sectors: real estate development, creation of industrial and transport hubs, rentier or extractive activities related to natural resources, relations with the private sector, and the effort to increase the state’s financial efficiency while seeking private investment to help capitalise the public sector. This approach may generate macro-level economic growth and improve the efficiency of public finances, but it also reinforces the grip of the state rather than consolidating free markets. Reflecting this, private sector investment in the economy is lower today than it was in the socialist phase of the 1960s. Yezid Sayigh is Senior Fellow at the Malcolm H. Kerr Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut, where he leads the programme on Civil-Military Relations in Arab States (CMRAS). His work focuses on the comparative political and economic roles of Arab armed forces and non-state actors, the impact of war on states and societies, the politics of post-conflict reconstruction and security sector transformation in Arab transitions, as well as authoritarian resurgence. He is the author most recently of ‘Owners of the Republic: An Anatomy of Egypt’s Military Economy’ (2019).
60 minutes | 4 months ago
The Son King: Reform and Repression in Saudi Arabia (Webinar)
PLEASE NOTE: We apologise for any Arabic interference you may hear during the recording which was due to technical difficulties. This webinar will be the launch of Professor Madawi Al-Rasheed's latest book The Son King: Reform and Repression in Saudi Arabia. In this book, Madawi Al-Rasheed lays bare the world of repression behind Saudi crown prince Muhammed bin Salman's reforms. She dissects the Saudi regime’s propaganda and progressive new image, while also dismissing Orientalist views that despotism is the only pathway to stable governance in the Middle East. Charting old and new challenges to the fragile Saudi nation from the kingdom’s very inception, this blistering book exposes the dangerous contradictions at the heart of the Son King’s Saudi Arabia. If you would like to purchase this book please visit Hurst Publisher's website and use the code SONKING25 at checkout for 25% off. Madawi Al-Rasheed is Visiting Professor at the London School of Economics Middle East Centre and a Fellow of the British Academy. Since joining the MEC, Madawi has been conducting research on mutations among Saudi Islamists after the 2011 Arab uprisings. This research focuses on the new reinterpretations of Islamic texts prevalent among a small minority of Saudi reformers and the activism in the pursuit of democratic governance and civil society. The result of this research project, sponsored by the Open Society Foundation Fellowship Programme, appeared in a monograph entitled Muted Modernists (2015, Hurst & OUP). Her latest edited book, Salman’s Legacy: The Dilemmas of a New Era was also published by Hurst in 2018.
89 minutes | 5 months ago
The Future of the Study of the Middle East: Ecology, Health and Decolonisation (Webinar)
This webinar was organised as part of the LSE Middle East Centre's 10th anniversary programme of online events. For a decade, the LSE Middle East Centre has been committed to rigorous research of the societies, economies, politics and cultures of the Middle East and North Africa. This event, as part of the Centre’s 10th anniversary campaign, will look at some of the main challenges facing the region and its people over the next few years, and how the discipline of Middle East Studies should be adapting to address the areas of ecological and demographic change, healthcare in the region, and decolonising the study of the ‘Middle East’. As researchers become more and more preoccupied with understanding the implications of living in the so-called Anthropocene, there is still limited work on the impact of climatic stresses in MENA countries, including their relationship with demographic shifts, rapid urbanisation, natural resources depletion and growing pollution. Protracted conflicts in the region have undoubtedly led to decimated healthcare systems, and in the absence of a collective regional response to the COVID-19 pandemic, national measures have amplified inequalities between and within countries in terms of access to adequate healthcare. Academia is facing long and overdue calls to recognise and address unexamined legacies of colonial domination, notably around race, gender and sexuality. Students are at the forefront of these demands, which stretch beyond the teaching curriculum to research and university governance. It was an Orientalist gaze that created the ‘Middle East’, and other geographical imaginaries (e.g. ‘Western Asia’) may now be more appropriate. Decolonising Middle East Studies could take up an entire webinar in itself, so we are focusing on one particular element of decolonisation - writing about race in the Middle East.
92 minutes | 5 months ago
The Future of the (non-)Maghreb: The Least Integrated Region on the Planet (Webinar)
This webinar was organised with the Society for Algerian Studies. In 1990, a year after the creation of the Arab Maghreb Union (UMA), the then-King of Morocco, Hassan II, best summed up pan-Maghreb ambitions stating that: “our aim is to turn the Arab Maghreb into one country with one passport... one identity and a single currency”. Thirty years on, very little has been achieved at the leadership-level in integrating these countries, therefore defying the economic forces of gravity. The last meeting of the UMA that brought together all five members was in 1994, with the borders between Algeria and Morocco closed ever since. Tensions over the Western Sahara issue also continue to obstruct relations between the two regional heavyweights. The webinar explored the historical background, political rationale behind, and economic consequences of the stalled Maghreb Union project. Panellists covered various perspectives as well as highlighted opportunities facing the least (economically) integrated region in the world.
25 minutes | 5 months ago
Special Episode: Food of the Middle East with Claudia Roden & Sami Zubaida
On this special episode of Instant Coffee as part of our 10-year anniversary celebrations, we spoke with renowned food writers Claudia Roden and Sami Zubaida reflecting on all things gastronomic in the Middle East! Claudia Roden is a food writer and cultural anthropologist. Born and brought up in Cairo, she is best known as the author of Middle Eastern cookbooks including 'A Book of Middle Eastern Food', 'The New Book of Middle Eastern Food' and 'Arabesque—Sumptuous Food from Morocco, Turkey and Lebanon'. Sami Zubaida is Emeritus Professor of Politics and Sociology at Birkbeck, and also holds posts as Professorial Research Associate at the Food Studies Centre at the School of Oriental and African Studies. Born in Iraq, he is the co-author of 'Food, Politics and Society: Social Theory and the Modern Food System' and 'Taste of Thyme: Culinary Cultures of the Middle East' co-edited with R. Tapper.
86 minutes | 5 months ago
Kuwait goes to the Polls: Discussing the 2020 Parliamentary Elections (Webinar)
Held on 8 December 2020, this Kuwait Programme, LSE Middle East Centre event was a discussion about the 2020 parliamentary elections in Kuwait. After Kuwaitis go to the polls on 5 December amidst the Covid-19 pandemic and increasing anxieties about the country’s fiscal positions, top experts in Kuwaiti elections come together to discuss the results and what they mean for Kuwait under the new amir, Sheikh Nawaf. With the return of much of the cross-ideological opposition after a four-year boycott (2012-2016), the continued political activism of Kuwait’s tribes, and a variety of secular and Islamist blocs contesting the elections, they are an important bellwether of Kuwaiti politics and the likely direction of policymaking. Further, the appointment of a new cabinet after the election will also signal the priorities of the new executive moving forward. Abdullah al-Khonaini completed his MA in Power, Participation, and Social Change from the Institute of Development Studies at Sussex University. He co-founded 'Raqib50', an online parliament watch that holds Kuwaiti parliamentarians accountable by making their voting records accessible to the public. His research interests include a focus on civil society, dynamics of informal civic groups and participation, postcolonial identity and belonging in the Gulf. Alanoud Al-Sharekh is the Director of Ibtkar Strategic Consultancy, leading political, leadership and diversity training programs in Kuwait and the GCC region. She is chairperson of the Chaillot award winning Abolish 153 campaign to end honour killing legislations, and a cofounder of Mudhawis List, a platform to support women running for political office. She is currently an Associate Fellow at the Chatham House MENA Program and Research Fellow at Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington. In 2019 she was named one of the 100 most inspiring and influential women in the world by the BBC. Michael Herb is Professor and Chair of Political Science at Georgia State University. His work focuses on Gulf politics, monarchism and the resource curse. He is the author of The Wages of Oil: Parliaments and Economic Development in Kuwait and the UAE (Cornell University Press, 2014) and All in the Family: Absolutism, Revolution, and Democracy in the Middle Eastern Monarchies (SUNY 1999), in addition to numerous articles. He maintains the Kuwait Politics Database, a comprehensive source of information on Kuwaiti elections. He has twice won Fulbright awards to study in Kuwait. Daniel L. Tavana is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Council on Middle East Studies at the Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale University. His research interests include a focus on elections, identity, and comparative political behaviour, as well as the dynamics of political opposition in authoritarian regimes. Previously, Daniel was a Research Associate at the Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED) in Washington, DC. He completed his BA at the University of Pennsylvania, an MPhil in International Relations at the University of Cambridge, and an MPP at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Courtney Freer is an Assistant Professorial Research Fellow at the Middle East Centre. Her work focuses on the domestic politics of the Gulf states, particularly the roles played by Islamism and tribalism. Her book Rentier Islamism: The Influence of the Muslim Brotherhood in Gulf Monarchies, based on her DPhil thesis at the University of Oxford and published by Oxford University Press in 2018, examines the socio-political role played by Muslim Brotherhood groups in Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.
87 minutes | 5 months ago
The Origins of the Syrian Conflict: Climate Change and Human Security (Webinar)
This event was the launch of Marwa Daoudy's latest book 'The Origins of the Syrian Conflict: Climate Change and Human Security'. Does climate change cause conflict? Did it cause the Syrian uprising? Some policymakers and academics have made this claim, but is it true? This study presents a new conceptual framework to evaluate this claim. Contributing to scholarship in the fields of critical security, environmental security, human security, and Arab politics, Marwa Daoudy prioritizes non-Western and marginalized perspectives to make sense of Syria's place in this international debate. Designing an innovative multidisciplinary framework and applying it to the Syrian case, Daoudy uses extensive field research and her own personal background as a Syrian scholar to present primary interviews with Syrian government officials and citizens, as well as the research of domestic Syrian experts, to provide a unique insight into Syria's environmental, economic and social vulnerabilities leading up to the 2011 uprising. Marwa Daoudy is Associate Professor and Seif Ghobash Chair in Arab Studies and International Relations at Georgetown University. Prior to this, Daoudy was a lecturer at Oxford University in the department of Politics and International Relations and a fellow of Oxford’s Middle East Center at St Antony’s College. Her research program in the last decade has generally focused on the intersection of security, politics, law and economics to examine the problems of water and the question of conflict, with a focus on the Middle East. Her main scholarly contributions have focused on three more specific research interests. The first is the relationship between transboundary water resources, power, conflict and cooperation. The second is a critical examination of the climate change-conflict nexus that is applied to developing countries in conflict. The third is the intersection of International Relations theory and Middle East politics in explaining inter-state dynamics in the region after the Arab Spring.
89 minutes | 6 months ago
Mapping Kurdistan: Territory, Self-Determination and Nationalism (Webinar)
This event, as part of the Middle East Centre's Kurdish Studies Series, was a discussion around Zeynep Kaya's latest book Mapping Kurdistan: Territory, Self-Determination and Nationalism. Since the early twentieth-century, Kurds have challenged the borders and national identities of the states they inhabit. Nowhere is this more evident than in their promotion of the 'Map of Greater Kurdistan', an ideal of a unified Kurdish homeland in an ethnically and geographically complex region. This powerful image is embedded in the consciousness of the Kurdish people, both within the region and, perhaps even more strongly, in the diaspora. Addressing the lack of rigorous research and analysis of Kurdish politics from an international perspective, Kaya focuses on self-determination, territorial identity and international norms to suggest how these imaginations of homelands have been socially, politically and historically constructed (much like the state territories the Kurds inhabit), as opposed to their perception of being natural, perennial or intrinsic. Adopting a non-political approach to notions of nationhood and territoriality, Mapping Kurdistan is a systematic examination of the international processes that have enabled a wide range of actors to imagine and create the cartographic image of greater Kurdistan that is in use today. Zeynep Kaya is Visiting Fellow at the LSE Middle East Centre and a Senior Teaching Fellow at the Department of Development Studies at SOAS. Kaya is also an Academic Associate at Pembroke College, University of Cambridge. She is interested in understanding how communities and political groups perceive, interact with and challenge international processes and dominant norms. Her research looks at the relationship between gender, violence and development in conflict and post-conflict contexts.
92 minutes | 6 months ago
Political Repression in Bahrain Webinar
This event was a discussion around Marc Owen Jones' latest book Political Repression in Bahrain. Exploring Bahrain's modern history through the lens of repression, this concise and accessible account spans the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, looking at all forms of political repression from legal, statecraft, police brutality and informational controls. Considering several episodes of contention in Bahrain, from tribal resistance to the British reforms of the 1920s, the rise of the Higher Executive Committee in the 1950s, the leftist agitation of the 1970s, the 1990s Intifada and the 2011 Uprising, Marc Owen Jones offers never before seen insights into the British role in Bahrain, as well as the activities of the Al Khalifa Ruling Family. From the plundering of Bahrain's resources, to new information about the torture and murder of Bahrain civilians, this study reveals new facts about Bahrain's troubled political history. Using freedom of information requests, historical documents, interviews, and data from social media, this is a rich and original interdisciplinary history of Bahrain over one hundred years. Marc Owen Jones is Assistant Professor in Middle East Studies and Digital Humanities at Hamad bin Khalifa University, Doha. Prior to this, he was a Lecturer in Gulf History at Exeter University, where he remains an Honorary Research Fellow. Before that, Jones won a Teach at Tuebingen award, and wrote and delivered an MA module in Gulf Politics at Tuebingen University’s Institute for Political Science. He recently completed his PhD (funded by the AHRC/ESRC) in 2016 at Durham University, where he wrote an interdisciplinary thesis on the history of political repression in Bahrain. The thesis won the 2016 dissertation prize from the Association for Gulf and Arabian Peninsula Studies. Driven by issues of social justice and a specific area interest in the Gulf, his research spans a number of topics, from historical revisions, postcolonialism, de-democratization and revolutionary cultural production, to policing, digital authoritarianism and human rights. At the moment, Jones is working a number of topics, including propaganda and Twitter bots, mapping sectarian hate speech, and archival work related to Bahrain and land appropriation.
77 minutes | 6 months ago
The Politics of Migration in Modern Egypt: Strategies for Regime Survival in Autocracies
This event was a discussion around Gerasimos Tsourapas' latest book The Politics of Migration in Modern Egypt: Strategies for Regime Survival in Autocracies. In this ground-breaking work, Tsourapas examines how migration and political power are inextricably linked, and enhances our understanding of how authoritarian regimes rely on labour emigration across the Middle East and the Global South. Tsourapas identifies how autocracies develop strategies to tie cross-border mobility to their own survival, highlighting domestic political struggles and the shifting regional and international landscape. In Egypt, the ruling elite has long shaped labour emigration policy in accordance with internal and external tactics aimed at regime survival. Tsourapas draws on a wealth of previously-unavailable archival sources in Arabic and English, as well as extensive original interviews with Egyptian elites and policy-makers in order to produce a novel account of authoritarian politics in the Arab world. The book offers a new insight into the evolution and political rationale behind regime strategies towards migration, from Gamal Abdel Nasser's 1952 Revolution to the 2011 Arab Uprisings. Gerasimos Tsourapas is Senior Lecturer in Middle East Politics at the University of Birmingham. He works on the politics of migrants, refugees, and diasporas in the Middle East and the broader Global South. He has also written on the international dimension of authoritarianism. His first book, The Politics of Migration in Modern Egypt - Strategies for Regime Survival in Autocracies (Cambridge University Press, 2019), was awarded the 2020 ENMISA Distinguished Book Award by the International Studies Association. Tsourapas has published in International Studies Quarterly, International Migration Review, International Political Science Review, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, and other leading journals. He has held research fellowships at Harvard University (2019–20) and the American University in Cairo (2013–14). Ibrahim Awad is Professor of Practice in Global Affairs and Director, Center for Migration and Refugee Studies, School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, at the American University in Cairo. He has worked for the League of Arab States, the United Nations and the International Labour Organization, holding positions of Secretary of the Commission, UN-ESCWA, Director, ILO Sub-regional Office for North Africa and Director, ILO International Migration Programme. He currently is Chair of the Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development (KNOMAD), hosted by the World Bank, Chair of the Steering Committee of the Euro-Mediterranean Research Network on International Migration (EuroMedMig) and Senior Fellow at the Migration Policy Centre (MPC) of the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva. Join the conversation on Twitter using #LSEEgypt
102 minutes | 6 months ago
Environmental Justice in the Middle East: Activism, Resistance, and Decolonisation
Co-organised with Jadaliyya and the Arab Studies Institute, this roundtable focuses on environmental justice, analysing the ways in which approaches to environmental studies—across disciplines ranging from international law to geography and urban planning—have traditionally overlooked and under-emphasised the critical roles of communities directly impacted by environmental injustice. Focusing on environmental justice struggles in locations including Palestine, the Golan Heights, Lebanon, and Iraq, this conversation will explore transnational linkages between efforts and struggles in the Middle East, the United States, and elsewhere. Speakers will discuss the power of community-driven activism, organising, and resistance to forms of environmental injustice such as water access denial, land dispossession, and forced exposure to toxins. The discussion will address how inclusive cities are a core component of a comprehensive approach to environmental justice, particularly in the wake of the August 2020 Beirut explosion. Speakers will discuss how recognising and understanding the experiences of communities contending with protracted environmental injustice at the local level are critical to fully understanding the implications of international environmental injustice and the climate crisis. How have narrow definitions of environmental justice shaped policies? And how are communities resisting this repression?
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