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Dr. Mason Visits Princeton University

On April 11, 2019, Dr. Robert Mason presented his research on Saudi political economy to students, scholars and members of the public in The Institute for the Transregional Study of the Contemporary Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia. The presentation included an introduction from Professor Bernard Haykel and Dr. Makio Yamada acted as discussant. The presentation formed part of Dr. Mason's stay at Princeton as a Visiting Scholar. 

Why Democratic Populist Foreign Policies are Doomed to Disappoint

On March 31, 2019, Professor Andrew Moravcsik, Director of the European Union Program at Princeton University, gave a lecture at MESC titled "Why Democratic Populist Foreign Policies are Doomed to Disappoint". In front of a mixed audience of students and journalists he discussed the zero-sum approach of populist politicians and their false claims that politics is simple and always just. He made his case using a number of examples from Europe and the United States. 

Between Values and Security: Migration as Multi-Dimensional Challenge to the EU and MENA-States

On March 21, 2019, Dr Alexander Neidermeier, DAAD Visiting Professor at Cairo University gave a public lecture “Between Values and Security: Migration as Multi-Dimensional Challenge to the EU and MENA-States”. Dr Neidermeier highlighted the progression of EU capabilities and institutionaliation, EU member state contexts, relations, legal issues and impact in the MENA region. The event brought to a close a series of eight EU supported public lectures which MESC  has hosted at the AUC Tahrir Square campus.

MESC wishes to thank all the speakers who have taken part in the series, including

Alexander Niedermeier, Visiting Professor, Faculty of Economics and Political Science, Cairo University
Ian Black, Visiting Senior Fellow, Middle East Centre, The London School of Economics and Political Science
Eckart Woertz, Senior Research Fellow, Barcelona Centre for International Affairs (CIDOB)
Martin Beck, Professor, Center for Contemporary Middle East Studies, The University of Southern Denmark in Odense
Florence Gaub, Deputy Director, European Union Institute for Security Studies
James Moran, Associate Senior Research Fellow, The Centre for European Policy Studies, Brussels
Steven Blockmans, Senior Research Fellow, The Centre for European Policy Studies, Brussels
Marco Giuli, Policy Analyst, European Policy Centre, Brussels
Eduard Soler, Senior Researcher and scientific coordinator of the MENARA Project, Barcelona Centre for International Affairs

Workshop: Challenge by the Decreased Price of Oil: Adjustment Policies in the Arab Gulf and Beyond since 2014
On March 14 and 15 2019, Dr. Mason travelled to Beirut, Lebanon, to take part in an academic workshop titled "Challenged by the Decreased Price of Oil: Adjustment Policies in the Arab Gulf and Beyond since 2014". His contribution was a presentation and a paper on Saudi structural reform and the prospects for diversification in the Kingdom. The two-day event was hosted by the Lebanese Oil and Gas Initiative and the German Institute of Global and Area Studies.

Reformulating UK - European Relations After Brexit: Implications for the MENA region
On November 13, 2018, Mason gave a presentation at the Faculty of Economics and Political Science at Cairo University titled "Reformulating UK - European Relations After Brexit: Implications for the MENA region." The talk was attended by students and faculty in the Euro-Med program.


BUE Students and Faculty visits MESC 

On November 1, 2018, Mason met with undergraduate political science students and faculty from the British University in Egypt to discuss the Diploma and MA Middle East Studies at AUC. The morning event also included a broader discussion about preparing for further study, maximizing exposure to opportunities in the field, and general careers advice.


Power Struggle in the Early Turkish Republic

On September 19, 2018, Professor Hakan Özoğlu from the University of Central Florida gave a talk titled "Power Struggle in the Early Turkish Republic". It focused on the transition period (1918-1923) from the collapse of the Ottoman Empire to the emerging of the Turkish Republic. Covering three major political/judicial maneuvers, it demonstrated how opposition to and within the emerging Turkish regime was addressed during those pivotal years, and how the resulting power struggle contributed to the form of the new state that arose.


Professor Yahia Zoubir from KEDGE Business School in Marseille visits MESC

In the Spring 2018 semester, Prof. Yahia Zoubir from KEDGE Business School in Marseille visited the Middle East Studies Center as Visiting Professor. During his time at the center, he engaged with students and gave a talk on 'Security Challenges in the Maghreb: The Nexus between Bad Governance and Violent Extremism' with particular reference to his personal and professional experiences of Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Mali and Niger. He also participated in a workshop on the Mediterranean and transnational security which took place at the New Cairo campus in May 2018. He will also participate in an edited volume along with the other participants.


Life Trajectories of Islamic Activists: from Egypt to South Africa

On Sunday, May 13, 2018, Professor Abdulkader Tayob from the University of Cape Town gave an insightful talk about the life trajectories of Islamic Activists in Africa with a special focus on Egypt. Instead of studying religious activism in the form of collective movements, Tayob is more interested in understanding the diverse personal dimensions of activism as lived and practiced by the individual. Thus biographies, interviews and conversations become his main sources for understanding how, for instance, Muslim activists choose and stay within a certain religious group. As such, the talk raised important questions about Islam in Africa and the value of a 'biographical approach' to scholarship. 


Security Challenges in the Maghreb

On May 10, 2018, Professor Yahia Zoubir from KEDGE Business School in Marseille gave an excellent talk titled 'Security Challenges in the Maghreb: The Nexus between Bad Governance and Violent Extremism'. Drawing on his personal experience of Algeria and research interests in Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Mali and Niger, he provided a broad overview of the drivers of violent extremism. He spoke about socio-economic issues, border control, role conception in foreign policy, international cooperation and the role of external actors such as France, Italy and the US. His conclusions were both policy-relevant and insightful for any scholar of the Maghreb region and those studying the dynamics of insecurity and conflict.


Nathan Birnbaum and the Colonialist-Orientalist Nexus in Zionism

On Wednesday, April 18, 2018 Professor Michael J. Reimer of the History Department presented a lunchtime talk titled “Nathan Birnbaum and the Colonialist-Orientalist Nexus in Zionism”. His talk focused on contrasting colonial projects of Europe in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries with the (disputed) colonialist nature of Zionism.  He suggested that Zionism was unlike European colonial ventures because the Zionists didn’t have a “colonial state” from which to control the Palestinians (unlike the British in Egypt, who had Britain to return to and gain power from). He mentioned that the original Zionists purchased land instead of conquering it, that the Jewish and Arab economies were separated, and that Zionism reflected a “migration of persecuted and impoverished masses to a new location”, which contrasted much of European colonialism, which conquered land, decimated the local economy, and introduced wealthy Europeans into the native population. However, Professor Reimer cautioned, one could argue that Zionists pursued settler colonialism, constructed their self-definitions through institutions and that the colonizer-colonized dynamic (especially in regards to controlling land) was obvious in Palestine.


Professor Reimer introduced the audience to a key figure, Nathan Birnbaum, who was the first person to propagate Zionism in a cultural sense that didn’t necessarily require statehood. He described how Birnbaum thought that the Jews needed Palestine for practical and popular reasons, more than the religious right. However, he mentioned, Birnbaum ended up defecting from Zionism. Professor Reimer argued that Birnbaum represented the colonialist-orientalist discourse surrounding Zionism in its creation and implementation and that this had significant ripples in Zionist historiography. He continued his talk by comparing and contrasting Nathan Birnbaum and Theodor Herzl, demonstrating how they both participated in colonialist-orientalist informed discourse. The session came to a close and Professor Reimer asked and answered questions from the audience.


European Union grant

The Middle East Studies Center wins European Commission grant to promote dialogue between academic scholars, policy professionals in Egypt and the European policymakers.


Professor Aly Erfan Addresses Asian Ambassadors in Egypt

Ambassador Aly Erfan, professor of practice at MESC, was the guest speaker at the Asian Ambassadors’ Group Meeting on January 23, 2018 where he addressed the issue of “The Arab League as a Regional Arrangement: What Went Wrong."

Erfan drew on his personal experience as the political adviser and chef de cabinet of the secretary-general of the Arab League from 2011 to 2016 and in the Cabinet Foreign Minister of Egypt from 1994 to 2006 when he was in charge of regional and international peace and security issues."


Past News and Events here