MEC Friday Seminar - The Middle East: Should We Give Up?

About the seminar:

In many places in the Middle East, and in various ways, the region’s people continue to thrive: in business, art, music and other fields. Yet Middle Eastern states are undergoing a profound social and political transformation in the aftermath of the Arab uprisings and the civil wars these sprouted. The region has seen the collapse of state systems and, in some cases, the return of inherently brittle “fierce” states, while others are merely trying to stay afloat. Never coherent as a cultural, much less a political, entity, the region is coming apart at the seams. External actors, in Europe and elsewhere, are substantially affected by what is happening. But is there a role for these actors in halting and even reversing the downward slide, given the enormity of the challenge and a history of destructive external intervention? And if so, how should they go about doing so?

About the speaker:

Joost Hiltermann is Program Director, Middle East & North Africa, at the International Crisis Group, for which he has worked in various capacities since 2002. Before that, he was Executive Director of the Arms Division of Human Rights Watch (1994-2002) and database and research coordinator at the Palestinian human rights organisation Al-Haq in Ramallah (1985-1990). He holds a PhD in Sociology from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and is author of A Poisonous Affair: America, Iraq, and the Gassing of Halabja (Cambridge, 2007), and Behind the Intifada: Labor and Women’s Movements in the Occupied Territories (Princeton, 1991). He has been a frequent contributor to The New York Review of Books, The London Review of Books, The New York Times, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, The Atlantic, Middle East Report, and other publications, and has given multiple talks on issues pertaining to the MENA region.