About the Middle East Studies Forum

The Middle East Studies Forum (MESF) is a network of world-class researchers and educators hosted by the Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation at Deakin University in the field of Middle East and Central Asia studies and languages. MESF manages a number of high-profile international grants and teaching initiatives, regularly hosts international and national events and seminars, and runs a biannual Middle East studies conference.

MESF is convened by Professor Shahram Akbarzadeh. We are a collaborative network open to researchers, research students, policy-makers, media professionals and anyone interested in the region. We are well-placed to conduct and collaborate on high-profile international research and teaching initiatives relating to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

MESF focuses on the following topics in relation to contemporary Middle East and Central Asia:

  • International Relations, security and foreign policy dynamics
  • The rapidly changing nature of civil society and democracy
  • The emergence of sub-state groups
  • Defining the ‘Middle East’ and examining how it has been constructed and understood in the ‘West’
  • The role of minorities and women across the regions
  • The complex and overlapping histories of the region and its myriad languages, cultures and political movements
  • Utilising interdisciplinary approaches and methodologies as the basis for understanding the complexities of the region.
  • The need for innovative teaching and the supervision of higher degree work in the field


About the Alfred Deakin Institute

The Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation (ADI) is an internationally recognised and highly regarded social sciences and humanities research institute. Researchers in the Institute create cutting-edge knowledge about citizenship, diversity, inclusion and globalisation which informs scholarship, debate and policy. It has a vibrant research environment supporting excellence, innovation and collaboration among theorists and problem-oriented researchers who look at critical and contentious social issues. Members are supported through mentoring and training schemes, particularly early career researchers and doctoral students.

The Institute hosts a number of research networks, including The Middle East Studies Forum which provide a forum for the exchange of ideas and international collaboration helping to strengthen our local and global partnerships.

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