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The Middle East Studies Forum (MESF) is a leading centre of scholarship on the Middle East at the Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation at Deakin University. MESF hosts world-class projects and scholarship in the field of Middle East and Central Asian studies and languages.


MESF manages a number of high-profile international projects and teaching initiatives, including projects sponsored by Carnegie Corporation of New York, Gerda Henkel Stiftung and the Australian Research Council. MESF members provide regular expert comment for media organisations across the globe.


We host regular international and national events and seminars, and run a biennial Middle East studies conference.

Our work

The MESF team is collaborative and welcomes 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).

Convened by Professor Shahram Akbarzadeh, our members work across a diverse range of topics related to the contemporary Middle East and Central Asia, including:

• 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
• Humanitarian challenges
• 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

The Middle East Studies Forum provides a forum for the exchange of ideas and international collaboration helping to strengthen our local and global partnerships.

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