Join the Middle East Studies Forum for a conversation between The Age’s Maher Mughrabi and Professor Shahram Akbarzadeh on the Hobbesian social contract in the Middle East.

In this conversation, Maher Mughrabi builds on his 2015 Arena essay titled ‘Hunting Leviathan in the Middle East.’ Mughrabi argues that competing governmental forces across the Middle East – Israelis and Palestinians, Iranians and Saudi Arabians, the “axis of resistance” and the forces of “stability” and even the increasingly extreme anti-national Islamists who are currently in retreat – are competing to offer restive Middle Eastern populations a Hobbesian social contract. Such a contract, however, can never be secure in the absence of political enfranchisement.

Download the event flyer here.


12:00pm – 1:30pm Monday 9 September
Level 2, Building BC, Deakin University Burwood

Please RSVP to by 3 September for catering purposes.

Speaker bio

Maher Mughrabi is Features Editor at The Age and from 2014 to 2017, was Foreign Editor of The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, during which time those papers’ foreign reporting won four Walkley Awards, including a Gold Walkley for reporting from Mosul during its liberation from the so-called Islamic State. He has worked in newspapers for 24 years, including stints at The Independent, The Scotsman, The Daily Mail and the Khaleej Times.