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The Middle East in Transition


With the rapid global changes that have occurred since the start of the COVID pandemic, are established understandings of Middle East politics and society still relevant?

The rise of Russian and Chinese influence in the Middle East means that US hegemony in the region cannot be taken for granted. World events such as the war in Ukraine, the post-pandemic global economy, and the international movement away from fossil fuel sources of energy impact the Middle East in unique ways and are already affecting shifting alliances with Turkey and NATO, and Israel and the Gulf States. In this context, existing academic narratives on the Middle East need to adapt to keep up with these rapid changes.

You can access the Conference flyer here.

You can see the Conference booklet here.

This conference is an opportunity for the next generation of scholars of the Middle East, especially postgraduates, to present their new and exciting ideas in dealing with this shifting landscape.

Keynote Speaker: Prof Sarah Phillips (University of Sydney)
After al-Qa’ida, after ISIS? Violence in the Middle East

Sarah G. Phillips is a Professor of Global Conflict and Development, and an Australian Research Council Future Fellow. Her research draws from years of in-depth fieldwork, and focuses on international intervention in the global south, knowledge production about conflict-affected states, and non-state governance, with a geographic focus on the Middle East and Africa. Sarah believes that studying places that are typically marginalised within International Relations is the best way to understand how the world works.

The conference poses the following questions:

  • Who are the emerging players in the Middle East and what does the future hold for the rivalry of world powers in the region?
  • What is the economic outlook given changes in energy consumption?
  • What is the future for rule of law, sovereignty, and good governance in the region?
  • What does the future hold for women, ethnic and religious minorities and other marginalised groups in the Middle East?
  • How is culture changing in Middle Eastern societies?