CALL FOR PAPERS
A joint conference by The University of Melbourne and Freedom House
The Middle East in Revolt: the First Anniversary
International Conference 17-18 March 2012
Carillo Gantner Theatre, Sidney Myer Asia Centre
University of Melbourne, Australia
This conference is a welcome opportunity to revisit the Arab revolution on its first anniversary. The fall of the government in Tunisia in January 2011 was soon followed by the departure of President Hosni Mubarak in Egypt. The popular uprising spread rapidly to other Arab states, threatening entrenched regimes and the status quo. In Libya the uprising turned into a bloody civil war. While many observers have drawn parallels with the crumbling of the Soviet bloc and the eastward spread of democracy to Eastern Europe, the outcome of the Arab uprising is far from clear. This popular uprising has challenged authoritarian rule and highlighted the widespread desire for political accountability and responsible government. Yet it may be premature to celebrate the 'Arab Spring' as heralding democracy to the region. Democracy in the Middle East remains a difficult and long-term project.
About the Conference
This conference will bring together key Australian and international scholars in a significant two day event designed to foster high-level analysis and debate. This conference is aimed at examining the prospects of democracy in the Middle East by exploring some key factors:
1. What have been the motivating factors for the Arab revolt?
2. How relevant is Political Islam to this popular uprising?
3. How does the popular uprising for political accountability relate to sectarian divisions?
4. How has Obama's Mid-East policy impacted on the popular push for democracy?
5. What role has the new media played in the spread of the popular uprising?
6. Does the 'Arab street' speak with one voice?
7. Where is the Arab revolution going?
A panel of international and regional experts in the field is being assembled to ensure that this is the leading and most up-to-date event on this timely theme. Some of the confirmed speakers include:
. Professor Laura Guazzone, Professor of Contemporary History of the Arab Countries, Italian Institute of Oriental Studies, University of Rome La Sapienza , Italy
. Professor Emma Murphy, Professor in the School of Government and International Affairs, Durham University, UK
. Professor George Joffe, Research Fellow and Affiliate Lecturer at the Centre for International Studies, University of Cambridge, UK
. Mansoura Ez-Eldin, Egyptian Novelist and Cultural Editor of Akhbar al-Adab (Literary News) in Egypt.
. Professor Amin Saikal, Professor of Political Science and Director of the Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies (The Middle East and Central Asia), The Australian National University
. Professor Baghat Korany, Director of the AUC Forum and Professor in the Department of Political Science at The American University in Cairo.
. Professor Shahram Akbarzadeh (Convenor)
. Dr Kylie Baxter
. Associate Professor Richard Pennell
. Charles W. Dunne (Freedom House)
SUBMISSION OF ABSTRACTS
Abstracts are being accepted for papers that closely relate to the conference theme and issues to be explored. Accepted papers may have the opportunity to be included in a conference publication.
Deadline. 1 October 2011.
Contact: Faiza Muhammad, Conference Secretary on
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