Beyond the Arab Spring Michaelmas 2012

Thursdays 11 & 25 October, 8 & 22 November 2012
Time: 5.15 – 6.45pm
Place: Pembroke College and Alison Richard Building, University of Cambridge


Programme (subject to change):

11 October 2012 (Nihon Room, Pembroke College)
Raphaël Lefèvre
‘The fragmentation of Syria’

25 October 2012 (Nihon Room)
Dr Avi Raz
‘The roots of failure in the West Bank: the Eshkol government in the immediate aftermath of the June 1967 War’

8 November 2012 (Thomas Gray Room, Pembroke College)

George Joffé
‘Libya – a security crisis’

22 November 2012 (Thomas Gray Room,Pembroke College)
Dr Salah Edin Elzein
‘Sudan in the era of Arab Uprisings’

29 November 2012 (Room S1, Alison Richard Building, Sidgwick Site)
Dr Toby Dodge
‘Left behind? Iraqi politics, the Arab Spring and the consequences of exogenous regime change’


Series convened by the Centre of Islamic Studies and the Department of Politics and International Studies


At the end of 2010 a series of demonstrations shook the Arab world from Iraq to Morocco.  They began as desperate protests against sudden escalations in food and energy prices which, by the beginning of 2011, had been transformed into demonstrations of frustration and rejection of the autocratic governments that had dominated Arab countries since the end of the colonial period sixty years before.  The demonstrators called for dignity, respect and democracy in place of the repression and intolerance that had characterized the region in which they lived, often with covert support from the developed world.

Today, some eighteen months later, we face a region where politics have been dramatically transformed.  Some regimes have disappeared, either relatively peacefully or through outright war.  In others, despite apparent change, regimes have held on to power, adjusting to popular demand and even co-opting it to ensure their control.  In Syria, in the heart of the Levant, a civil war looms, with incalculable implications for the states that surround it, whilst in the Gulf, change has been successfully resisted – at least for now.  Meanwhile surrounding states – Turkey and Iran chief amongst them – face a diplomatic environment which is unpredictable and uncertain.

These changes have been so radical and, in some ways, so unpredictable (and unpredicted), that understanding the new contours of the Arab world calls for constant reassessment of established paradigms and conventional interpretation.  The Seminar series ‘Beyond the Arab Spring’ is an attempt to do this by examining the themes and patterns that are emerging in the Arab world as the lengthy and often painful process of transition evolves.  The seminars take place every second week of term and are held in Pembroke College at 5.15pm on Thursday evenings.  Each seminar lasts for one-and-a-half hours and refreshments are provided.  Do join us!

Professor Yasir Suleiman; FAMES, Cambridge Centre of Islamic Studies and King’s College, Cambridge.
George Joffé; POLIS, Cirmena

The event is free and open to all (poster).

Refreshments will be served.

Map is available here.