Conference : “A New Agenda ? Debating the Middle East and Central Asia Conference” — Centre for Arab & Islamic Studies, Canberra, 03-04/07/2015

Date and time: 

Friday, July 3, 2015 – 09:00Saturday, July 4, 2015 – 17:00


Centre for Arab & Islamic Studies, Ellery Cres, Building 127, ANU, Canberra

A New Agenda? Debating the Middle East and Central Asia
Early Career Researcher Conference

Opening Address:
Mr Ric Wells, Deputy Secretary, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australian Government

Keynote Speaker:
Prof. Shahram Akbarzadeh,
ARC Future Fellow, Centre for Citizenship and Globalisation, Deakin University, Victoria

Are tried and tested narratives providing adequate explanations for the new challenges and changing circumstances in the Middle East and Central Asia?

The ‘War on Terror’, the post-intervention chaos in Iraq, the emergence of the Islamic State and various domestic uprisings, are prime examples of political dynamics that continue to challenge academics’ understanding of the Middle East. Enduring twentieth century themes, such as the Arab-Israeli conflict, accompany these dramatic changes. Meanwhile, Central Asia has evolved into a battleground for business, security and political influence between major powers. With aging political leaders, Islamic militancy and the NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan, Central Asia will keep academics busy investigating developments in this diverse and dynamic region.

The conference will at once be an audit of how scholars have long approached and viewed the region and a chance for early career researchers engaged in cutting-edge research to grapple with urgent challenges facing Middle Eastern and Central Asian studies. The panels will be engaging the following topics: Changing Perceptions of the Middle East; New Agendas in Foreign Policy; Islamic State and the State of Islam in the Middle East and Central Asia; Limits to Power: The State and Civil society in the Middle East; Stability in the Central Asian Nations; Boundaries and Borders in the Middle East and Central Asia; Resistance: Protest and Revolution in the Contemporary Middle East;  and Media Perspectives on the Middle East and Central Asia.

Draft Program

Registrations are now closed – as the conference is fully subscribed.

For more information, please contact conference organisers.

Conference accomodation, maps and other useful information

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