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  • Author: Sienna Craig
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University
  • Abstract: For centuries, people from Mustang, Nepal, have relied on agriculture, pastoralism, and trade as a way of life. Seasonal migrations to South Asian cities for trade as well as temporary wage labo abroad and Mustang-based tourism have shaped their experiences for decades. Yet, more recently, permanent migrations to New York City are reshaping lives and social worlds. Drawing on more than two decades of fieldwork and friendship with people in and from Mustang, The Ends of Kinship: Connecting Himalayan Lives between Nepal and New York, the book on which this presentation is based, combines narrative ethnography and short fiction to explore how individuals, families, and communities care for each other and carve out spaces of belonging in and through diaspora, at the nexus of environmental, economic, and cultural change. This presentation will also discuss how COVID-19 has impacted the lives of Himalayan and Tibetan New Yorkers, and how regional cultural practices and Tibetan Buddhist philosophies are shaping responses to this pandemic. This event was organized by the Modern Tibetan Studies Program and cosponsored by the Weatherhead East Asian Institute at Columbia University.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Environment, Diaspora, Ethnography, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: New York, Asia, Nepal, Tibet
  • Author: Thongchai Winichakul, Duncan McCargo, Tyrell Haberkorn, Prajak Kongkirati, Aim Sinpeng, Saowanee Alexander, Kanokrat Lertchoosakul
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University
  • Abstract: Since the emergence of mass student-led rallies in mid-July 2019, political protest has once again become a major focus of interest in Thailand. This year’s Thailand Update (the sixth so far) links discussions of previous rounds of protest – notably the 6 October 1976 events, the subject of a major new 2020 book by Thongchai Winichakul – to ask searching questions about these recent demonstrations.
  • Topic: Politics, History, Domestic politics, Protests, Political Movements
  • Political Geography: Thailand, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Duncan McCargo, Saowanee Alexander, Aim Sinpeng, Kanokrat Lertchoosakul
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University
  • Abstract: Since the emergence of mass student-led rallies in mid-July 2019, political protest has once again become a major focus of interest in Thailand. This year’s Thailand Update (the sixth so far) links discussions of previous rounds of protest – notably the 6 October 1976 events, the subject of a major new 2020 book by Thongchai Winichakul – to ask searching questions about these recent demonstrations.
  • Topic: History, Protests, Political Movements, Demonstrations
  • Political Geography: Thailand, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Luke Patey, Elizabeth Wishnick
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University
  • Abstract: From its Belt and Road Initiative linking Asia and Europe, to its "Made in China 2025" strategy to dominate high-tech industries, to its significant economic reach into Africa and Latin America, China is rapidly expanding its influence around the globe. Many fear that China's economic clout, tech innovations, and military power will allow it to remake the world in its own authoritarian image. But despite all these strengths, a future with China in charge is far from certain. Rich and poor, big and small, countries around the world are recognizing that engaging China produces new strategic vulnerabilities to their independence and competitiveness. Researching the book took Dr. Patey to East Africa, Latin America, Europe, and East Asia over the past five years and he will discuss how countries in these parts of the world are responding to China’s rise and assertiveness. This event was cosponsored by the Weatherhead East Asian Institute, the APEC Study Center and the Columbia Harvard China and the World Program at Columbia University.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Economics, Geopolitics, Soft Power, Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Jason Po-Nien Chen
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University
  • Abstract: This talk was composed of three main sections. First, Dr. Chen introduced the DPP's evolving cross-Strait policy by breaking it down into three respective phrases:1990s, 2000s, and 2010s. Then he explained why the party changed from championing independence versus unification in 1990s; intraparty power struggle between de facto and de jure independence in 2000s; and reach the current position of "opposition to de facto unification under one China" rather than "pursuit of Taiwan de jure independence" in 2010s. Second, he shared his research finding and understanding regarding the DPP's view towards the status quo of cross-Strait relations. Third, he discussed the change and continuity of the DPP's position towards sovereignty and cross-Strait relations. Jason Chen has served in different positions in the Democratic Progressive Party for years mainly covering the party's external relations including cross-Strait relations and national security. His last position with the DPP was advisor (Section of National Security) in New Frontier Foundation, the DPP's think tank.
  • Topic: Sovereignty, Geopolitics, Domestic politics, Political Parties
  • Political Geography: China, Taiwan, Asia
  • Author: Xi Chen, Qi Gao
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University
  • Abstract: A considerable amount of attention has been paid to the relationship between education and the promotion of one’s own health. This talk presents the latest evidence and discusses both the upward and downward multigenerational impacts of educational reforms in China over the past few decades on healthy aging. Cosponsored by the Weatherhead East Asian Institute, the Columbia China Center for Social Policy, and the Columbia School of Social Work.
  • Topic: Education, Health, Aging, Domestic Policy
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Nicola Di Cosmo
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University
  • Abstract: Nicola Di Cosmo, Henry Luce Foundation Professor of East Asian History, Institute for Advanced Study; Associate Member at the Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University Moderated by: Gray Tuttle, Leila Hadley Luce Professor of Modern Tibetan Studies, Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, Columbia University Three decades of climatological research in Mongolia and neighboring regions have transformed our knowledge about the environmental history of Inner Asian empires. The processes that gave rise to these political formations, many of which have played a distinct and crucial role in Chinese history, are still very poorly understood. High-resolution climatic reconstructions, when placed in historical contexts, provide clues about the nomads' responses to climatic variability, and thus illuminate critical nexuses between economic production, social structures, and political change. By illustrating a range of representative historical cases studies, this lecture will explore both the nature of the data and the methods that historians and climatologists have adopted to gauge the impact of climate upon pre-modern nomadic peoples.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, Politics, History, Economy
  • Political Geography: China, Mongolia, Asia
  • Author: Nimrod Goren, Nickolay Mladenov, Nathalie Tocci, Hesham Youssef, Merav Kahana-Dagan
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Mitvim: The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies
  • Abstract: Can Multilateralism Advance Israeli-Palestinian Peace? Mitvim's J Street Panel, April 2021; Speakers: Amb. (ret.) Hesham Youssef Senior Fellow, United States Institute of Peace; Former diplomat with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of 'Egypt, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, and the Arab League; H.E. Nickolay Mladenov Former UN Special Coordinator to the Middle East Peace Process; Former Bulgaria's Minister of Defense and Minister of Foreign Affairs; Dr. Nathalie Tocci Director, Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI, Italy); Special Advisor to EU High Representative and Vice President of the Commission Josep Borrell; Dr. Nimrod Goren Founder and Head, Mitvim - The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies; Teaching Fellow at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Moderator: Merav Kahana-Dagan, Deputy Head, Mitvim - The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Multilateralism, Peace
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Micky Drill, Nimrod Goren, Dan Catarivas, Michele Merloni, Luigi Scazzieri, Noa Ginosar, Maya Sion-Tzidkiyahu
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Mitvim: The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies
  • Abstract: An online conference of the Mitvim Institute, the Israeli Association for the Study of European Integration, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Israel, and the Israel-European Union Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Partnerships, Regional Integration, Industry
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Moussa Sall, Intissar Fakir, Hajar Khamlichi, Thowaba Ben Slema, Houssem Hamdi
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Middle East Institute (MEI)
  • Abstract: Across the MENA region, civil society plays a key role in putting climate on the agenda for governments and the private sector. How are activists and advocates in North Africa building momentum in their communities and globally to address climate change? How can social media, film, and art bridge gaps and create a global demand for greater sustainability? Intissar Fakir will be joined in conversation with leading figures in the fight for climate action in North Africa.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Climate Change, Arts, Social Media, Film, Sustainability
  • Political Geography: Middle East, North Africa
  • Author: Vanessa Badre, Lyne Sneige, Kate Seelye, Denis Quenelle, Nagham Hodaifa, Bady Dalloul
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Middle East Institute (MEI)
  • Abstract: The Middle East Institute's Arts and Culture Center and The Cultural Services of the French Embassy are pleased to host a conversation with leading Syrian contemporary artists, Bady Dalloul and Nagham Hodaifa. The Paris-based artists will reflect on the past decade of conflict and trauma, its impact and influence on their work and their relationship to their homeland. They will be joined by Lyne Sneige, the Director of the Arts & Culture Center at the Middle East Institute. Dalloul grew up in France, the son of prominent Syrian artists. His work confronts the notion of what is real and imagined while challenging the process of writing history. Hodaifa, who left Syria in 2005 to pursue her studies, explores the human condition through the representation of the body. Both artists are in the current MEI Art Gallery exhibit In This Moonless Black Night: Syrian Art After the Uprising, featuring leading contemporary Syrian artists chronicling the hope, trauma, and pain of the past decade through their practice. The artists will be in conversation with Vanessa Badré, art historian, lawyer, and faculty fellow at American University.
  • Topic: Arts, Culture, Conflict, Trauma, Syrian War, Memory
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, France, Syria
  • Author: Silvia Crescimbeni, Vahakn Kabakian, Jessica Obeid
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Middle East Institute (MEI)
  • Abstract: Amid converging political, economic, and humanitarian crises, Lebanon has recently doubled down on its climate ambition for the next ten years. In its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) submission to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the country has revised both its GHG emission reduction targets and renewable-energy-sourced power generation targets upwards. Does climate change bear national security implications for Lebanon today? How can climate-proofed infrastructure projects and low-carbon technologies attract investments, create jobs and support Lebanon’s economic revival post-collapse? How will immediate policy choices and renewable energy integration ensure economic growth and shape the future of critical sectors such as energy, water, food, and transportation? What is the role of climate diplomacy and partnerships in achieving Lebanon's climate ambitions? How can Lebanon ensure that its climate policy does not fall through the cracks?
  • Topic: Climate Change, Economics, National Security, Politics, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Lebanon
  • Author: Gonul Tol, Philip Breedlove, Iulia Joja, Yoruk Isik, Mamuka Tsereteli
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Middle East Institute (MEI)
  • Abstract: Russia’s largest military buildup since the 2014 annexation of Crimea is taking place along the Ukrainian border and in the Black Sea. Moscow has resorted to escalatory measures, announcing the closing of the Kerch Strait and the Azov Sea to foreign ships and cutting off Ukraine’s ability to export. In response, the West has reacted with warnings and invitations to dialogue while Turkey is trying to walk a fine line between Russia and Ukraine. To prevent further escalation of the crisis, much will depend on the Biden administration’s response. What are possible conflict scenarios of Russia towards Ukraine and the Black Sea? What options does the West have in deterring Russian aggression in the region? In what ways is this significant to the long-term US regional strategy? How is Russian military buildup significant not only for Ukraine, but also for the broader stability of the Black Sea region?
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Territorial Disputes, Military Affairs, Navy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Ukraine, Crimea, Black Sea
  • Author: Charles Lister, Vera Mironova, Eric Oehlerich, Mick Mulroy, Sara Kayyali
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Middle East Institute (MEI)
  • Abstract: Two years after the territorial defeat of ISIS in Syria and Iraq, tens of thousands of fighters and associated civilians remain in various forms of detention, with little sign of any meaningful solution to their status. Until now, few Western governments have proven willing to repatriate their citizens, choosing instead to leave them in the region, where security is weak and humanitarian conditions are dire. Multilateral efforts to determine the prospects for localized judicial mechanisms have failed, leaving behind an unsustainable crisis that threatens long-term security. The Middle East Institute (MEI) is pleased to host a panel of experts in this timely and important discussion.
  • Topic: Security, Human Rights, Prisons/Penal Systems, Citizenship, Islamic State, Foreign Fighters
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Lyne Sneige, Lara Haddad, Maymanah Farhat, Kevork Mourad
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Middle East Institute (MEI)
  • Abstract: Marking the launch of the MEI Art Gallery exhibit, In This Moonless Black Night: Syrian Art After the Uprising, MEI is pleased to host a conversation exploring how Syrian artists in exile have addressed the hope, trauma and displacement of the past decade through their art. Among the 14 participating artists, US-based artists Lara Haddad, Essma Imady and Kevork Mourad, as well as curator and writer Maymanah Farhat, will reflect on their artistic practice and the personal experiences that influenced their work over the past 10 years. They'll also examine how the exhibit's diverse imagery and media helps shape our understanding of the magnitude and complexity of the past decade with beauty, grace and humanity. Lyne Sneige, director of MEI's Arts and Culture Center, will moderate the discussion followed by Q&A .
  • Topic: Arts, Culture, Media, Syrian War, Memory
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Christophe Abi-Nassif, Haneen Sayed, Alain Bifani, Nasser Saidi
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Middle East Institute (MEI)
  • Abstract: Lebanon’s financial and socio-economic crises have been unfolding for nearly 18 months. The Lebanese pound is hitting all-time lows against the US dollar. Food prices have soared more than 400% in just one year. In the meantime, foreign currency reserves at the central bank are dangerously depleting. Citizens have lost access to their life savings and more than half now live below the poverty line. The country’s entire financial system is in dire need of restructuring. Amid the worsening financial collapse and growing civil anger, unrest and poverty, an end to the meltdown is yet to be seen. Where does Lebanon stand today, a year after the first sovereign debt default in its history? How did we even get here? What are immediate monetary and fiscal policy priorities to course-correct? What social policies and programs are needed in the immediate term? What can still be saved? Four Lebanese experts with frontline experience will tackle these issues and shed more light on Lebanon’s uncertain financial, economic, and social future as part of the Middle East Institute’s (MEI) Lebanon program’s events series.
  • Topic: Debt, Finance, Economy, Crisis Management
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Lebanon
  • Author: Michael Knights, Hanin Ghaddar, Nadwa Al-Dawsari, Charles Lister
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Middle East Institute (MEI)
  • Abstract: Iran’s influence throughout the Middle East has grown dramatically in the past decade, in large part due to its expanding regional network of militias and their assertion of influence in unstable environments. Through the IRGC’s Quds Force and Iranian allies such as Lebanese Hezbollah, the Popular Mobilization Units (PMUs) in Iraq, and the Houthis in Yemen, Iran’s pursuit of regional hegemony through the removal of Western influence threatens stability. What are the main challenges and threats posed by Iran’s regional network? How best should they be dealt with? Can diplomacy remove the incentive for Iranian proxy aggression? How must the United States and the wider international community respond to Iran’s direct and proxy involvement in conflicts across the Middle East?
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Geopolitics, Transnational Actors, Proxy War
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Iran, Middle East, Yemen, Lebanon
  • Author: Jacki Lyden, Yasmine El Rashid, Kate Seelye
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Middle East Institute (MEI)
  • Abstract: The Middle East Institute's Arts and Culture Center and the Alan Cheuse International Writers Center at George Mason University are pleased to host the second talk in a writers' series marking the 10th anniversary of the Arab uprisings. Launched this past December, Ten Years After The Arab Spring, features the voices of award-winning writers reflecting on the past decade through the lens of their writings and personal experiences. The second book talk in our series features award-winning Egyptian writer Yasmine El Rashidi discussing her debut novel, Chronicle of a Last Summer. Through a young Egyptian woman’s recount of her personal and political coming of age, El Rashidi traces the fine line between survival and complicity, exploring the conscience of a generation raised in fear and silence. Yasmine El Rashidi is in conversation with American author and award-winning journalist Jacki Lyden.
  • Topic: History, Arab Spring, Protests, Memory, Revolution
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Ruba Husari, Samantha Gross, Gerald Feierstein, Jean-Francois Seznec
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Middle East Institute (MEI)
  • Abstract: One of President Biden's most ambitious campaign promises is centered around American energy policy. Biden has vowed to shift away from a traditional focus in oil toward investments in renewable energy sources. Meanwhile, the oil industry in the Middle East is already facing severe repercussions from the coronavirus pandemic. States like Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Lebanon are struggling to replace oil revenue, cutting social benefits and worsening social unrest in the process. Oil has been the economic backbone on which the U.S. and nations in the Middle East have built diplomatic relationships and maintained mutual security interests. How will these crucial bonds be affected by a greener Biden presidency?
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Energy Policy, Oil, Pandemic, Joe Biden
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Saudi Arabia, United States of America
  • Author: Edmund Fitton-Brown, Ken Dilanian, Nadwa Al-Dawsari, Jane Marriott, Aimen Dean
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Middle East Institute (MEI)
  • Abstract: The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 were a dramatic wake up call to the United States and the wider world as to the threats posed by violent jihad. However, more than 20 years later, the challenges remain and efforts to combat the likes of al-Qaeda and ISIS have led to even greater levels of conflict and terrorism itself. With a view to hindsight and an eye focused forwards, this panel will seek to assess the lessons learned from the war on terror since 2001 from a range of international perspectives and to present alternative approaches to dealing with the challenges that prevail today.
  • Topic: Terrorism, History, Counter-terrorism, 9/11
  • Political Geography: Middle East, United States of America
  • Author: Motaz Zahran, Joey Hood, Paul Salem, Gerald Feierstein, Mirette F. Mabrouk
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Middle East Institute (MEI)
  • Abstract: The Middle East has become a kaleidoscope of evolving relationships and developments. Following almost a decade of near chaos, Libya has just elected an interim government, paving the way for a new transition. Despite several new normalization treaties with Arab states, Israel remains deadlocked in perhaps the most urgent of its relationships with Arab states; that with Palestine. A decade of stressful and largely fruitless negotiations between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam is threatening to become even more complicated by Ethiopia’s internal conflicts and the possibility of a civil war spilling over its borders, threatening a fragile transition in Sudan and possibility of stability in the Horn of Africa. Amid all these developments, relationships and alliances are being reformed and reevaluated. Where does Egypt stand on all of these issues? MEI held a private, on the record roundtable discussion with the Ambassador of Egypt to the United States Motaz Zahran and Acting Assistant Secretary of State Joey Hood. MEI President Paul Salem gave an introduction and Senior Vice President Amb Gerald Feierstein and Egypt Programme Director Mirette F Mabrouk moderated the discussion.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Regional Cooperation, Transition
  • Political Geography: Libya, North Africa, North America, Egypt, United States of America
  • Author: Rashida Tlaib, Rashid Khalidi, Umar Al-Ghubari, Mohammed El-Kurd, Lubnah Shomali
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Middle East Institute (MEI)
  • Abstract: Please join a Middle East Institute and Project48 panel featuring Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, Rashid Khalidi and others exploring why the Nakba still matters. Every year on May 15th, millions of Palestinians around the world commemorate the Nakba, or the catastrophe that befell them in 1948. This catastrophe resulted in the dispossession of an estimated 750,000 refugees from historic Palestine, and the uprooting of two-thirds of the Palestinian Arab population and their society in the process of the creation of the State of Israel. 73 years later, the Nakba remains central to Palestinian national identity and political aspirations, as evidenced by the 2018-19 Gaza March of Return and even the recent protests in Jerusalem. However, despite being a core Palestinian grievance, the Nakba continues to be whitewashed or denied outright by pundits, lobbyists, and even policymakers. The Middle East Institute and Project48 are pleased to host an esteemed group of experts to shed light on what transpired in 1948 and why the events of the Nakba still resonate today and remain central to understanding Israel and Palestine. This event is co-sponsored by the Foundation for Middle East Peace, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and the Institute for Palestine Studies.
  • Topic: History, Conflict, Nakba, Palestine
  • Political Geography: Palestine
  • Author: Joey Hood, Elise Labott
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Middle East Institute (MEI)
  • Abstract: At the end of Joe Biden’s first 100 days as President of the United States, The Middle East Institute is pleased to host a special event to assess progress on key priorities and set new policy goals in response to newly emerged challenges. With political turmoil in Jordan, upcoming Palestinian elections, and an opportunity to rebalance engagement with Iran and Gulf partners, many questions remain as to the key priorities for the Biden administration’s agenda. Last month, MEI released The Biden Administration and the Middle East: Policy Recommendations for a Sustainable Way Forward on key geopolitical and strategic areas in the MENA region. This event, which will be opened with a keynote conversation with Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Joey Hood, will convene key authors of the briefing book in a series of panels to reflect on the recommendations and explore opportunities to change course.
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy, American Presidency
  • Political Geography: Middle East, North Africa
  • Author: Anand Menon
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: UK in a Changing Europe, King's College London
  • Abstract: Professor Anand Menon explains the need for social science to play a role in informing public and political debates is as great if not greater than ever, now that the UK is embarking on a new course after Brexit.
  • Topic: European Union, Brexit, Trade
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe
  • Author: Carlos Alvarado Quesada, Michael D. Higgins, Retno Marsudi, Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Winnie Byanyima, Fitsum Assefa Adela, James Love, Mariângela Simão, Alberto Rodriguez, Sarah Cliffe
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: On September 25th, during the 75th anniversary of the United Nations, leaders from around the world came together to call for a fair and equitable approach to the development, production, and distribution of vaccines for COVID-19. This high-level event, hosted by the president of Costa Rica and co-sponsored by the World Health Organization, UNAIDS, and CIC/the Pathfinders for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies, explored ways to ensure universal access to COVID-19 health technologies.
  • Topic: United Nations, Peace, Humanitarian Crisis, governance
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Abe Denmark
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University
  • Abstract: This event was held on September 21, 2020 and featured Abe Denmark, Director of the Asia Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars; Senior Fellow at the Center’s Kissinger Institute on China and the United States; and Adjunct Associate Professor at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. The event was moderated by Tom Christensen, Professor of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University As the Indo-Pacific emerges as the world’s most strategically consequential region and competition with China intensifies, the United States must adapt its approach if it seeks to preserve its power and sustain regional stability and prosperity. Yet as China grows more powerful and aggressive and the United States appears increasingly unreliable, the Indo-Pacific has become riven with uncertainty. These dynamics threaten to undermine the region’s unprecedented peace and prosperity. U.S. Strategy in the Asian Century offers vital perspective on the future of power dynamics in the Indo-Pacific, focusing on the critical roles that American allies and partners can play. Abraham M. Denmark argues that these alliances and partnerships represent indispensable strategic assets for the United States. They will be necessary in any effort by Washington to compete with China, promote prosperity, and preserve a liberal order in the Indo-Pacific. Blending academic rigor and practical policy experience, Denmark analyzes the future of major-power competition in the region, with an eye toward American security interests. He details a pragmatic approach for the United States to harness the power of its allies and partners to ensure long-term regional stability and successfully navigate the complexities of the new era. This event was cosponsored by the Weatherhead East Asian Institute and the Columbia-Harvard China and the World Program
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Partnerships, Alliance, Strategic Stability
  • Political Geography: Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Bi-khim Hsiao
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University
  • Abstract: On October 6, 2020, newly appointed Representative of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to the United States, Bi-khim Hsiao discussed the challenges and opportunities in US-Taiwan relations with Professor Tom Christensen. Representative Bi-khim Hsiao assumed her position as Taiwan’s Representative to the United States in July 2020, after serving as a Senior Adviser to the President at the National Security Council of Taiwan. Representative Hsiao previously served four terms in the Taiwan Legislature, representing overseas citizens for the first term, and then the constituents of Taipei City and Hualien County through different terms. For many years she was ranking member of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee and previously the chair of the USA Caucus in the Legislative Yuan. She began her political career serving as Director of the Democratic Progressive Party International Affairs Department. After Taiwan’s first democratic change of government in 2000, she became an Adviser in the Office of the President, and was international spokesperson for all DPP presidential elections between 2000 and 2012. Representative Hsiao has taken on numerous leadership roles in international organizations. She was the Chair of the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats (CALD), an organization representing Asian democratic political parties. Between 2005 and 2012, she was elected Vice President on the Bureau of Liberal International (LI), a London-based global political party organization. She is also a founding Board Member of the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy. Born in Kobe, Japan, Representative Hsiao grew up in Tainan, a city in southern Taiwan. She has an MA in Political Science from Columbia University in New York and BA in East Asian Studies from Oberlin College, Ohio.
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy, Bilateral Relations, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Taiwan, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Wang Feng
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University
  • Abstract: On October 7, 2020, Wang Feng, Professor of Sociology at UC Irvine joined Columbia's Qin Gao, Professor of Social Policy and Social Work and director of the China Center for Social Policy for an event: "Public Transfers and Inequality in China." With expanded fiscal capacity and rising concerns over economic inequality, the Chinese government in the last decade and a half has vastly rebuilt and expanded its social welfare regime. Using the National Transfer Accounts (NTA) methodology and both micro-level survey data and macro-level government statistics, this study examines the distribution of public transfers in education, health care and pension across generations and income groups in 2014 and compare it with those in 2010. While per capita public transfers in absolute terms remained in favor of higher-income groups and the elderly in 2014, as in 2010, the gap in receiving public transfers between the rich and the poor was reduced notably in this short time period. Public transfers also became more progressive in relative terms, with the bottom income group receiving much higher public transfers relative to their per capita household income than the wealthier groups. These results reveal that although the unequal distribution of public transfers continues and it in part results from the fragmented program design and the legacies of socialist inequalities, China’s expanded social welfare programs have contributed to narrowing the vast income inequality in this country.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Inequality, Welfare
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Xian Huang
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University
  • Abstract: On October 14, 2020, Xian Huang, Assistant Professor of Political Sciencee at Rutgers University joined Qin Gao, Professor of Social Policy and Social Work and director of the China Center for Social Policy for an event: "Social Protection under Authoritarianism: Health Politics and Policy in China." Why would an authoritarian regime expand social welfare provision in the absence of democratization? Yet China, the world's largest and most powerful authoritarian state, has expanded its social health insurance system at an unprecedented rate, increasing enrollment from 20 percent of its population in 2000 to 95 percent in 2012. Significantly, people who were uninsured, such as peasants and the urban poor, are now covered, but their insurance is less comprehensive than that of China's elite. With the wellbeing of 1.4 billion people and the stability of the regime at stake, social health insurance is now a major political issue for Chinese leadership and ordinary citizens. In this book talk, Xian Huang analyzes the transformation of China's social health insurance in the first decade of the 2000s, addressing its expansion and how it is distributed. Drawing from government documents, filed interviews, survey data, and government statistics, she reveals that Chinese leaders have a strategy of "stratified expansion," perpetuating a particularly privileged program for the elites while developing an essentially modest health provision for the masses. She contends that this strategy effectively balances between elites and masses to maximize the regime's prospects of stability.
  • Topic: Democratization, Government, Health, Authoritarianism, Political stability
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Ronald Schramm
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University
  • Abstract: Ronald Schramm, Visiting Associate Professor of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University Moderated by: Shang-Jin Wei, N. T. Wang Professor of Chinese Business and Economy and Professor of Finance and Economics, Columbia Business School Professor Jin Wei will interview Ron Schramm about new and important developments in China’s financial and economic system since the first edition of Schramm's textbook in 2015 (Routledge/Taylor&Francis): China Macro Finance: A US Perspective. Both new reforms and retrenchments in the Chinese economy will be discussed as well as the fraught economic relationship with the United States. Students and scholars of China will benefit by putting their own research in the context of how far China has come and where it is going in terms of economic and financial reform.
  • Topic: Development, Diplomacy, Economics, Reform, Finance, Business
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, United States of America
  • Author: Felicity Aulino, Nicholas Bartlett, Lyle Fearnley, Ting Hui Lau, Emily Ng, Saiba Varma
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University
  • Abstract: Care has become a crucial concern of anthropological inquiry, and current global conditions have renewed its poignancy. To paraphrase Lisa Stevenson, care involves an ethics of attending, corresponding to particular ways that someone (or something) comes to matter. The drive to care, as she and others have noted, is far from innocent, and may be filled with ambivalence whether in intimate or institutional forms. Connecting fieldwork from three provinces in China, Thailand, and contested Kashmir territory, this series brings together the authors of five new books and a dissertation to explore the therapeutic politics of care across multiple logics and scales.
  • Topic: Ethics, Anthropology, Ethnography, Care
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, Kashmir, Thailand
  • Author: Eric Chung, Atsuko Abe, Garcia Liu-Farrer, Michael Sharpe, Takako Hikotani
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University
  • Abstract: This event will discuss the growing debate around whether or not Japan will become a country of immigration and the related and under addressed subject of racism. Japan is one of the few liberal democracies in the world to have successfully resisted immigration in its postwar economy. However, in the last twenty years, immigration in Japan has increased substantially with various side doors for unskilled labor as well as official entry points for skilled labor with options for fast tracked permanent residency. In 2018, Prime Minister Abe proposed some 500,000 unskilled workers by 2025 to fill jobs in industries with labor shortages while at the same time declaring that this is not an immigration policy. In the face of ageing population and low birthrate, Japan find itself at a crossroads of whether, how, and when to accept the increasing reality of immigration as a solution to its demographic decline and labor shortage. Will Japan follow the path of Western liberal democracies in accepting immigrants and extending rights of citizenship? How are immigrants being received? Do immigrants exercise political rights and build coalition with other marginalized groups? What is the role of race, ethnicity, and racism in all of this? Will Japan go the way of Western liberal democracies or in the direction of illiberal autocracies such as Saudi Arabia or United Arab Emirates. This event will provide an opportunity to discuss issues of immigration and racism in Japan. It will bring together leading scholars in the field of immigration and racism with a focus on Japan.
  • Topic: Demographics, Labor Issues, Immigration, Democracy, Racism
  • Political Geography: Japan, Asia
  • Author: Duncan McCargo, Andrew J. Nathan
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University
  • Abstract: Thai politics have been extremely polarized in recent years: “yellow” (conservative) versus “red” (pro-Thaksin) contestations have divided the country, reflecting deep-rooted regional, class and identity cleavages. But Thailand’s newest cleavage, apparent only since 2018, is a generational divide that cuts across all other categories. Generation Z – Thais under 25 – seem to have a radically different understanding of themselves from older people. Digital natives who grew up online, and access information, virtually are rejecting deference, hierarchy and paternalism. They voted in large numbers for the short-lived Future Forward Party, which became the third largest party in the Thai parliament after the March 2019 elections. Since the dissolution of Future Forward by the Constitutional Court on 21 February 2020, many of these young people have become profoundly alienated from Thailand’s state and society, and have taken to the streets to demand far-reaching reforms. This talk will examine how intra-generational contestation is re-shaping Thailand’s politics.
  • Topic: Politics, Science and Technology, Reform, Political Parties, Generation
  • Political Geography: Asia, Thailand
  • Author: Syaru Shirley Lin, C. Jason Wang, Vincent Wang, Andrew J. Nathan
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University
  • Abstract: During the coronavirus crisis, what was expected to be one of the hardest hit countries in the world has not only fared relatively well so far, but is now being widely lauded as a success story—Taiwan. With a population of 23.4 million, Taiwan has only reported 440 confirmed cases and seven deaths as of May 12. This panel will explore a series of questions. How did Taiwan manage the crisis and what are the secrets of its success so far? What are the risks that the pandemic could still worsen in Taiwan? How has the Covid-19 crisis affected Taiwan’s relations with mainland China? What has Taiwan done to assist other countries in managing the pandemic? How has Taiwan’s exclusion from World Health Organization (WHO) meetings and activities affected its ability both to manage the crisis at home, and to contribute to international management of the crisis? What can other countries learn from Taiwan about managing pandemic disease? What paths are available for Taiwan to contribute to global public health efforts? Has the crisis affected global support for Taiwan’s membership in the WHO? What are the implications for Taiwan’s global status beyond the WHO?
  • Topic: Public Health, Pandemic, COVID-19, Health Crisis
  • Political Geography: Taiwan, Asia
  • Author: Andrey Makarychev, Elizabeth Wishnick, Andrew J. Nathan
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University
  • Abstract: Taiwan and Estonia are known as digital democracies. As both face threats from neighbors, their degree of digitization typically has been seen as a vulnerability. The DNS attack from Russia that Estonia faced in 2007 brought home the potential for cyberspace to be used as a domain of war. Similarly Taiwan has faced repeated cyberthreats from the People’s Republic of China. Nonetheless, in their successful responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, Taiwan and Estonia have highlighted the strengths of digital democracy in combating a non-traditional security threat without employing the strongarm tactics of authoritarian states. In this article we reexamine the digital vulnerability of democracies and put forward a conception of digital power to explain the success of Estonia and Taiwan in using their digital prowess to combat COVID-19. On the one hand their reliance on cybertechnology make them particularly vulnerable to cyberattacks, but on the other hand their digital power enhances their global stature and domestic capacity to address threats like COVID-19.
  • Topic: Security, Cybersecurity, Democracy, COVID-19, Non-Traditional Threats, Digitalization
  • Political Geography: Taiwan, Asia, Estonia
  • Author: Rong Zhao
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University
  • Abstract: How does gender-based discrimination play out in the workplace? What are the overt and covert forms of gender discrimination existing in the Chinese and Western societies? What have been done and what more need to be done to address this profound inequality that has held generations of women back in gaining independence and equal rights? Drawing on economic, sociological, and feminist organizational theories, Rong Zhao, Assistant Professor of Social Work at Hunter College, City University of New York, analyzes: 1) how women have been kept in the low-paying secondary professions and the lower level of organizations; 2) how the discrimination in the workplace is related to the state-led patriarchal society that purposefully restricts women in the domestic world; and 3) what kind of social policies need to be developed and implemented to address this pressing issue. In the end, the speaker will also speak about strategies that individual women may adopt to mitigate the negative influences of gender discrimination on their career development. Rong Zhao is an Assistant Professor of Social Work at Hunter College, City University of New York. She earned her doctorate from Columbia University School of Social Work in May 2018, and previously studied at Beijing Normal University in Beijing, China. Dr. Zhao’s research deals with social welfare practice and policy in a global perspective. Her specific research interests include gender inequality in the workplace, human service workforce, gender in relation to nonprofits, volunteering, and service contracting. Her work has appeared in peer-reviewed publications such as the Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, and Human Service Organizations: Management, Leadership & Governance.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Labor Issues, Women, Discrimination
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Diana Fu, Elizabeth Knup, Jing Wang, Nick Bartlett
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University
  • Abstract: This panel, part of the WEAI in a COVID-19 remote lecture series, features brief presentations and discussion by scholars and practitioners who have studied and participated in Chinese civil society activities. The conversation covers changes to the role of and spaces for non-government actors in the Hu and Xi eras, as well as recent developments in light of the COVID pandemic and the rise of Hong Kong and Black Lives Matter protests.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Protests, NGOs, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, Hong Kong
  • Author: Edward Wong, Gray Tuttle
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University
  • Abstract: Speaker: Edward Wong, Diplomatic Correspondent, The New York Times Moderated by: Gray Tuttle, Leila Hadley Luce Professor of Modern Tibetan Studies, Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, Columbia University
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Media, Journalism
  • Political Geography: Asia, Tibet
  • Author: Noriyuki Shikata, Takako Hikotani, Gerald Curtis
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University
  • Abstract: The Abe administration (2012-) and its diplomacy has been remarkably stable despite the geopolitical challenges and instability of its alliance partner, the United States. Is Japan going to stay its course, or are we going to witness major changes in the years ahead? How will Japan respond to recent developments, such as the Coronavirus outbreak? Noriyuki Shikata, Former Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of Japan in Beijing, will discuss how he forecasts Japan’s diplomacy in 2030.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Geopolitics, Alliance, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Japan, Asia, United States of America
  • Author: Elie Podeh, Moran Zaga, Ksenia Svetlova, Nimrod Goren
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Mitvim: The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies
  • Abstract: Mitvim Institute experts, Prof. Elie Podeh, Dr. Moran Zaga, Former MK Ksenia Svetlova, and Dr. Nimrod Goren, share analysis on why the diplomatic breakthrough between Israel and the UAE happened, and what are its implications for Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking and for Israel's relations in the Middle East.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Peace, Normalization
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, UAE
  • Author: Gabriel Mitchell, Nimrod Goren
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Mitvim: The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies
  • Abstract: Presentation by Gabriel Mitchell and Dr. Nimrod Goren of the Mitvim Institute's 8th annual public opinion poll on Israeli foreign policy, carried out in cooperation with the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Conflict, Regional Integration
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Merav Kahana-Dagan, Paul Pasch
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Mitvim: The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies
  • Abstract: The 4th Annual Conference of the Mitvim Institute on Israel's regional foreign policies, Held in cooperation with the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, 28 October 2020 Opening Remarks Merav Kahana-Dagan, Deputy Head of the Mitvim Institute Dr. Paul Pasch, Director of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung in Israel
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Conflict, Conference
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Roee Kibrik, Elie Podeh, Moran Zaga, Maya Sion-Tzidkiyahu, Gabriel Mitchell
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Mitvim: The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies
  • Abstract: The 4th Annual Conference of the Mitvim Institute on Israel's regional foreign policies, Held in cooperation with the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, 28 October 2020. Israel’s Relations with the Middle East, Europe and the Mediterranean: Dr. Roee Kibrik, Director of Research at the Mitvim Institute; Prof. Elie Podeh, Board Member at the Mitvim Institute; Dr. Moran Zaga, Policy Fellow at the Mitvim Institute; Dr. Maya Sion Tzidkiyahu, Director of the Program on Israel-Europe Relations at the Mitvim Institute; Gabriel Mitchell, Director of External Relations at the Mitvim Institute.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Mediterranean
  • Author: Nimrod Goren, Haim Regev, Haim Regev, Ksenia Svetlova, Ehud Eiran, Yael Ravia Zadok
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Mitvim: The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies
  • Abstract: The 4th Annual Conference of the Mitvim Institute on Israel's regional foreign policies, Held in cooperation with the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, 28 October 2020. Israeli Diplomacy in Muslim and Arab States Dr. Nimrod Goren, Head of the Mitvim Institute; Haim Regev, Deputy Director General for Middle East, Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Former MK Ksenia Svetlova, Director of the Program on Israel-Middle East Relations at the Mitvim Institute; Dr. Ehud Eiran, Board Member at the Mitvim Institute; Yael Ravia Zadok, Deputy Director General and Head of the Economic Diplomacy Division, Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arab Countries
  • Author: Thierry de Montbrial, Robin Niblett, Ed Feulner, Feng Zhu
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Institut français des relations internationales (IFRI)
  • Abstract: Ifri’s Executive Chairman Thierry de Montbrial spoke at the 20th World Knowledge Forum in Seoul on September 25, 2019 with Robin Niblett, Chatham House's director, Ed Feulner, The Heritage Foundation's Founder and Former President and Feng Zhu, Director of the Institute of International Studies at Nanjing University about the major governance issues of our time. The global geopolitical situation is caught in a maelstrom. The conflict between the United States and China is getting worse and subsequent negative effects are rising. In Europe, Brexit is making the continent more divisive than harmonious. The instability in Middle East is not solved. In addition, the North Korea’s nuclear weapons are an endless source of problem that defies a quick solution, which made the politics surrounding the Korean Peninsula more complex. The problem is that the currently weak global governance may lead the global political landscape into a serious crisis. To give an answer to these problems, heads of top think tanks share their prospect and the future of the global governance, giving a guideline for each country to listen for a better direction.
  • Topic: Governance, Geopolitics, Think Tanks, Trade
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Middle East, North Korea, Global Focus, United States of America
  • Author: Abo Alasrar, Nadwa Al-Dawsari, Ibrahim Jalal, Gerald Feierstein
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Middle East Institute (MEI)
  • Abstract: Virtual roundtable recorded March 25, 2020, featuring presentations by MEI scholars Fatima Abo Alasrar, Nadwa Al-Dawsari, and Ibrahim Jalal. This roundtable covered a range of topics including Houthi expansion, prospects for new negotiations, the implementation of the Riyadh Agreement, and the coronavirus’ impact on Yemen.
  • Topic: Treaties and Agreements, Conflict, Negotiation, Houthis, Coronavirus
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Yemen
  • Author: Syed Mohammed Ali, Gerald Feierstein, Ali Jehangir Siddiqui, Marvin G. Weinbaum
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Middle East Institute (MEI)
  • Abstract: The relationship between Pakistan and the United States has never been easy or stable, and in recent years has come under increasing strain. Yet both countries have a vital stake in the maintenance of a working relationship. Several factors have complicated prospects for bilateral cooperation in the past, leading to a growing strategic divergence in how both countries view one another, and their interests vis-a-vis other regional players. Perhaps the biggest shortcoming in the Pakistan-US relationship has been that both sides have tried to address the issues between them without common frames of reference, resulting in differences of perceptions and policies. An expert group of academics, policy analysts, and retired government officials have recently convened at the Middle East institute to study the Pakistan-US relationship. The product of their discussions is a paper that explores a range of ideas and concrete proposals designed to move the relationship in a positive and stable direction. With support from the Mahvash and Jahangir Siddiqui Foundation, and hosted by the Middle East Institute, we are pleased to invite you to this presentation by a team of former government officials and analysts, and other experts involved in this effort. This event will take place over a light lunch on March 3rd from 12:30 pm to 2:00 pm at the Middle East Institute.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Politics, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, South Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Zaher Sahloul, Elizabeth Tsurkov, Charles Lister, Alexander Marquardt
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Middle East Institute (MEI)
  • Abstract: Nearly 600,000 people have been displaced in northwestern Syria in the last two months, in what is now the biggest humanitarian crisis in nine years of war. The brutal military assault being conducted by the Syrian government, Russia and Iran shows no signs of abating and has in recent weeks sparked direct and deadly clashes between Syrian and Turkish troops. Hospitals and schools continue to be struck from the air, IDP camps have reached capacity and humanitarian agencies are warning of an impending humanitarian disaster. Since the Syrian government and its allies began an offensive on Idlib in the Spring of 2019, approximately 25% of the opposition-controlled territory has fallen - roughly 75% still remains. Amid this ongoing crisis and unprecedented levels of civilian displacement and human suffering, the international community appears to have been rendered powerless. The Middle East Institute is pleased to host a panel discussion on the situation in Idlib, in order to discuss the nature of the crisis and the international response; the geopolitical dynamics at play; concerns over terrorism; and what possible paths might exist to resolve the situation.
  • Topic: Geopolitics, Displacement, Conflict, Syrian War, Humanitarian Crisis
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Syria, Idlib
  • Author: Przemysław Osiewicz, Alex Vatanka, Suzanne Kianpour
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Middle East Institute (MEI)
  • Abstract: The relationship between the European Union and the Middle East is facing a critical period of change, given the changing leadership in key European Union bodies, rising tensions with regard to Iran, and increasing confrontation between the United States and Iran. The Middle East Institute is pleased to invite you to a conversation with MEI scholar Przemysław Osiewicz, who will discuss his recently released paper series on the impact of leadership changes in key EU bodies such as the EU high representative for foreign and security policy, the European Commission, and the European Council on EU-MENA relations. He will be joined by MEI Senior Fellow Alex Vatanka and moderator Suzanne Kianpour to explore divergences between the United States and the EU approaches in their policies toward Iran, internal divisions within the EU on engagement with Iran, the role of economic factors, and the future of the JCPOA.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Foreign Policy, Politics, Geopolitics, Leadership
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, United States of America, European Union
  • Author: Daniel Brumberg, Sharan Grewal, Mohamed-Dhia Hammami, Sabina Henneberg, William Lawrence
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Middle East Institute (MEI)
  • Abstract: Following elections in September and October, Tunisia is having difficulty forming a government, in part because of the collapse of the 2016 Carthage Pact. MEI is pleased to host a panel featuring several leading analysts of Tunisian politics, who will attempt to answer which approach can produce forward motion while at the same time prevent Tunisia from slipping backward towards authoritarianism. Some parties are defending the consensus model to preserve democratic gains, and others are pursuing to force change based on their political preferences. Presiding over all of this is a populist president without a political party who has in the past proposed a radical overhaul of the entire system, abolishing political parties, and creating a form of direct democracy. It is unclear if Tunisian democracy can survive any of these scenarios, whether it be consensus politics, majoritarian politics, or antipolitics. With any of the formulas, winners win, and losers can easily become spoilers, as nearly happened in 2013 with opposition protests led by the women's movement.
  • Topic: Government, Politics, Elections, Democracy
  • Political Geography: Middle East, North Africa, Tunisia