Posted on October 03, 2016

The Gulf Studies Center (GSC) at Qatar University College of Arts & Sciences (QU-CAS) organized in conjunction with Durham University a conference on “Transformational Changes in the Middle East” on September 27-28. 

The 2-day conference is part of an agreement which was recently signed between QU and Durham University with the aim to initiate a dual award PhD in Gulf Studies. It brought together experts and practitioners from QU, Durham University and Kuwait University to exchange their ideas and share their experiences on the transformational changes in the Middle East. Attendees included QU faculty and students, as well as representatives of the academic, research and diplomatic communities in Qatar.

The program agenda included presentations delivered by Associate Professor of International Relations and Gulf Studies at CAS Department of International Affairs Dr Steven Wright, GSC Research Assistant Professor in Gulf Politics Dr Luciano Zaccara, Professor of International Relations and the Nasser al-Mohammad al-Sabah Chair in International Relations and Director of the H.H. Sheikh Nasser al-Mohammad al-Sabah Programme in International Relations, Regional Politics and Security at Durham University School of Government and International Affairs Prof Anoush Ehteshami, Chair Faculty in Regional Security (Middle East) at Durham University School of Government and International Affairs Dr Clive Jones, Lecturer in International Relations of the Middle East at Durham University Dr May Darwich, and Vice Dean for Training, Research and Consultation and Associate Professor at the Political Science Department at Kuwait University College of Social Sciences Dr Hamed AlAbdullah.

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They discussed a wide range of topics related to “MENA de-regionalization and fragmentation in the light of hegemonic competition between the regional powers”, “The apparent facture in the US-GCC relations”, “Factionalism in the post-Khomeini Iran”, “Comparison of electoral process in the GCC states”, “Impact of changing East Asian energy market on the Gulf, “Gas finds of East Mediterranean, Statehood”, “Recognition in international relations and the Saudi-led war in Yemen”, “Religion, electoral rules and women representation: a cross national examination and policies of integration in Kuwait”.

GSC Director Dr Abdullah Baabood said: “The Gulf Studies Center at Qatar University is pleased to cooperate with Durham University on hosting this timely event that comes at a time when transformational changes are taking place at the local, regional and international levels. The event brought together numerous experts who contributed to the understanding of the Middle East in the light of such changes.” Prof Anoush Ehteshami said: “Regions, whether as security complexes, integrated economic clubs, or trade and investment networks, have emerged as a key feature of the international system. Then, why does the MENA regional system fail?”