The Middle East: Between Progress and Conflict
Belfer Center Programs or Projects: Dubai Initiative
The Dubai Initiative & The Dubai School of Government to Host First Joint Conference at the Kennedy School
November 8, 2007
The past five years in the Middle East have witnessed both notable economic change, exemplified by the meteoric growth of Dubai, and an unprecedented level of instability caused by conflicts in Iraq, Lebanon, Palestinian territories, as well as a stand-off between Iran and its Arab neighbors on the one hand and the U.S. on the other. Growing anti-Americanism has also complicated both a resolution of the conflict in Iraq and efforts to combat terrorism.
Since the events of September 11, 2001 the nature of U.S. policy toward the Middle East has radically changed as the Middle East has become more integral to U.S. foreign policy making and a major factor in U.S. global positioning. All this has happened at a time of profound change in the geopolitical make-up of the Middle East. Old conflicts such as the Palestinian issue have found new complexity as they have converged with new conflicts in Iraq and Lebanon. There has been a palpable shift in the balance of power in the region as the fall of Saddam and the Taliban and the Shia revival in Iraq have strengthened Iran at a time when moderate Arab regimes have felt increasingly constrained and powerless in shaping regional events.
The occupation of Iraq, the Lebanon war, and the nuclear stand-off in Iran have defined U.S. relations with the Middle East, U.S. military strategy and energy policy. Anti-Americanism has impacted America’s soft power globally while America’s military presence in the region has increased to the limit of its ability to dominate developments in the region.
However, there have been important positive developments. This is most clearly reflected in the economic growth of Dubai, where economic restructuring, private-public partnership, international investment, and state support for infrastructure development, education, and technological investment along with effective governance has created a notable model that could potentially serve as a pattern for the region as a whole.
The keynote speakers and panels at this conference will provide a framework for analyzing the divergent trends at play in the Middle East for both academic discussions and policy-making debates. The conference was organized by Graham Allison, Director of the Belfer for Science and International Affairs, Professor Vali Nasr, Senior Fellow for the Dubai Initiative and Professor Tarik Yousef, Dean of the Dubai School of Government. The conference will feature the following panels:
Panel I: The Shifting Balance of Power
- America and the Arab World
- Challenges of Nuclear Proliferation
- Contending with Iran’s Regional Role
Panel II: The Challenge of Islamism
- Continuity and Change in Islamist Ideology
- Muslim Brotherhood: Between Democracy and Ideology
- The Challenges of Radical Ideologies
Panel III: Managing Ongoing Conflicts
- New Developments in the Arab-Israeli Conflict?
- Managing the Conflict in Iraq – A Balancing Act?
- Implications of the Conflict in Lebanon
Panel IV: Prospects for Economic Transformations
- Economic Development Challenges
- The Gulf Economic Boom
- Prospects for Economic Reform
Speakers at the conference will include:
|Amb.Lakhdar Brahimi||Vali Nasr|
|Ashton Carter||Joseph Nye|
|Amb. Edward Djerejian||Olivier Roy|
|Toby Dodge||Paul Salem|
|Jeffrey Frankel||Shilbey Telhami|
|Rami Khouri||Carrie Wickham|
|Mustapha Nabli||Tarik Yousef|
If you are interested in attending the conference, or for more information, please send the below registration form to email@example.com.
For more information about this publication please contact the Lauren Protentis at 617 495 1408.
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