Speakers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Research Seminar sponsored by FBLP and FACE

 

Thursday 19 October 2017, 4.00pm – 6.00pm

Wilberforce Lecture Room 30

 

“Mill’s Absolute Ban on Paternalism”

Professor Jonathan Riley

Tulane University

 

Abstract

 

John Stuart Mill is commonly said to prescribe an absolute ban on paternalism. But this is true only if paternalism is understood as coercive interference with a competent person’s conduct solely for his own good. While he has multiple arguments for his view, Mill says that his most important argument is what may be called the provisional epistemic argument, according to which a competent individual, though not always prudent, is the best judge of her own good as she conceives it, and should be permitted to choose any self-regarding action which she judges is needed to attain it, provided she is in possession of any readily available public information (which others may need to supply through advice and warning) about the condition of external objects (such as a public bridge but also her own body and reputation) so that she can do as she wishes in accord with her feasible intentions. My main claim is that this epistemic argument is sound. Moreover, Mill never abandons it, despite claims to the contrary in the literature. He does insist that society should not enforce by law or stigma so-called contracts-in-perpetuity, that is, long-term irrevocable contracts such as a voluntary slavery contract or a no-divorce marriage contract. But this does not entail any coercive interference with self-regarding conduct.

 

 

Biography

Jonathan Riley is Murphy Professor of Philosophy and Political Economy, Tulane University, and a founding Editor of the Sage journal Politics, Philosophy and Economics. He has published extensively on Mill’s philosophy. He has also received several major awards, including Killam, NEH, NHC, and Rockefeller fellowships, and has been a visiting professor at the University of Chicago, the University of St. Andrews, Princeton University and the University of Hamburg. His most recent publications are Mill’s On Liberty (Routledge, July 2015), which is an expanded version of Mill on Liberty (Routledge, 1998), and Mill’s Radical Liberalism: A Study in Retrieval (forthcoming from Routledge). jonriley@tulane.edu

 

 

Date:               Thursday 19 October 2017, 4.00pm – 6.00pm

Venue:            Lecture Theatre

Please RVSP

 

All are welcome to attend.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Middle East Study Group (MESG) Program 2017 – 2018

 

25 October 2017, 16:20, WILB-LT29

 

Professor Raphael Cohen-Almagor

Director, Middle East Study Group (MESG)

 

Discrimination against Women in Jewish Law (Halacha) and in Israel

 

Democracy is supposed to allow individuals the opportunity to follow their conception of the good without coercion. Generally speaking, Israel gives precedence to Judaism over liberalism. This paper argues that the reverse should be the case. In Section I it is explained what the Halachic grounds for discrimination against women are. Section II concerns the Israeli legal framework and the role of the family courts. Section III considers Israeli egalitarian legislation and ground-breaking Supreme Court precedents designed to promote gender equality. Section IV analyses inegalitarian manifestations of Orthodox Judaism in Israeli society today, especially discriminatory practices in matters of personal status. It is argued that Judaism needs to adapt gender equality because of Israel’s commitment to human rights. Israeli leaders should strive to close the unfortunate gap between the valuable aims and affirmations voiced in the 1948 Deceleration of Independence and the reality of unequal political and social rights for women.

 

Discrimination against Jewish Women in Halacha Jewish Law and in Israel 

 

Raphael Cohen-Almagor received his DPhil in political theory from Oxford University. He is Chair in Politics at University of Hull, UK. He was the Director of the Center for Democratic Studies, University of Haifa, Fulbright-Yitzhak Rabin Visiting Professor at UCLA School of Law, Visiting Professor at Johns Hopkins University, and Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Author of more than 200 publications, among his more recent books are Speech, Media and Ethics (2005), The Scope of Tolerance (2006), Voyages (2007, poetry, Hebrew), and Confronting the Internet’s Dark Side (2015). Blog: http://almagor.blogspot.com

 

Please RSVP G.Dag@hull.ac.uk

 

 

The MESG Annual Lecture for 2017

 

8 November 2017, 16:20, WILB-LT15

 

Dr Emile Chabal

University of Edinburgh

 

A Multicultural Problem: immigration and the legacy of France’s colonial past in North Africa and the Middle East

Over the past two centuries, France has played host to a huge variety of immigrants. So much so that even the most insular visitor to France quickly realises that it has become a veritable melting-pot of cultures, languages and ideas. Why, then, does the concept of multiculturalism cause such trouble? And why does the French state persist in denying the existence of ethnic communities? This paper will address these questions by looking at the relationship between French republicanism, contemporary patterns of immigration, and the legacy of France’s colonial past in North Africa and the Middle East. It will suggest that, while France’s resistance to multicultural ideas has deep roots in French political culture, it has nevertheless become a uniquely postcolonial problem.

 

Chabal-A Divided Republic – Nation, State and Citizenship

 

Emile Chabal is a Chancellor’s Fellow in History at the University of Edinburgh. He is a specialist on postwar French politics, with a particular interest in French political culture, Franco-British relations and the legacies of the French empire. He has published widely in this field, most notably his book A Divided Republic: nation, state and citizenship in contemporary France (Cambridge University Press, 2015). He is currently working on an intellectual biography of Eric Hobsbawm and the history of global Marxism.

Website: http://www.homepages.ed.ac.uk/echabal/
Please RSVP G.Dag@hull.ac.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

MESG Ambassador Forum

 

6 December 2017, 16:20, WILB-LT29

 

Ambassador Peter Ford

 

Lessons to be drawn from the Syrian Conflict

 

This lecture aims to draw some lessons from the recent Syrian conflict. It discusses the role of experts, the power of hubris and wishful thinking, geopolitics, and the relevant lessons from Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. The lecture will also analyse US policy and the role that secular leaders in the Middle East play.

 

 

 

Peter Ford is an expert on the Middle East. An Arabist, he served as British Ambassador to Syria (2003-2006) and Bahrain (1999-2003) and also held positions with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in Beirut, Cairo, Singapore, Paris and Riyadh before joining the UN to work on refugee issues. He is a frequent commentator on Syria in the media. Presently he is Adviser to the Bahrain Royal Charity Organisation and Co-Chairman of the British Syrian Society.

 

Please RSVP G.Dag@hull.ac.uk

 

 

 

22 February 2018, 16:20, Venue to be announced

 

Mr Samuel Passow

Founder & Managing Director, The Negotiation Lab

Successful Strategies for International Mediation

Why are some attempts at international mediation successful while others fail? Is it the process or the players? Is it the scope of the issues covered or the political will to deliver? Is the trade-off between transparency and secrecy expediency? Is success in the resolution of one conflict necessarily transferrable to another? This lecture will explore these questions specifically through the lens of the three Middle Eastern conflicts, the Israel-Palestinian peace talks, the Iran nuclear deal, and attempts to resolve the civil war in Syria and more broadly through conflict mediations in Northern Ireland, the Balkans and North Korea.

 

 

Samuel Passow was trained as a negotiator and mediator in the United States at the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School and the Kennedy School of Government (1995-1997) where he received a Masters Degree in Public Administration and was a Research Fellow and case writer at the Harvard Center for Business and Government.

Samuel headed the consultancy and training program of the Conflict Analysis Research Centre in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Kent where he created the Negotiation Lab in 2006. To date, the Negotiation Lab has trained over 1,400 government officials, business executives and post-graduate students from 135 countries in the Harvard method of “Principled Negotiations”.

Samuel is the author of numerous books and articles on negotiation, mediation, crisis management and international trade.
Please RSVP G.Dag@hull.ac.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MESG Program 2015 – 2016

9 November 2016, 16:20, Wilberforce LR29

Professor Raphael Cohen-Almagor

Director, MESG, University of Hull

The Roots of the Arab-Israeli Conflict

7 December 2016, 16:20, Lecture Theatre 12, Wilberforce Building

 

Professor Sammy Smooha

University of Haifa and SOAS

The Challenge of National Minorities to Ethnic Majority Hegemony: A Comparative Perspective

 

15 February 2017, 16:20, Wilberforce Lecture Theatre 29

Dr Jacob Eriksson

York University

The limitations and possibilities of US mediation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: the 2007 Annapolis Conference and the Olmert‐Abbas negotiations

15 March 2017, 16:20, Lecture Theatre 29, Wilberforce Building

His Excellency Mr. Abdurrahman Bilgic,
Turkish Embassy
Turkey’s Role in the Changing Middle East

22 March, 16:00, 16:20, Lecture Theatre 15, Wilberforce Building

Sir Vincent Fean

Former British Ambassador to Libya

Britain’s ambivalent relationship with Libya, a country of contradictions

9 November 2016, 16:20

Professor Raphael Cohen-Almagor

Director, MESG, University of Hull

The Roots of the Arab-Israeli Conflict

The aim of this lecture is to explain the roots of the conflict. It will trace it since the establishment of the Zionist movement in 10th Century Europe, the wave of immigration to Palestine, the creation of the Yishuv, the Jewish settlements and their relationships with the local Arab population. I will also discuss the complex situation during the British mandate, leading to the UN Partition Plan in November 1947 which increased the tensions between the two sides and led to the war which the Jews call War of Independence and the Palestinians call The Naqba (The Catastrophe). It will be argued that the conflict is so bloody and protracted because both the Arabs and the Jews have legitimate and justified claims on a small piece of land which they are unable to share jointly, and also unable to divide in a way that is acceptable to both.

 

Raphael Cohen-Almagor received his DPhil in political theory from Oxford University (1992). He is Professor/Chair in Politics, and Director of Research, School of Law and Politics, University of Hull. He published extensively in the fields of political science, philosophy, law and ethics. Among his more recent books are The Right to Die with Dignity (2001), Speech, Media and Ethics (2001, 2005), The Scope of Tolerance (2006, 2007) and Confronting the Internet’s Dark Side (2015). Webhttp://weber.hull.ac.uk/rca.Bloghttp://almagor.blogspot.com/

7 December 2016, 16:20

Professor Sammy Smooha

University of Haifa and SOAS

The Challenge of National Minorities to Ethnic Majority Hegemony: A Comparative Perspective

The lecture discusses the response of national minorities in Israel, Estonia, Slovakia, Macedonia, and Northern Ireland, to the hegemony of the ethnic majorities in these states. All these countries see themselves as Western and democratic and at the same time the exclusive homeland and property of their ethnic majorities. The inherent contradiction in their structure raises many questions, including how these deeply divided societies keep internal peace and stability, whether or not the acquiescence of their minorities is fragile and temporary, if their regimes are sustainable and resilient, and how the domestic conflict impacts the region and is impacted by it.

 

 

Dr. Sammy Smooha is Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the University of Haifa. He served as Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and President of the Israeli Sociological Society and won the 2008 Israel Prize for Sociology. Smooha studies Israeli society, with a focus on ethnic relations, in comparative perspective. He has published widely on the internal divisions and conflicts in Israel, and has authored and edited several books on Arab and Jewish relations. He is the Israel Institute Visiting Professor at the University of London-SOAS for the academic year 2016-17.

 

15 February 2017, 16:20

Dr Jacob Eriksson

York University

The limitations and possibilities of US mediation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: the 2007 Annapolis Conference and the OlmertAbbas negotiations

Although the USA is the most prominent third-party mediator of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as Malley and Agha (2009) argue, they have achieved relatively little success. This paper will use the 2007 Annapolis Conference and the resulting Olmert-Abbas negotiations in 2008 as a case study to argue that American mediation should follow a broadly similar model in the future, although with some important adjustments. Analysis of the historical record suggests that an overt US presence at the negotiating table diverts attention from the parties themselves and creates unrealistic expectations given their power. Like the Madrid Conference in 1991 and the ensuing Oslo process, Annapolis and the Olmert-Abu Mazen negotiations shows the strengths and limits of US mediation. The US undoubtedly has a role to play in the resolution of the conflict, but it is a role best limited to organisation and sponsorship of conferences, mobilisation of political support, and ensuring accountability by enforcing the implementation of agreements reached. The coercive strategy that the US is best suited to pursue cannot produce the concessions required for lasting peace in an identity-based conflict. These must come from within the parties themselves, built on mutual understanding and a move away from the zero-sum nature of such conflicts.

 

Dr Jacob Eriksson is the Al Tajir Lecturer in Post-war Recovery Studies in the Department of Politics at the University of York. He holds BA and MA degrees from the War Studies Department at King’s College London, and a PhD from the School of Oriental & African Studies (SOAS). Jacob’s research focuses on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, conflict resolution and mediation, and the wider Arab-Israeli conflict. He has contributed to edited collections in these fields, and his first book, Small-state Mediation in International Conflicts: Diplomacy and Negotiation in Israel-Palestine was published by IB Tauris in 2015. His broader research interests include Middle Eastern politics and security, particularly in the context of post-war recovery.

 

Wednesday 15 March 2017, 4.20pm – 6.30pm

Lecture Theatre 29, Wilberforce Building

Turkey’s Role in the Changing Middle East

Mr Sercan Evcin,
Political Counsellor, Turkish Embassy, London

Abstract

One of the main parameters that define our century is the “change”. Not “change” in itself, but the scope and pace of it. Both economically and politically, paradigmatic shifts are taking place around the world. Unfortunately, with the inability of global governance structures to cope with these changes, the intensity and frequency of conflicts have been showing an upward trend, once again. Turkey is geographically located at the heart of hotspots that span from the Middle East to the Balkans, Central Asia to the Caucasus. Turkey feels direct impact from every development in its wider neighbourhood. Turkey as a net security and stability contributor to its region and beyond, will continue to be an important global actor for peace, stability and prosperity in the Middle East.

 

Biography

Kerim Sercan Evcin was born in Ankara in 1982. He is a graduate of Istanbul, Bogazici University, Political Science and International Relations Department and holds MA Degree in European Integration and Public Administration from the Catholic Leuven University. Mr Evcin entered the Foreign Service in 2006. He served in Belarus and Vienna prior to his present role as Political Counsellor in the Turkish Embassy in London.

 

All are welcome to attend.

RSVP G.Dag@hull.ac.uk

 

22 March, 16:00, 16:20

Sir Vincent Fean

Former British Ambassador to Libya

Britain’s ambivalent relationship with Libya, a country of contradictions

History

Under the Ottoman Empire, Libya was formed of three provinces – west, east and south. Italy invaded in 1912. British and Commonwealth troops evicted the Italian colonisers from Libya in 1943. Britain acquired the UN Mandate to bring Libya to independence in 1952, and stuck around until the Arab Nationalist Colonel Qadhafi ousted the King of Libya in 1969.

The troubled British relationship with Qadhafi included his extensive support for the IRA and a 15 year break in relations 1984-99, sparked by the murder of WPC Yvonne Fletcher outside the Libyan Embassy in 1984, and ending after Qadhafi paid compensation for the Lockerbie bombing and sent two Libyan suspects for trial. Prime Ministers Blair, Brown and Cameron each had a different approach to Qadhafi’s Libya.

British/French air strikes helped to disable Qadhafi’s armed forces in 2011, when he threatened mass killings in Benghazi, and contributed to his fall.

2011 to the present

Initial Libyan euphoria at the fall of the dictator has evaporated as Libyan militias and warlords fought for money and power, with an Islamic State presence in the lawless country. People smuggling across the Mediterranean to Libya (and Malta) is lucrative. The international community’s continuing search for Libyan political consensus has failed several times. Some blame Britain and her allies for not disarming the militias after the Revolution.

Arab states have intervened, supporting Libyan factions and increasing division.

The future

Libya needs to reunite if she is to survive economically and politically. Her only source of income – oil and gas – makes Libya dependent on world markets. International investors need stability and the rule of law to be restored if they are to resume long-term investment in the country. Neither is there, now.

Whatever comes, Britain has strategic interests in Libya, on Europe’s doorstep – and many Libyan young people will want to learn English, completing  their education here. They may seek to shape their own future drawing on their experience of the British health and education systems and other institutions. It is in Britain’s interest to help.

Born in Burnley, Lancashire, in 1952, Vincent Fean joined the Diplomatic Service straight from Sheffield University, where he studied French and German. He learned Arabic in Britain and Lebanon thanks to the Foreign Office, and was posted to Iraq, Syria, Brussels (EU), France, Malta, Libya and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (Jerusalem). He was Ambassador to Libya (2006-10), witnessing the 40th anniversary of Colonel Qadhafi’s coup bringing him to power. He left before the 2011 Revolution, to go to Jerusalem as Consul-General. Now retired, Vincent chairs the Libyan British Business Council, a body with over 60 companies as members focused on trade with Libya and two-way investment.

 

 

Two State Solution Debate

The Oxford Union

https://www.oxford-union.org/term_events/two_state_solution_debate

  • Event name: Two State Solution Debate
  • Start date: 19/05/2016 20:30

Description

This House Believes A Two-State Solution in the Middle East is Unattainable

Speakers in Proposition:

  • Gideon Levy  –  Award-winning columnist for Haaretz whose writing focuses on the Israeli occupation of the Wet Bank and Gaza.  Some consider him a heroic journalist, and others a propagandist for Hamas
  • Salma Karmi-Ayyoub  –  Criminal barrister and external consultant for Al Haq, a Palestinian human rights organisation.  She is also Co-Chair of the British legal charity, Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights
  • Prof Padraig O’Malley  –  A specialist in divided societies, he was instrumental in the North Ireland peace process.  He recently published ‘The Two-State Delusion : Israel & Palestine – A Tale of Two Narratives’

Speakers in Opposition:

  • High Profile Israeli Official  – To be announced
  • John Lyndon  –  Executive Director of OneVoice, an international grassroots movement which supports a two-state solution by amplifying the voices of mainstream Israelis and Palestinians
  • Prof Raphael Cohen-Almagor  –  An Israeli academic, he has vocally expressed his support for a two-state solution, and was involved with the campaign which exchanged the captured Gilad Shalit for 1,000 Palestinian prisoners

This debate will be preceded by the Emergency Debate to be held at 7.45pm

 

MESG Program 2015 – 2016

4 November 2015, 16:20, WI-LR13

Ruth Wodak

Professor in Discourse Studies

Lancaster University/University Vienna        

PowerPoint

About the Book

The Politics of Fear: The Discursive Construction of ‘The Stranger

Inclusion and exclusion of migrants and refugees are renegotiated in the European Union (and beyond) on almost a daily scale: ever new policies defining and restricting immigration are proposed by European member states. A return to more local policies and ideologies can be observed, on many levels: traditions, rules, languages, visions, and imaginaries are affected. I claim that we are currently experiencing a re/nationalisation in spite of (or perhaps because of) multiple globalising tendencies. Moreover, recent heated political debates across Europe, about citizenship, language tests related to citizenship and immigration, and the construction of the immigrant as ‘the post-modern stranger’, coincide with the global financial crisis and the crisis of the welfare state. We are dealing with global and glocaldevelopments.  Post-nationalism and cosmopolitanism have become utopian concepts.

Such tendencies are reinforced and reproduced by right-wing populist parties such as the Austrian Freedom Party, the French Front National, the Hungarian Jobbik, and the British UKIP in election campaigns and in everyday politics; the success of these parties seem to influence mainstream parties in a shift to the ‘right’: a normalisation of ever more exclusionary rhetoric (and related policies) can be observed.

In my lecture, I will analyse these recent developments in respect to immigration policies across Europe from a discourse-historical perspective, and will try answering the question why such right-wing populist parties and their slogans seem to be so successful: I focus on the discursive construction of national and transnational identities, and on the analysis the ‘politics with a new face’. The data – analysed both qualitatively and quantitatively – consist of a range of genres (party programmes, TV documentaries, citizenship tests and language tests, and election campaign materials).

 Ruth Wodak is a Distinguished Professor of Discourse Studies at Lancaster University, UK, while she has remained affiliated to the University of Vienna (as full professor of Applied Linguistics). Besides many other prizes, she was awarded the Wittgenstein Prize for Elite Researchers in 1996. In 2008, she was awarded the Kerstin Hesselgren Chair of the Swedish Parliament and an Honorary Doctorate from University of Örebro in Sweden in 2010. In 2011, she was awarded the Grand Decoration in Silver for Services for the Austrian Republic. She is Past-President of the Societas Linguistica Europea, and member of the British Academy of Social Sciences and the Academia Europea.

Recent books include The Politics of Fear. What Right-wing Populist Discourses Mean(Sage 2015); The discourse of politics in action: ‘Politics as Usual’ (Palgrave 2011); Migration, Identity and Belonging (with G. Delanty, P. Jones, LUP 2011), The Discursive Construction of History. Remembering the Wehrmacht’s War of Annihilation (with H. Heer, W. Manoschek, A. Pollak, Palgrave 2008), Gedenken im Gedankenjahr (with R. de Cillia, Studienverlag 2009); The SAGE Handbook of Sociolinguistics (with B. Johnstone and P. Kerswill; Sage 2010); Critical Discourse Analysis (2013; 4 Volumes; Sage Major Works), Analysing Fascism: Fascism in Talk and Text (with J. Richardson, Routledge 2013), and co-editor of Rightwing Populism across Europe: Politics and  Discourse (London: Bloomsbury, 2013).

See http://www.ling.lancs.ac.uk/profiles/Ruth-Wodak for more information on on-going research projects and recent publications.

16 December 2015, 16:20, WI-LR13

Mr Paul Giannasi OBE

Head of the Cross Government Hate Crime Programme, Ministry of Justice

Hate Speech and Hate Crime in the UK, Including Crimes That Target Muslims

Paul Giannasi has lead the cross-Government programme in the UK since 2007 and leads the development of hate crime policy for the police, authoring the 2014 national police Hate Crime Strategy and Guidance (http://www.report-it.org.uk/strategy_and_guidance). He will outline the emergence of hate crime as a policy area and compare the UK response to other states. He will discuss some of the particular challenges in balancing the often competing rights to free speech and protection form targeted abuse and talk about the operational challenges this brings to law enforcement, particularly since the proliferation of social media.

Paul will also examine how the impact of Middle East conflicts play out on the streets of the UK will argue that the single most important policy decision is to follow a human right approach, protecting all citizens equally and protecting the individual rather than any theology or characteristic, he will argue that this approach protects all but that officials must understand the nature of hostility to be able to deliver this equitable protection. He will also give his view of the current level of hostility towards Muslims in the UK.

Paul works in the Ministry of Justice in the United Kingdom. He leads the cross-government Hate Crime Programme which brings all sectors of government together to coordinate efforts to improve the response to hate crime across the criminal justice system.

Paul is the UK National Point of Contact to the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights on hate crime and has worked to share good practice within the OSCE region and within Africa.

Paul has 30 years experience as a police officer and is a member of the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) Hate Crime Group. He manages True Vision (www.report-it.org.uk) on behalf of the police and is the author of the 2014 Police Hate Crime Manual which offers guidance to all UK police officers and partners. He is the co-editor of the 2014 ‘Routledge International Handbook on Hate Crime’.

Paul was awarded an OBE in the 2014 New Years Honours list for services to policing, equality and human rights.

17 February 2016, 16:20, WI-LR13

Book Celebration

MESG Members

 

Professor Lord Bhikhu Parekh

Debating India: Essays on Indian Political Discourse (Oxford University Press, 2016).

Debating India traces the origins and development of the Indian tradition of public debate and the various forms it took at different times in Indian history. It examines some of the major debates that occurred during the independence struggle and the ways in which they structured the conceptual and moral parameters of the Indian political imagination. The debates involved Gandhi, Tagore, Nehru, Ambedkar, and Hindu militants, and centred on the kind of country India was and should aspire to be.

Gandhi’s non-violent struggle claims to provide an answer to deep differences of views and conflicts of interest. Presenting riveting accounts, such as of Einstein’s views on Gandhi’s philosophy of Ahims? or of Gandhi-Tagore debates, and through an imaginary dialogue between Gandhi and Osama bin Laden, Parekh critically examines the strengths and weaknesses of Gandhian philosophy. In the process, the book points to a richer and politically more realistic approach to public debate than are currently on offer.

 

Professor Jo Carby-Hall

Jo Carby-Hall (ed.), Essays on Human Rights: A Celebration of the Life of Dr Janusz Kochanowski(Warsaw: Jus et Lex Foundation, 2014)

This book of essays is different to the “normal” books which treat human rights. The authors were required to treat the notion of human rights in its widest sense. The consequence resulted in a rich tapestry being woven on such unusual topics as tax havens and international human rights norms, the right to water in the Palestinian territories, the rights of the deceased, the EU Ombudsman’s role in promoting ethical behaviour of European civil servants, the ILO’s decent work concept, the British Parliament and human rights, human rights in South Africa and Israel, prophylactic measures on safety and health at work and a host of other scholarly essays each of which deals with unusual topics which have a human rights element therein. In that respect this book is somewhat of an innovation when compared to what is included in human rights books.

 

Dr Gary Edles

Independent Agencies in the United States: Law, Structure, and Politics(NY: Oxford University Press, 2015).

The book is a full-length study of the structure and workings of American independent government agencies, which are occasionally referred to as the “headless fourth branch of government.”  Independent agencies are those government units that are set up to provide freedom from some of the usual control of government ministries by the elected branches.  The book also addresses similarities and differences among U.S., EU, and U.K independent agencies.  It analyses the general conflict between political accountability and the need for independent expertise in administering government programmes.  It is designed to be both a scholarly work and a practical guide for those who deal with independent agencies.

 

Professor Raphael Cohen-Almagor

Confronting the Internet’s Dark Side: Moral and Social Responsibility on the Free Highway(Washington DC.: Woodrow Wilson Center Press and Cambridge University Press, 2015).

The book aims to strike a balance between the free speech principle and the responsibilities of the individual, corporation, state, and the international community. This book brings a global perspective to the analysis of some of the most troubling uses of the Internet: cyberbullying, cybercrime, terrorism, child pornography, hate and bigotry. It urges net users, Internet service providers, and liberal democracies to weigh freedom and security, finding the golden mean between unlimited license and moral responsibility. This judgement is necessary to uphold the very liberal democratic values that gave rise to the Internet and that are threatened by an unbridled use of technology.

2 March 2016

Professor Caroline Kennedy, 16:20, WI-SR294

Chair, PPIS, Hull

Reflections on the War on Terror in Afghanistan

Caroline Kennedy is Professor of War Studies and Head of the School of Politics, Philosophy and International Studies. She is currently working on IEDs, Drones and the effects of Drone Strikes in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen. She is also working on the future maritime security implications of the High North as well as leading on the University India and South East Asia Project.

9 March 2016

His Excellency AmbassadorMazen Kamal Homoud, 16:20, WI-LT15

Embassy of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

Jordan and the challenges in the Middle East 

Before entering the Foreign Service in 1986, the Ambassador completed two years army conscription. His first posting was at Jordan’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York. He was then seconded to the Royal Hashemite Court where he was Deputy Chief of Royal Protocol until December 1999. Between 2000 and 2007, the Ambassador became involved with economic sectors of the government. He was Deputy CEO of the Jordan Investment Board and General Manager of the Jordan Tourism Board. In 2007 he took up the position of CEO of a major public shareholding company in the real estate development field in the port city of Aqaba.

The Ambassador carries several decorations: The Grand Cordon of the Order of Independence (Jordan); Commander of the Order of Orange-Nassau (Netherlands); Officer of the National Order of Merit (France); Knight of the Grand Cross (Austria); Grand Officer of Legion of Honor (France).

Born in 1962, he received school education in several cities such as New Delhi, Baghdad, Cairo, and Moscow. He later attended boarding school at Dover College and Greylands College in the Isle of Wight. He graduated Political Science and Sociology from the University of North Alabama in 1984 and completed Senior Executive Education from Harvard Business School in 2003, and is a 2004 Eisenhower Fellow.

The Ambassador is married to Alia Mohammad Armouti since 1988, and together they are blessed with a son and daughter.

 

 

13 April 2016

Dr Sophia Dingli, 16:20, WI-LR13

MESG

 

Obama’s Arabian debacle? Re-examining US policy in Yemen amidst the rule

 

Intent on mitigating the threat posed by the Al Qaeda of the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), while strengthening the Yemeni state, Obama’s policy in Yemen consisted in the utilisation of unmanned aerial vehicles for surveillance and to attack AQAP targets, the strengthening of the Yemeni military’s counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency capacities and the provision of some aid through USAID to help build the state’s governance and development capacities. In September 2014 Obama declared that Yemen was emblematic of the USA’s successful policies. A few days later a northern militia force took over Sanaa and by March 2015, a mere five months after Obama’s triumphant statement, the state was mired in several all-out conflicts. In retrospect, Obama’s press statement in September resembles Bush’s ‘Mission Accomplished’ moment, making Yemen Obama’s personal Arabian debacle.

 

This paper argues that in light of these events, we need to re-examine US policy in Yemen. It does so in three parts. The first analyses how we read and perceive US intentions and policies in Yemen, especially questioning the assumption that strengthening the Yemeni state was and remained an imperative. It examines the presuppositions driving the assumptions found in the literature and provides an alternative reading of US policy goals and actions. It then proceeds to analyse how we can interpret US policy if we assume that the Yemeni state became largely disposable for the US. In its third part the paper moves to reread the story of US policy in Yemen in recent years not in isolation but as part of larger movements in the international arena and their implications. In its conclusion, the paper returns to its original question, whether Obama’s policy in Yemen has indeed been a debacle, examining other possible courses of action for the US and offering a tacit reading of future developments.

 

 

Dr. Sophia Dingli is a Teaching Fellow at the University of Hull. She holds a BA in history and Politics, an MA in International Law and Politics and a PhD in Politics. Her research is driven by the question of ‘silence’ and its implications for the theory and practice of international politics with a special focus on its implications in the Middle East. Among her publications: Prudence and the Politics of (Re)Unification: Lessons from Yemen for Cyprusand Is the Failed State Thesis Analytically Useful? The Case of Yemen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 May 2016, 16:20, WI-LT15

MESG Annual Lecture

Lord Williams of Baglan, Ph.D

Search for a Diplomatic Solution to the Syrian Conflict

 

Raised in South Wales, Lord Williams aspired to an international career from an early age. He studied at University College London and the School of Oriental and African Studies in London where he gained his Ph.D. and M.Sc. before starting his career with Amnesty International. In 1984 he joined the BBC World Service as an editor, where he formed a lifelong bond with the corporation – its people and its ethos.

Following his time at the World Service, he moved to the United Nations where he was based in Cambodia as Deputy Director for Human Rights; in former Yugoslavia as Director for Information; Geneva as Adviser to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and New York as Director, Office for Children and Armed Conflict. Lord Williams was involved in peace processes in Cambodia and the Balkans in 1990’s and was Director for Middle East and Asia in UN secretariat, New York 2004-8. Between 2000 and 2005 he was Special Adviser to two Foreign Secretaries: Robin Cook, and then Jack Straw. During that time he also continued his contribution to the BBC as a board member of the BBC World Service Trust.

More recently he has worked once again for the United Nations and returned from Beirut in 2011 after three years as Under-Secretary General, UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon.

He was appointed to the House of Lords in October 2010 and joined the BBC Trust in December 2011.

Meetings 2014-2015

15 October 2014

While the World Was at War: The Birth of the Middle East

Staff house, conference room 2

4-8 pm

This symposium proposes to address the implications of World War One by looking at the events that occurred and resulted whilst the world was at war. The event will provide alternative perspectives on three areas of focus: The formation of Turkey, an examination of the way in which Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s magnanimous 1934 speech has had a significant impact on relations between Australia, New Zealand and Turkey in the commemoration of the Gallipoli campaign, and conflict and peace in Palestine and Syria. The event promises to present important shifts in the global map that have resonated into contemporary international relations. It shall highlight the key events and factors that have led to the basis of modern day Middle East.

 

Professor James Connelly, MESG

Death Rattle of an Empire; Birth Pangs of a Republic

 

Dr Jenny Macleod, Department of History

“Those heroes that shed their blood … you are now lying in the soil of a friendly country”: friends and enemies, and the commemoration of the Gallipoli campaign’

 

Professor John Friend, MESG

Conflict and Peace in Palestine and Syria

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

22 October 2014, 16:15, WI-SR294

Professor Lester L. Grabbe, MESG

KING DAVID AND EL CID: Two ‘APIRU in myth and history

 

One of the main problems we have with extracting history from the biblical text is that many personages and events are attested in no other source. This applies to the seminal period of the Israelite monarchy’s beginnings, with the reigns of David and Solomon. Not only are there no other written sources, but the archaeology is currently disputed. Without other reliable sources we are thrown back on trying to evaluate the biblical account, with all its problematic features. I propose here to use the story of the medieval Spanish hero known as El Cid to illumine the historical process involved in appraising the biblical account.

Lester L. Grabbe is Emeritus Professor of Hebrew Bible and Early Judaism at the University of Hull. As the academic title indicates, his main interest is in the history of ancient Israel and the Jews of the Second Temple period. He founded and convenes the European Seminar on Methodology in Israel’s History, and publishes the proceedings in the sub-series European Seminar in Historical Methodology (T & T Clark International). 9 volumes are available and 2 more are in the process of editing. In addition, he has authored a dozen volumes, as well editing or co-editing a total of 16 volumes. He is series editor of the T & T Clark International monograph series, Library of Second Temple Studies. Before retirement, he established and taught for several years a module, Anti-Semitism and the Holocaust, and another module, Religious Sectarianism in History and the Modern World.

 

 

 

 

 

 

19 November 2014, 16:15, WI-SR294

Dr Bhumitra Chakma, MESG

South Asia’s Nuclear Security

South Asia has two sets of nuclear danger. First, the possibility of deterrence failure between India and Pakistan is conceived to be high. Second, the region is a probable source of nuclear terrorism. My talk based on a forthcoming book seeks to explain these two sets of nuclear danger in South Asia. In particular it evaluates the robustness of the Indo-Pakistani mutual deterrence by analysing the strength and weaknesses of the competing arguments regarding the issue. It also analyses the causes and consequences of nuclear arms race between India and Pakistan, the nature of deterrence structure in the region and the challenges of confidence building and arms control between the two countries in order to assess the robustness of South Asia’s nuclear deterrence. Furthermore, it assesses the safety and security of the nuclear assets and nuclear infrastructure of India and Pakistan. Finally, my talk attempts to extrapolates the future of South Asia’s nuclear security and what needs to be done to strengthen it.

 

Bhumitra Chakma is Senior Lecturer in Security Studies in the Department of Politics and International Studies at the University of Hull. He is also the founding director the Department’s South Asia Project. Chakma’s research interests include: politics of nuclear weapons, ethnicity and nationalism, South Asian strategic politics. He has published three books on South Asia’s nuclear weapons: Strategic Dynamics and Nuclear Weapons Proliferation in South Asia (Bern and New York: Peter Lang, 2004); Pakistan’s Nuclear Weapons (London and New York: Routledge, 2009; paperback edition, 2010); (ed.) The Politics of Nuclear Weapons in South Asia (London: Ashgate Publishing House, 2011).

 

27 November 2014, 17:00, Wilberforce LR8

Lord David Trimble

The First MESG Annual Lecture:

Peace Negotiations and Mediation: what lessons can we learn from Northern Ireland?

 

William David Trimble, Baron TrimblePC (born 15 October 1944), is a British politician who was the First Minister of Northern Ireland from 1998 to 2002, and the Leader of the Ulster Unionist Party from 1995 to 2005. He was also the Member of Parliament for Upper Bann from 1990 to 2005 and Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) for Upper Bann from 1998 to 2007. In 2006, he was made a life peer in theHouse of Lords and a year later left the UUP to join the Conservative Party. Lord Trimble was instrumental in the negotiations that led to the Good Friday Agreement in 1998, and (along with John Hume) won theNobel Peace Prize that year for his efforts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

18 February 2015, 16:20, WI-LR14

Sir Richard Dalton

Understanding Iranian Aspirations

Security, independence, freedom, and respect, with cultural and material progress; all to be obtained through strength at home and influence overseas – it is easy to state what Iran and its people want. Decision-making is much the same as in any other state – the government led by the President (in effect a Prime Minister like the French PM, though directly elected) draws in the views of the Agencies concerned and takes decisions in its areas of competence referring other matters – especially security ones – to the Supreme Leader. But Iran’s religious mission lends this familiar picture a particular character. The speaker will explore what this character is and suggest how Iran’s fortunes will develop, within an uncertain international, regional and domestic context.

Sir Richard Dalton was a British diplomat from 1970 to 2006, serving mainly in the Middle East. He was Consul General in Jerusalem from 1993-1997, and Ambassador in Libya from 1999-2002. From 2002-2006 he was Ambassador in Tehran where he played a role in European negotiations with Iran.

 

He is an Associate Fellow of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Chatham House, working primarily on Libya, Iran and the Gulf.

 

 

18 March 2015, 16:20, WI-SR294

Professor Derek J. Penslar

Theodor Herzl on Three Continents: Africa, Asia and South America

Theodor Herzl was the founder of political Zionism, but he was also the father of Territorialism, a now-forgotten movement that sought to obtain a secure territory for Jews in any part of the world. This talk will explore Herzl’s attitudes towards territory and how it was to be obtained, settled and developed. This approach will throw new light on Herzl’s relationship with European colonialism as well as the Jewish milieu in which the Zionist movement crystalized at the fin de siecle.

Derek Penslar is the Stanley Lewis Professor of Israel Studies at Oxford and the Samuel Zacks Professor of Jewish History at the University of Toronto. He is a comparative historian with interests in the relationship between modern Israel and diaspora Jewish societies, global nationalist movements, European colonialism, and post-colonial states. Penslar is author or editor of ten books, including Israel in History: The Jewish State in Comparative Perspective (2011), The Origins of the State of Israel: A Documentary History (with Eran Kaplan, 2011), and Jews and the Military: A History (2013). He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and of the American Academy for Jewish Research.

 

15 April 2015, 16:20, WI-SR294

Professor Clive Jones

Fragmented Sovereignty and the use of Air Power: The Case of South Arabia and Yemen

From reconnaissance missions and intelligence gathering, through to their use as platforms for targeted killings, few technological developments in how states now prosecute wars have provoked such fierce debate as the use of airpower and in particular Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) or Drones. For many, they represent the vanguard of a new way of war, efficacious in their reach and precision, relatively cheap to operate and in an era of conflict defined by Thomas Hammes as ‘post-heroic’, able to monitor and reach areas where the level of threat or indeed geographic locations denies the use of more conventional troops.

 

Such casualty aversion it has been argued has seen the use of Drones increase exponentially in conflict zones, a function of technological innovation combined with remote control that removes all physical risk to those controlling its operational use. In turn, moral constraints over the delivery of lethal force from on high are diluted, the analogy to a video game where the player can switch off and walk away from the consequences of their action providing the most common, if at times ill-informed critique.

 

Others go further. Critics of a Liberal world order see the sue of drones as indicative of a West who, having been unable to subdue the ‘other’, now look at least to contain it at its margins, an act of neo-imperialism in the very best traditions of formal empires of the past. Indeed, putting aside for one moment the reductive antipathy towards a West that continues to champion the ‘repressive essence of Global Capitalism’, the analogy with empires of the past is not so misguided. The use of airpower to subdue ‘restive natives’ was indeed part of the aerial policing strategy developed by British Colonial officials and openly embraced by the Royal Air Force (RAF) in the aftermath of World War One as it looked to secure its future and thwart the avarice designs of a British Army who saw its independence as a financial drain on an already diminishing defence budget.

 

Debates over the use of air power back then have a clear resonance today. The extent to which RAF planes could and should control the hinterlands of Empire – most notably across the tribally based entities across the Middle East – certainly has echoes over how Drones should be similarly employed against comparable targets albeit with a longer global reach. Equally, the moral issues of remoteness stand comparison – the dropping of bombs on restive tribesman from 3000 feet was as remote as it could get in the 1920s with similar comparisons over moral rectitude to be drawn.

 

However, International Humanitarian Law (IHL) has increasingly been used to criminalise military operations – and not just those restricted to the use of air power alone – as a means of a liberal constraint focusing on civilian harm. Human rights lawyers such as Clive Stafford-Smith have highlighted the use of Drones over Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia as being in total violation of IHL, not least in terms of the civilian casualties inflicted and sovereignty infringed. Undoubtedly such accusations carry weight, not least when seen as of a piece with a continuing ‘War on Terror’ long sullied by the use of rendition and torture in the popular imagination. However, IHL is about moderating use of violence but NOT prohibiting the use of proportionate, discriminate and necessary force in the pursuit of military operations. In short, IHL recognises that civilians do die in armed conflict and that accordingly, those that see IHL as mechanism of imposing absolute restraint on military operations either misunderstand the remit of IHL or have wilfully looked to politicise its implementation.

 

This concentration on individual human rights and state sovereignty that now dominates debate over the use of airpower (and drones in particular) has however obscured other lines of enquiry that offer alternative perspectives on the impact – militarily, legally and morally – over the use of airpower in and among tribally based societies. The most obvious is how effective are such strikes and do they necessarily alienate the target populations – not least when collateral damage and deaths to civilians ensue – thereby driving support, for the rebellion or insurgency? The obvious answer, and in some cases the correct one – might be an unambiguous yes. Equally however, our implicit understanding of the political context in which such attacks take place are informed by a Weberian construct of the State. The proposition put here is this might offer an inaccurate assessment over how airpower has been perceived and indeed utilised among peoples where a sense of identity is parochial or at best regional and where the means and mechanisms of social cohesion, identity and legitimacy are more clan or tribally based than any overt loyalty to state structures. In short, allegiance to a sovereign authority remains fragmentary at best.

 

What emerges therefore is perhaps a ‘tribal political field’ in which the internal balance between ruler and ruled is rarely static; rather it is constantly renegotiated or indeed contested amid a patrimonial order that 1) has privileged particular tribes to ensure regime longevity 2) extended or withheld material largesse to actors, both tribal and political, to ensure immediate gains. Amid such complex arenas in which state structures might run parallel with, but also be challenged by a shifting tribal landscape, air power as part of a wider conflagration might act to enhance the power of one tribal grouping over another, or one actor over another. Accordingly, while the use of airpower might be a necessary condition in alienating a targeted group, it might equally empower others whose interests, be they fleeting or longer term, accord with those of the intervening actor.

 

Clive Jones holds a Chair in Regional Security (Middle East) at the School of Government and International Affairs at Durham University. He was elected to a Fellowship of the Royal Historical Society in 2011, and is currently the Chairman of the European Association of Israel Studies (EAIS). Between 2007 and 2010 he was co-editor of the journal Civil Wars and is currently an editorial board member of the SSCI ranked journals Mediterranean Politics and Studies in Conflict and Terrorism.

Clive’s research interests lie in three related areas: International Relations (particularly with regard to foreign and defence policy decision-making), Middle East studies (with a clear emphasis upon Israel and Gulf Security) and security studies (with emphasis upon low intensity conflict and the political and operational use of intelligence as it relates to the Middle East). His book Britain and the Yemen Civil War 1962-1965 (2004/2010) as well as recent articles in peer reviewed journals such as The Middle East Journal, Middle Eastern Studies, International Affairs and Studies in Conflict and Terrorism have explored many of these themes. In 2010, his work on British covert involvement in the Yemen civil War during the 1960s was the subject of a BBC documentary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6 May 2015, 16:20, WI-SR294

Charlie Hebdo: Testing the Limits of Freedom of Expression and Islamic Blasphemy Law

Dr Niaz A Shah

This paper aims to test the permissible limits on the right to freedom of expression contained in Article 10 of the European Court of Human Rights 1950 and Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 1996. The attack on Charlie Hebdo will serve as a case in point to analyse whether publications of the Prophet Muhammad images can be restricted. In turn, the paper also critically examines the Islamic blasphemy law in Pakistan and the extent to which it complies with international human rights standards. Finally, the paper explores whether Islamic blasphemy law allows the concept of self-help, i.e. taking Islamic law into one’s own hands as the attackers of Charlie Hebdo did.

Dr Shah completed in PhD, in June 2005, in the area of Islamic and International Human Rights Law from Queen’s University, Belfast. Currently, he is Reader in Law at the University of Hull, UK. He teaches human rights law, refugee law and Islamic law. Dr Shah has published three monographs and several peer reviewed articles in the areas of Islamic and public international law.

 

Dr Shah has worked for the European Union on their Rule of Law and Human Rights Programme in Pakistan. Dr Shah is a Lead Trainer for training judges on human rights in the administration of justice in Pakistan since December 2013. Dr Shah has also worked for UNDP, Somalia on their restorative justice and alternative disputes resolution programme.

 

Dr Shah was called to the Bar in England and Wales in 2014 and is practicing from Nexus Chambers, Lincoln’s Inn.

 

 

Meetings 2013-2014

All meetings begin at 4.15pm (unless it is stated otherwise) and are held in Wilberforce room 210-0 at the University

 

Dr Rusi Jaspal, “Anti-Semitism and Anti-Zionism in Iran”
8 January 2014

Anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism constitute two important ideological building blocks of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Yet, there is no existing research into the psychosocial motives underlying the manifestation of anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism at the institutional level in Iran or in the Iranian general population. Here it is argued that there is much heuristic and predictive value in applying tenets of Identity Process Theory (IPT), a socio-psychological model of identity threat and action, to the primarily socio-historical literature on anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism in Iran.

In the first half of the paper, the author provides a summary of anti-Semitism, anti-Zionism and ‘new anti-Semitism’ and IPT. It is argued that (i) anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism may restore feelings of belonging in the Muslim world and beyond; (ii) there are important inter-relations between ingroup and outgroup self-efficacy; (iii) there is a psychological motivation to maintain Shiite ideology and Khomeini’s legacy; (iv) Jews and Israel are constructed and perceived in terms of a threat to group continuity. In the second half of the paper, quantitative survey data, qualitative interview data and qualitative visual and media data are presented in support of these assertions. It is suggested that insights into the motivational principles underlying anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism may inform further empirical research into social representations of Jews and Israel in Iran and potential interventions for mitigating anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism. More broadly, this paper highlights the potential contribution of social psychology to existing work on anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism in political science and the humanities.

Dr Rusi Jaspal (M.A., Cambridge; M.Sc., Surrey; Ph.D., London) is Lecturer in Psychology at De Montfort University, Leicester, UK. Dr. Jaspal has published widely on identity, intergroup relations and the media, with a particular focus on anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism in Iran and the Muslim world. His work in this area has appeared in journals such as Israel Affairs, The Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs and The British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies. Rusi Jaspal is co-editor (with Prof Dame Glynis Breakwell) of Identity Process Theory: Identity, Social Action and Social Change (Cambridge University Press, 2013) and the author of Anti-Semitism and Anti-Zionism: Representation, Cognition and Everyday Talk (Ashgate, 2013).

 

Mr Dan Meridor, “The Arab Spring and Its Impact on the Middle East and World Order
18 December 2013, 4.00pm

Dan Meridor was Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Intelligence in the Government of Israel from 31.3.2009 until 18.3.2013.

In the years 2003 – 2008 Dan Meridor practiced law at Haim Zadok & Co Law Offices.

At that period Dan Meridor served as Chairman of The Jerusalem Foundation.

In 2001-2003 Mr Meridor served as a Minister in the Israeli government, in charge of strategic affairs, and was a member of the Inner Cabinet.

In 1999-2001 Mr Meridor served as the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee of the Knesset.

In 1996-1997 Mr Meridor was the Minister of Finance of Israel. As Minister of Finance, Mr. Meridor initiated sweeping reforms in the economy through massive budget cuts, liberalization and privatization.

In 1988-1992 Dan Meridor was the Minister of Justice of Israel. He promoted human rights legislation, and Israel’s first (and so far – only) human rights constitutional laws were enacted during his term, creating the “constitutional revolution”, empowering the Supreme Court with judicial review over Knesset laws.

In 1982-1984 Mr Meridor served as the Secretary of the Cabinet under Prime Minister Menahem Begin and Yitzhak Shamir.

In 1984 he was elected to the Knesset and he served as a member of the Knesset until 2003. He was elected to the Knesset again at 2009. In the Knesset, Mr Meridor served on the Committee of Foreign Affairs and Defense, the Committee of Constitution, Law & Justice and the Ethics Committee.

Mr Meridor is a graduate of the Faculty of Law in the Hebrew University and practiced law in Jerusalem for many years.

Dan Meridor is a captain (res.) in the I.D.F. He fought as a tank commander in the Six Days War and in the Yom Kippur War.

Mr Meridor was the Chairman of the Public Council of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. Earlier he served as Chairman of the Board of the Israel Museum and as a member of the Board of the Gesher Theatre.

Dan Meridor was born in Jerusalem in 1947, where he lives ever since.

He is married to Dr Leora Meridor, with four children and seven grandchildren.

Ambassador Prof Manuel Hassasian, “The Peace Process – where to?”
20 November 2013

Born in Jerusalem and educated at the College des Frères, Professor Manuel Hassassian left his homeland for brief periods after his high school years to pursue his higher education, earning his BA in Political Science from the American University of Beirut in 1975, his MA in International Relations from Toledo University, Ohio,

U.S.A. in 1976 and his PhD in Comparative Politics from University of Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.A. in 1986.

Professor Manuel Hassassian served Bethlehem University and the Palestinian people with distinction for twenty five years. He is a dynamic professor of political science and has demonstrated brilliant leadership in several key administrative roles at the University: Dean of Students, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Chair of the Humanities Department and for the past nine years as the Executive Vice President, during which time he also served as the President of the Rectors’ Conference of the Palestinian Ministry of Higher Education and President of the Palestinian-European-American Cooperation in Education (PEACE) program.

Professor Hassassian has been a superb representative of the University at the Ministry of Higher Education, at the Association of Arab Universities, and among other international academic organizations. He has also been a visiting scholar at the University of Reims, France; Villanova University, USA; University of Maryland at College Park, USA; University of Vermont, USA; Earlham College, USA; and the University College, Dublin, Ireland.

In addition to the many demands on his time with senior administrative responsibilities at Bethlehem University, during his tenure at Bethlehem University Professor Hassassian made significant scholarly contributions in the field of political science with the publication of over 100 reviews, articles and chapters, including Palestinian Political Culture, Civic Society and the Concept of Citizenship, The Transformation of Palestinian Civil Society and its Role in Developing Democratic Trends in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and Historical Justice and Compensation for Palestinian Refugees. Professor Hassassian also served the Palestinian people as a consultant to the Higher Ministerial Committee for Church Affairs, the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation, UNESCO, the Palestinian Negotiating Team on Refugee Final Settlement, the Orient House P.L.O. Office in Jerusalem as Chief Political Advisor to the late Mr. Faysal Husseini, Minister of State Affairs – Head of the Jerusalem File, and the Ministerial Commission on Refugees, among others.

Among his academic awards and honours, Professor Hassassian was awarded an Honorary Doctorate (Docteur Honoris Causa) by the University of Reims, France, and nominated by the Center of International Development and Conflict Management, University of Maryland, for the Gleitzman Middle East Award.

 

Prof Eric Barendt – “Is it legitimate to ban hate speech?”
21 November, 4.00-6.00pm

The legitimacy of hate speech bans is one of the hardest questions for liberal democracies to resolve. Can extreme hate speech be restricted without interfering with free political discourse?

Eric Barendt, Emeritus Professor of Law, UCL, is an internationally renowned expert on media law. He was Goodman Professor of Media Law at UCL from 1990 until 2010. Before coming to UCL, he lectured law at St. Catherine’s College, Oxford. Professor Barendt is the author of many important books and articles on media law, the laws of libel and privacy, and freedom of expression, most notably Freedom of Speech(2ndedition: Oxford University Press, 2005). His most recent book is Academic Freedom and the Law (Hart, 2010). Professor Barendt is also the editor of the Journal of Media Law.

Prof Lester Grabbe, MESG, “The Manipulation of History for Ideology: Pro-Palestinian and Pro-Zionist Examples
16 October 2013

My aim in this paper is to discuss how both sides in the debate have attempted to manipulate history to support their own ends. The focus will be on examples mainly from ancient history to illustrate the point. The pro-Zionist examples include Masada and Bar-Kokhva; the pro-Palestinian examples will include Keith Whitelam’s Invention of Israel and Shlomo Sand’s The Invention of the Jewish People.

 

Dr Ahron Bregman, King’s College, “The Yom Kippur War”
8 May 2013

Dr Ashraf Marwan, President Gamal Abdel Nasser’s son-in-law and later President Anwar Sadat’s close advisor was recruited by Mossad, the Israeli Intelligence Agency, in 1970, and went on to provide his Israeli handlers with startling information on Egypt’s preparations for war. Within Israel’s intelligence community he was regarded as “a miraculous source”. But a growing school of thought maintains that Marwan was a double agent, planted by Egyptian intelligence to feed Israel false information – the jewel in their crown and crucial to Egypt’s plan of deception in the lead up to the 1973 Yom Kippur war. This article analyses the role Marwan played in the years leading up to the war, assesses his contribution to Israel’s intelligence failure before the war, and argues that whether Marwan was loyal to Israel, or an agent planted by Egypt, the result was the same, namely that Israel fell into the trap of raising his status to such an extent that he became a “super-source”, blinding Israel to those other intelligence sources that could have saved her from being caught by surprise on 6 October 1973.

Ahron (Ronnie) Bregman was born in Israel in 1958. After six years of army service, during which he took part in the 1978 Litani Campaign and the 1982 war in Lebanon, reaching the rank of Captain, he began work as a parliamentary assistant at the Knesset. He studied in Jerusalem and London, completing a doctorate in War Studies at King’s College, London in 1994. He is the author of The Fifty Years War: Israel and the Arabs (1998, with Jihan el-Tahri), the companion book to a six-part BBC / PBS television documentary; Israel’s Wars: A History since 1947 (2000, 2002, 2009); A History of Israel (2003); and Elusive Peace: How the Holy Land Defeated America (2005), the companion book to a three-part BBC / PBS television documentary. His book Cursed Victory: A History of Israel and the Occupied Territories will be published by Penguin in 2013. Ahron teaches at the Department of War Studies, King’s College, London.

Dr Ahron Bregman
Department of War Studies,
Kings College London,
Strand,
London,
WC2R 2LS
tel: 07535 483929

http://www.kcl.ac.uk/sspp/departments/warstudies/people/teachingfellows/bregman.aspx

 

Dr Conny Beyer, “The Middle Eastern Eagle. How the MENA Region can Rise”
10 April 2013

The MENA region has the potential to rise if it puts the recent changes to good use. Political changes in some countries might have opened the way for liberalization, which in turn again might facilitate democratization. Both will benefit the economic development of the region. So far, economic growth is hindered by excessive and ineffective public sectors, which do not provide sufficient opportunities for the growing young populations. Privatization of some services and a general liberalization of the markets might help bring the young workforce into employment and in the long run will fuel an economic upswing.

 

Dr Athina Karatzogianni, “A Cyberconflict Analysis of the 2011 Arab Spring Uprisings”
6 March 2013

This paper employs the cyberconflict perspective to offer a critical analysis of the Arab Spring uprisings of 2011, situating their digital elements within a historical, geo-socio-political and communications context. The media context of the Arab uprisings is discussed to identify the role of social media activism within the digital development and e-governance environment specific to each country. Social media activism is examined in relation to the history of digital activism and resistance: digital resistance within wider networks of discontent and protest against a neoliberal capitalist order in a time of a global financial crisis; the effect of ICTs on mobilization structures, organizational forms, participation, recruitment, tactics and goals of protesters; changes in framing processes; the impact of the political opportunity structure on resistances; and hacktivism, cyberattacks in support of the protesters, and crackdowns over Internet dissents by the authorities.

 

Dr Alan Craig, Leeds University, “Why Change the Law? UK-Israel relations in the shadow of the Universal Jurisdiction”
27 February 2013

In the light of the 2011 changes in the UK universal jurisdiction law restricting the right of the UK citizen to prosecute war crimes, this article examines the tension between the apparently competing principles of ending impunity for war crimes on the one hand and sovereignty and the demands of stable international relations on the other. The argument is advanced that the politics of the UK Israel bi-lateral relationship generated a common interest between the two states in increased UK government control of the prosecution process. The article examines the UK universal jurisdiction regime both before and after the 2011 reforms and concludes that, despite this apparent coincidence of interest, government control remains incomplete, with the possible arrest of visiting Israeli elites constituting a continuing unresolved tension between the processes of UK human rights law and the demands of international relations.

 

Sophia Dingli, “The Politics of (Re)Unification: Lessons from Yemen for Cyprus”
30 January 2013

Through a comparative engagement with the histories of division and the politics of (re)unification in Yemen and Cyprus this article draws tentative lessons for Cyprus from the experience of Yemen’s (re)unification and its aftermath. It argues that the Yemeni case provides Cypriots with strategies for the de-legitimization of narratives of intractability. However, despite some positive lessons, the greatest lesson the experience of Yemen should teach Cyprus is to avoid engaging in the politics of (re)unification under the guidance of opportunism and without any vestiges of prudence. Therefore, this article argues that for now, in light of the lessons Yemen has taught us, (re)unification should be avoided. It should only be revisited when prudence prevails on both sides.

Key words: Yemen, Cyprus, (re)unification, intractability, natural gas, prudence.

Sophia Dingli is a PhD Candidate at the Politics Department of the University of Hull. Her thesis is concerned with the marginalisation of the post-colonial in International Relations Theory and Yemeni politics

 

Dr Bhumitra Chakma, “Escalation Control, Deterrence Diplomacy and South Asia’s Nuclear Crises”
5 December 2012

This paper assesses the significance of American diplomatic intervention in the de-escalation of two South Asian nuclear crises – the 1999 Kargil conflict and the 2001–2002 military standoff. The American role in those crises is often referred to as crisis manager or secondary in the context of the region’s strategic and crisis stability. A careful analysis of American diplomatic interventions, however, reveals that the role is much greater, conceptualized here as deterrence diplomacy, meaning intense, focused diplomatic activity specifically to forestall crisis escalation and the outbreak of large-scale Indo-Pakistani war. More than is commonly realized, the United States was integral in the crisis strategies of both countries. It played a pivotal role preventing crisis escalation and the outbreak of large-scale conflict between India and Pakistan in both confrontations. And the American role was instrumental in the termination of those confrontations, particularly the Kargil conflict. Without America’s effective deterrence diplomacy, any of the past South Asian crises could have escalated to the nuclear level. No global generalization can be made from this analysis because it is mostly South Asia specific. However, it is plausible to argue that the United States, as the key systemic power, will have an important role in future regional deterrence.

 

 

MP Diana Johnson, “The Middle East and the Arab Spring – Personal Reflections”
23 November 2012 at 12 pm

Diana Johnson MP for Kingston Upon Hull North

Diana Johnson MP is Labour Member of Parliament for Hull North. She has been Shadow Home Office Minister since October 2010; Shadow Health Minister (May 2010 to October 2010); Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Children Schools and Families (June 2009 to May 2010); Assistant Government Whip (July 2007-June 2009); Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to Rt Hon Stephen Timms MP as Chief Secretary to the Treasury (2006-07), and as Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions (2005-06). Her political interests include employment rights, crime and policing, health, education, and animal welfare. MP Johnson is Member of the Fawcett Society 2000, Amnesty International, the Fabian Society, the Co-operative Party, and the Labour Women’s Network. Her hobbies include cinema, dog walking, theatre and football (Hull City FC).

Please view Diana’s biography:

Prof Raphael Cohen-Almagor – “Just and Unjust Wars – A Study of the Israeli Wars”
31 October 2012

The debate over what constitutes a just war is ancient. Just war theories stem from philosophical, religious and military thinking. Christian religious thinkers, like St. Augustine (354-430), and Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274) spoke of laws of war and peace, reflecting on the reasons that bring about war (jus ad bellum) and the means employed in the conduct of war (jus in bello). A contemporary thinker who has developed a liberal theory on just and unjust wars that accentuates moral considerations is Michael Walzer. He used Clausewitzas a point of departure, aiming to construct an interdisciplinary liberal theory that brings together political theory, ethics and international relations. In this paper, I employ Walzer’s theory to assess the justifications for all Israeli wars from the day of its establishment until the present. Section (I) provides historical-philosophical background and context. Section (II) accentuates the underpinning principles of Walzer’s theory. Section (III) explains Israel’s precarious position in the Middle East and its defence policy. Section (IV) employs Walzer’s theory to analyse the wars. I argue that while the 1948 Independence War, the 1956 Suez War, the 1967 Six Day War, and the 1973 Yom Kippur War were justified, the 1982 Lebanon War, the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah War, and the 2008-2009 War on Gaza were not.

Key words: Israel, Arab-Israeli conflict, just wars, jus ad bellum, jus in bello, Michael Walzer, proportionality

Raphael Cohen-Almagor (D. Phil., St. Catherine’s College, Oxford) published extensively in the fields of political science, philosophy, law, media ethics, Internet studies, medical ethics, business ethics, sociology, history and education. He was Visiting Professor at UCLA and Johns Hopkins, Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars; Co-Founder and Chairperson of “The Second Generation to the Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance” Organization in Israel; Founder and Director of the Medical Ethics Think-tank at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute; Chairperson of Library and Information Studies, and Founder and Director of the Center for Democratic Studies, University of Haifa; Member of The Israel Press Council, and (Acting) Deputy Dean for Research, University of Hull. Raphael won many grants and scholarships, including Fulbright, the British Council, the Canadian government, the Italian Foreign Office, Volkswagen, Rich, Rothschild, Rockefeller and Yigal Alon. Among his recent books are Speech, Media and Ethics (2001, 2005), The Scope of Tolerance (2006, 2007), The Democratic Catch (2007), and his second poetry book Voyages (2007). His sixteenth book concerning public responsibility in Israel was published in July 2012. Further information http://weber.hull.ac.uk/rcahttp://immediacy.hull.ac.uk/fass/me-study-group.aspxhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raphael_Cohen-Almagor and http://almagor.blogspot.com/

 

Meetings 2011-2012

Councillor Colin Inglis, Lord Mayor of Hull – Middle Eastern Immigration to Hull
6 June 2011

 

 

 

 

 

Prof Colin Shindler – Israel and the European Left: Between Solidarity and Delegitimisation
23 May 2012

Why has the European Left become so antagonistic towards Israel?
Is such antagonism in opposition to the policies of successive Israeli governments? Or, is it due to a resurgence of anti-Semitism? The answer is far more complex. Shindler argues that the new generation of the European Left was more influenced by the decolonization movement than by wartime experiences, which led it to favour the Palestinian cause in the post 1967 period. Thus the Israeli drive to settle the West Bank after the Six Day war enhanced an already existing attitude, but did not cause it.

Starting with Lenin and Trotsky and finishing in 2012, this is a historical overview and analysis of the changing attitudes towards Zionism and Israel.

Colin Shindler is Emeritus Professor and Pears Senior Research Fellow at SOAS, University of London, UK. He is also the founding chairman of the European Association of Israel Studies. The first professor of Israeli Studies in the UK, he has written 7 books on Israeli history and Jewish affairs. His History of Modern Israel was published in 2008 to mark the 60th anniversary of the founding of Israel.

 

 

Prof Mervyn Frost – War, Ethics and Foul Play in Contemporary International Relations
25 April 2011

Professor Mervyn Frost , BA (Stellenbosch), MA (Stellenbosch), B.Phil. (Oxford), D.Phil. (Stellenbosch) is Head of the Department of War Studies at King’s College, London. He was educated at the University of Stellenbosch and subsequently, as a Rhodes Scholar, he read Politics at Oxford. He held lectureships at the University of Cape Town and at Rhodes University. He was appointed to the Chair of Politics at the University of Natal in Durban in 1986. In 1996 he was appointed Professor of International Relations at the University of Kent in Canterbury. His research interest is in the field of ethics in international relations. His publications include: Towards a Normative Theory of International Relations (Cambridge University Press, 1986), Ethics in International Relations (Cambridge University Press, 1996), Constituting Human Rights: Global Civil Society and the Society of Democratic States (London, Routledge, 2002) and Global Ethics: Anarchy, Freedom and International Relations (Routledge, 2009). He has published in Political Studies, The Review of International Studies, International Relations, Cambridge Review of International Affairs, Theoria andMillennium:Journal of International Studies.

 

Prof Lester Grabbe – “New Historian” School of Israeli Historians and Their Take on the Founding of the State
21 March 2012

The focus of this paper will be the so-called Israeli “New Historians”, but it will spill over more broadly into the inner-Jewish debate about Israel and Palestine. It will consider the main findings of the New Historians but also their critics and the main elements of the debate that arose in the late 1980s and continues to the present. Also others outside these groups will be commented on, including Shlomo Sand and Norman Finkelstein.

 

Dr Adi Kuntsman, “Politics of Digital Suspicion: Notes from Israel-Palestine”
15 March 2012

Adi Kuntsman graduated with a PhD in Sociology from Lancaster University in 2007. Before joining RICC in 2009 she worked as lecturer in Internet and Communication Studies at Liverpool John Moores University. Her research interests include: migration and diaspora; nationalism, racism and coloniality; Israel/Palestine; queer migrations; cybercultures; gender, sexuality and class in Soviet Union and post-Soviet émigré diaspora; sexual politics of Gulag historiography.

Dr. Kuntsman’s current research project, funded by the Leverhulme Trust, continues her long-term interest in the relations between violence, affect, transnationality and the Internet. An Ethnography of Cyberhate: Internet, Transnationalism and Affect explores the relations between technology, politics and diasporic connections and ruptures that are formed at the time of mass migration, nationalised and globalised ‘wars on terror’, fanatism, extremism, and the increasing use of information-communication technologies within and across geo-political borders. Addressing mediated horizons of violence, conflict and cosmopolitan anxieties, Dr. Kuntsman’s research explores the way digital media shapes our affective responses to wars, dehumanisation and death.

Email: Adi.Kuntsman@manchester.ac.uk

This talk, based on on-going collaborative work with Rebecca Stein from Duke University, offers a rethinking of the digital and the assumptions that have been popularly advanced in its name following recent political events in the Middle East – in particular, the so called ‘digital democracy’ perspective. The talk is based on our research on Israeli digital cultures and communities as they intersect with the Israeli military occupation of Palestine, a context in which the narrative of digital democracy is widely embraced as a means to explain activist triumph in the face of repressive state military campaigns. The unproblematic framing of the digital as inherently anti-hierarchical and empowering is troubling, because it stills the hermeneutic operation within the digital sphere and assumes rather than interrogates the nature of the digital itself. This essay , instead, explores the recurrent narratives of suspicion and disbelief that circulate within this Israeli digital context, calling digital evidence into question.

 

Dr Asaf Siniver – Assessing Success and Failure of Third Party Mediation in the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 1948-2008
29 February 2012

Asaf Siniver is Senior Lecturer in International Security in the Department of Political Science and International Studies at the University of Birmingham. His research interests include conflict resolution, international mediation and the Arab-Israeli conflict, and his work has appeared in various academic journals. He is the author of Nixon, Kissinger and US Foreign Policy: The Machinery of Crisis (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2008 & 2011), and the editor of International Terrorism post 9/11: Comparative Dynamics and Responses (London: Routledge, 2010). He is a Leverhulme Research Fellow (2011-13) and an Associate Editor of the journal Civil Wars.

This article investigates the links between mediation determinants and mediation outcomes in the Arab-Israeli conflict between 1948 and 2008. We identify the most substantive and most researched cases of mediation in the conflict, as well as the most pertinent theoretical determinants of mediation as they appear in the literature, to present several hypotheses about the significance of such factors to mediation outcome. Using bivariate correlation analysis and various multiple regression models, we find that in the context of this conflict, Arab-Israeli mediation has been most successful when used by high-status third parties who employed manipulative strategies and focused on limited objectives, as opposed to pursuing a comprehensive settlement to the conflict or tackling its core issues.

 

Prof Sir Adam Roberts, President of British Academy – The Arab Spring
16 February 2012

Professor Sir Adam Roberts is Senior Research Fellow, Department of Politics and International Relations, Oxford University, and an Emeritus Fellow of Balliol College, Oxford. From 1986 to 2007 he was Montague Burton Professor of International Relations at Oxford University, and before that held appointments at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and St Antony’s College, Oxford.

He has held visiting appointments at New York University, Tokyo University, the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna and the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars in Washington DC.

Member, UK Defence Academy Advisory Board since 2003. He was knighted (KCMG) in 2002. Sir Adam became President of the British Academy in July 2009. He was elected to the Fellowship of the Academy in 1990.

 

Sir Adam Roberts Lecture “Revolution and Crisis in British Academia” 15-02-12.
L-R: Prof Raphael Cohen-Almagor (Politics and International Studies), Dean of FASS Prof Alison Yarrington, Sir Adam Roberts and Vice Chancellor Prof Calie Pistorius.

Prof Rafi Cohen-Almagor – Two-State Solution – The Way Forward
1 February 2012

In November 2011, I launched my fourth campaign which is arguably the most difficult of all but like the former three is much needed. This campaign calls for a two-state solution. I believe this is the only true option for both Israel and Palestine. I believe it is a just and necessary solution. Only a fair solution for both sides will be successful. A partial solution, or a solution that favours one side over another would leave the other side frustrated and angry. It won’t work.

 

Dr Athina Karatzogianni – WikiLeaks Affect: Ideology, Conflict and the Revolutionary Virtual
14 December 2012

This work focuses on the public feelings over WikiLeaks and demonstrates how affect and emotion, in conjunction with digital culture and the social media, enabled shifts in the political. The starting point is the WikiLeaks controversy, and the storm of public feelings it generated, to demonstrate how affective flows can snowball into a revolutionary shift in reality. The order of theoretical sampling and analysis begins with a philosophical discussion of the role of affective structures in mediating the actual and the digital virtual. It then moves on to the interface between ideology and organization in WikiLeaks, as an example of ideological tensions producing affect in relation to that organisation. Further discussed is the interface between hierarchy and networks, such as activist networks against states and global institutions, in order to examine the interfaces between emotion and affect, as the expressive causes and the driving engine behind revolts and uprisings.

 

Dr Conny Beyer – Reflections on 10 Years after 9/11
23 November 2011

This article argues that the US-led policies of countering terrorism have created a new area of global governance. While this is a positive development per se, problems persist with the military and intelligence focus of global counterterrorism policies. Rather, for addressing the underlying conditions which contribute to the emergence of terrorism long-term, economic and social development policies are needed. For this purpose, global counterterrorism policies need to be better integrated with other areas of global governance. This would aid both the effectiveness of counterterrorism and other foreign policies.

 

Dr Alan Craig – The Palestinian Strategy for State Recognition
26 October 2011

 

Meetings 2008-2010

Dr Cornela Beyer

Prof Jo Carby-Hall

Dr Bhumitra Chakma

Prof Raphael Cohen-Almagor

Prof Jan Czaga, Warsaw University, Poland

Prof Lester Grabbe

Prof Jack Hayward

Dr Athina Karatzogianni

Prof Asa Kasher, Tel Aviv University, Israel

Prof Menny Mautner, Law, Tel Aviv University