Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Whatever Happened to the Arab Spring July 10th 6pm


Since the first wave of uprisings in 2011, the euphoria of the "Arab Spring" has given way to the gloom of backlash and a descent into mayhem and war. The revolution has been overwhelmed by clashes between rival counter-revolutionary forces: resilient old regimes on the one hand and Islamic fundamentalist contenders on the other. 
Authors Gilbert Achcar and Danny Postel will be discussing the history and current state of the Middle East.  Water and wine provided.
Gilbert Achcar has been called “one of the best analysts of the contemporary Arab world” by the newspaper Le Monde. He is Professor of Development Studies and International Relations at the University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). His many books include Morbid Symptoms: Relapse in the Arab Uprising (2016), The People Want: A Radical Exploration of the Arab Uprising (2013), Marxism, Orientalism, Cosmopolitanism (2013), The Arabs and the Holocaust: The Arab-Israeli War of Narratives (2010), Perilous Power: The Middle East and U.S. Foreign Policy (2007), and The Clash of Barbarisms: The Making of the New World Disorder (2002). His books have been translated into 15 languages.
Morbid Symptoms offers a timely analysis of the ongoing Arab uprising that will engage experts and general readers alike. Drawing on a unique combination of scholarly and political knowledge of the Arab region, Achcar argues that, short of radical social change, the region will not achieve stability any time soon.  Focusing on Syria and Egypt, Achcar assesses the present stage of the uprising and the main obstacles, both regional and international, that prevent any resolution.
"What happened to the 2011 Arab revolutions? They reverberated throughout the Middle East and North Africa and around the globe, influencing movements from Occupy to the indignados.  Even after the Arab Spring had mostly passed, the wave they helped initiate continued in Gezi Park, the Corbyn and Sanders campaigns, and Black Lives Matter...Drawing on sources in Arabic, English and French, Gilbert Ashcar's Morbid Symptoms: Relapse in the Arab Uprising offers the clearest and most comprehensive analysis of the fate of these revolutions.  [This book] is a sobering yet generous account of the Arab people's fight for true liberation and the lessons that have been learned from that struggle."--Kevin B. Anderson, Jacobin


Danny Postel is the Assistant Director of the Middle East and North African Studies Program at Northwestern University. He is co-editor of Sectarianization: Mapping the New Politics of the Middle East (2017), The Syria Dilemma (2013), and The People Reloaded: The Green Movement and the Struggle for Iran’s Future (2010), and author of Reading “Legitimation Crisis” in Tehran (2006). His writing has appeared in The Cairo Review of Global Affairs, Democracy: A Journal of Ideas, Dissent, The Guardian, the Huffington Post, In These Times, Middle East Policy, The Nation, The New York Times, The Progressive, and the Washington Post.
Sectarianization: Mapping the New Politics of the Middle East (2017) shows that as the Middle East descends ever deeper into violence and chaos, 'sectarianism' has become a catch-all explanation for the region's troubles. The turmoil is attributed to 'ancient sectarian differences', putatively primordial forces that make violent conflict intractable. In media and policy discussions, sectarianism has come to possess trans-historical causal power.

Featuring leading scholars -- and including historians, anthropologists, political scientists and international relations theorists -- this book will redefine the terms of debate on one of the most critical issues in international affairs today.

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