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“The Middle East Unfolding”: 2012 Otago Foreign Policy School

Sun striking the Clocktower

Thursday 24 May 2012 12:29pm

Egptians celebrate in streetsPower to the people: Egyptians celebrate President Hosni Mubarak’s resignation
Photo credit: ©

The nature of changes wrought in the Middle East by the Arab uprisings and their implications for the region and its role in the wider world are among topics being explored at next month’s Otago Foreign Policy School.

This year’s School, titled “The Middle East Unfolding: Dreams and Drama in the Early Twenty-First Century”, brings together leading national and international Middle East scholars and New Zealand diplomats, policymakers, business people, students and members of the public.

The School will run from Friday 22 June to Sunday 24 June at St Margaret’s College on the University of Otago campus. The opening address on Friday evening will be given by Foreign Affairs Minister Hon Murray McCully.

School Director Professor William Harris of the Department of Politics says an impressive range of experts on the region will share their perspectives through presentations and discussions. From the Middle East itself the speaker line-up includes Professor Meir Litwak of Tel Aviv University and Professor Kemal Kirisci of Bogazici University in Istanbul.

“This gathering will provide an excellent opportunity for staff, students, officials and members of the public to hear about and discuss the impact momentous developments in the Middle East are having on the region and its role in world politics,” Professor Harris says.

Broad themes being addressed include: Turkish perspectives on Middle East change; Israeli perspectives on Middle East change; the circumstances of the Arab oil states; Arab militaries amid Arab uprisings; democratic struggle and authoritarian survival in the Arab world; the uprising in Libya; whither the Palestinians?; NATO and the Middle East; and implications of the convulsion in Syria.

Speaker line-up:

  • Professor Kemal Kirisci, Bogaziçi University, Turkey
  • Professor Meir Litvak, Tel Aviv University, Israel
  • Dr Christopher Davidson, University of Durham, United Kingdom
  • Professor Ahmed Hashim, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
  • Professor Marie-Joëlle Zahar, L’Université de Montréal, Canada
  • Dr Sally Totman, Deakin University, Australia
  • Dr Nigel Parsons, Massey University
  • Gabriele Cascone, NATO headquarters
  • Dr Leon Goldsmith, University of Otago
  • Professor William Harris, University of Otago

For more information, contact

Professor William Harris
Department of Politics
University of Otago
Tel 64 3 479 8360

To obtain enrolment forms and further organisational information contact

University of Otago Foreign Policy School
C/- Jan Brosnahan
Telephone 64 3 4667 137
Mobile 027 223 0646

Register for the Otago Foreign Policy School online

About the Foreign Policy School

Since its inception in 1966, the University of Otago Foreign Policy School has developed into one of the premiere events in New Zealand's international calendar.

Originally started as a workshop on foreign affairs issues, the School soon attracted the attention of New Zealand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade which recognised its value as a weekend retreat for officials.

Representatives from other government bodies such as the Prime Minister's office and the Ministry of Defence, as well as academics, journalists, diplomats, members of the private sector and NGOs, and interested members of the public also participate regularly.

A list of Otago experts available for media comment is available elsewhere on this website.

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