Jan
24
Thu
2019
Book Launch: Ziya Meral, “How Violence Shapes Religion: Belief and Conflict in the Middle East and Africa” @ Elliott School of International Affairs, Room 505
Jan 24 @ 5:00 PM – 6:30 PM

Ziya Meral will discuss his new book, How Violence Shapes Religion: Belief and Conflict in the Middle East and Africa (Cambridge University Press, 2018), with POMEPS on Thursday, January 24, 2019 at the Elliott School of International Affairs, Room 505.

Is there an inevitable global violent clash unfolding between the world’s largest religions: Islam and Christianity? Do religions cause violent conflicts, or are there other factors at play? How can we make sense of increasing reports of violence between Christian and Muslim ethnic communities across the world? By seeking to answer such questions about the relationship between religion and violence in today’s world, Ziya Meral challenges popular theories and offers an alternative explanation, grounded on insights inferred from real cases of ethno-religious violence in Africa and the Middle East. The relationship between religion and violence runs deep and both are intrinsic to the human story. Violence leads to and shapes religion, while religion acts to enable violence as well as providing responses that contain and prevent it. However, with religious violence being one of the most serious challenges facing the modern world, Meral shows that we need to de-globalise our analysis and focus on individual conflicts, instead of attempting to provide single answers to complex questions.

Dr Ziya Meral is a British and Turkish researcher. He specializes on politics and foreign policies of Turkey and Middle East, thematic issues surrounding interaction of religion with global affairs, and British defence and security. He is a Senior Resident Fellow at the UK Army’s new Centre for Historical Analysis and Conflict Research – a civilian and military think tank providing independent analysis and research on defence and security based at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.  He is also the Director of the Centre on Religion and Global Affairs, based in London and Beirut. He regularly serves as an advisor and consultant to various projects, companies and as a board member to charitable initiatives in the UK and Middle East.

Free copies of the book will be available for students

A light lunch will be provided

~ Please RSVP below to attend ~

Feb
14
Thu
2019
Book Launch: Wendy Pearlman and Boaz Atzili, “Triadic Coercion: Israel’s Targeting of States that Host Nonstate Actors” @ Elliott School of International Affairs, Lindner Commons
Feb 14 @ 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM

Wendy Pearlman and Boaz Atzili will discuss their new book, Triadic Coercion: Israel’s Targeting of States That Host Nonstate Actors (Columbia University Press, 2018), with POMEPS on Thursday, February 14, 2019 at the Elliott School of International Affairs, Lindner Family Commons.

In the post–Cold War era, states increasingly find themselves in conflicts with nonstate actors. Finding it difficult to fight these opponents directly, many governments instead target states that harbor or aid nonstate actors, using threats and punishment to coerce host states into stopping those groups.

Wendy Pearlman and Boaz Atzili investigate this strategy, which they term triadic coercion. They explain why states pursue triadic coercion, evaluate the conditions under which it succeeds, and demonstrate their arguments across seventy years of Israeli history. This rich analysis of the Arab-Israeli conflict, supplemented with insights from India and Turkey, yields surprising findings. Traditional discussions of interstate conflict assume that the greater a state’s power compared to its opponent, the more successful its coercion. Turning that logic on its head, Pearlman and Atzili show that this strategy can be more effective against a strong host state than a weak one because host regimes need internal cohesion and institutional capacity to move against nonstate actors. If triadic coercion is thus likely to fail against weak regimes, why do states nevertheless employ it against them? Pearlman and Atzili’s investigation of Israeli decision-making points to the role of strategic culture. A state’s system of beliefs, values, and institutionalized practices can encourage coercion as a necessary response, even when that policy is prone to backfire.

Wendy Pearlman is an associate professor of political science at Northwestern University, where she also holds the Martin and Patricia Koldyke Outstanding Teaching Professorship and is a faculty fellow at the Buffett Institute for Global Studies. Boaz Atili is an associate professor and the Director of Doctoral Studies at the School of International Service (SIS) in American University, Washington DC.

Free copies of the book will be available for students

A light lunch will be provided

~ Please RSVP below to attend ~

 

Mar
12
Tue
2019
Book Launch: Ariel Ahram, “Break All the Borders” @ Elliott School of International Affairs, Lindner Commons
Mar 12 @ 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM

Ariel I. Ahram will discuss his new book, Break All the Borders (Oxford University Press, 2019), with POMEPS on Tuesday, March 12, 2019 at the Elliott School of International Affairs, Lindner Family Commons. In Break all the Borders, Ariel I. Ahram examines the separatist movements that aimed to remake the borders of the Arab world and create new independent states. With detailed studies of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, the federalists in eastern Libya, the southern resistance in Yemen, and Kurdish nationalist parties, Ahram explains how separatists captured territory and handled the tasks of rebel governance, including managing oil exports, electricity grids, and irrigation networks.

Ariel I. Ahram is Associate Professor in the Virginia Tech School of Public and International Affairs in Alexandria, Virginia, and non-resident fellow at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy. He earned a Ph.D. in government and M.A. in Arab Studies from Georgetown and B.A., summa cum laude, from Brandeis. He writes widely on security issues in the Middle East and North Africa. He was a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington D.C. and has spoken and lectured at the World Bank, Marine Corps University, and the German Institute for Global Affairs. In 2015, he testified before the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee on the Islamic State’s abuses of women and children.

Free copies of the book will be available for students

A light lunch will be provided

~ Please RSVP below to attend ~