Call for Papers: Regional Integration vs National Disintegration

The Middle East and North Africa Research Cluster at Nottingham Trent University is accepting proposals for an interdisciplinary conference, “Regional Integration vs. National Disintegration in the Post-Arab Spring Middle East and North Africa,” to be held April 9, 2015.  The deadline for abstracts is February 15, 2015.

The national and transnational challenges that have emerged since the uprisings in 2011 that are commonly referred to as ‘the Arab Spring’ – in particular the increase in extremism, and the emergence and intensification of civil wars – have garnered significant attention in both media coverage and academic research. However, simultaneous (and far older) processes of regional integration – in varying forms from free trade agreements like the Greater Arab Free Trade Area, to economic and political union like the Gulf Cooperation Council – have also been influenced by the changes of the past four years. This one day interdisciplinary conference is aimed at a broad audience of academics, practitioners and students interested in the contemporary MENA. The conference will explore the processes of change currently shaping the MENA. This conference aims to draw together research from different fields (including International Relations, International Political Economy, Middle Eastern Studies, History, Business and Law) in order to explore how far the changes shaping the MENA are leading to the region’s polarisation between states that are integrating politically and economically with each other on the one hand, and states that are disintegrating internally on the other.

Both empirical and theoretical papers are welcome and suggested topics are as follows:

  • IR Theory and the MENA
  • Radicalisation, extremism and civil war in Syria, Iraq, Libya & the MENA
  • Revolutions and counter-revolutions
  • Sectarianism and the internationalisation of domestic disputes
  • Theoretical reflections on the Arab Spring
  • Civil conflicts, intervention and conflict resolution/crisis management in Iraq, Syria and Libya
  • Revisionism and conservatism in the MENA
  • Diplomacy and international law
  • Ideas, norms and institutions contemporary MENA politics
  • The Arab League and regional conflicts/disputes
  • Economic, political and military integration in the Gulf Cooperation Council
  • Regional economic integration
  • The political and economic impacts of the Arab Spring
  • Trade liberalisation in the MENA
  • Economic development and political cooperation in the MENA
  • Energy security, hydrocarbons and nuclear energy in the MENA
  • Hegemony, power and sovereignty

If you wish to present a paper, please submit an abstract of up to 250 words to Dr Imad El-Anis ( with the subject heading “MENA NTU Research Conference 2015 Abstract” by 15th February 2015. You will be notified of the decision on your abstract via email by 28th February 2015.

For more details on the conference please visit the MENA Research Cluster website.

All queries should be directed to Dr Imad El-Anis ( or Dr Natasha Underhill (


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