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The Middle East and North Africa in the Emerging Global Cold War

An interdisciplinary conference hosted by the Middle East and North Africa reseach cluster

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Conferences | Seminars

The fourth annual Middle East and North Africa research cluster conference focuses on existing and emerging security challenges in the Middle East and North Africa. In particular, the conference will consider ongoing conflicts, emerging flashpoints, and the potential for increased instability in an era of heightened international tension – what some scholars are terming a new global cold war.

  • From: Tuesday 2 May 2017, 12 am
  • To: Tuesday 2 May 2017, 12 am
  • Location: Newton building, Nottingham Conference Centre, Nottingham Trent University, City Campus, Burton Street, Nottingham, NG1 4BU
  • Booking deadline: Friday 28 April 2017, 12.00 am
  • Download this event to your calendar

Past event

Event details

Despite significant political and economic progress in parts of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), the post-Arab Spring upsurge in violence in some areas is shaping the MENA as a whole.

The region is once again struggling with domestic and international conflicts. While much of the focus has been on violence in Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen, broader divisions have re-emerged between regional powers such as Saudi Arabia, Iran, Turkey and Israel. At the same time, political and security power vacuums in weak and failing states in the area have resulted in the internationalisation of domestic conflicts and their fallout. Sectarianism, extremism and ideological division between Islamists, secularists, and conservatives are also seemingly on the rise. These worrying trends have been reinforced by what some are calling an emerging cold war, characterised by intense competition at the global level between major powers, in particular the USA, Russia and China. Regional and global balances of power, alliance-formation, security dilemmas, proxy wars and arms races are increasingly core features of the region’s politics, economics and international relations.

This conference will bring together scholars from different academic fields to consider these issues and what the future may look like, using varying theoretical and methodological approaches.

Call for papers

Both empirical and theoretical papers are welcome. Suggested topics are as follows:

  • IR & IPE theory and the MENA
  • the MENA in the old and emerging cold wars (esp. the MENA in US-Russian rivalry)
  • the Arab cold war
  • terrorism and extremism in the MENA
  • regional proxy wars and rivalries
  • migration, displacement and the refugee crises
  • radicalisation and extremism
  • civil conflicts, intervention and conflict resolution and crisis management in Iraq, Syria, Libya and Yemen
  • secular and Islamist politics
  • sectarianism and the internationalisation of domestic disputes
  • the Arab League and regional conflicts and disputes
  • diplomacy
  • global powers and the MENA (USA, Russia, China, EU etc.)
  • law and society.

If you wish to present a paper, please submit an abstract of up to 200 words to Dr Imad El-Anis by Friday 17 February 2017. You will be notified of the decision on your abstract via email by Tuesday 28 February 2017.

For more details on the MENA cluster, please visit our research page.

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


A programme for the 2017 conference is now available PDF icon .

Booking information

This one day conference is free to attend and open to members of the the public. Please click 'Reserve your place' above, and complete the short online booking process to reserve your place(s) at the conference.

Location details


Newton building, Nottingham Conference Centre


Nottingham Trent University
City Campus
Burton Street

Past event

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