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Conf/CfP - The Geo-Politics of the Middle East, 28-29 October 2015, Deakin University, Australia


July 31, 2015


Event Date:

October 28, 2015 - October 29, 2015

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The Middle East Studies Forum (MESF) at the Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation (ADICG), in partnership with the Middle East Institute (National University of Singapore) and the Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies (ANU) are pleased to issue this Call for Papers for the forthcoming symposium 'Making Sense of Geo-Politics in the Middle East'.

The rise of the Islamic State of Syria and Iraq, which claims to revive the historic Islamic Caliphate, has brought to the fore intense state rivalries. This is most notable between Saudi Arabia and Iran, which appear to be locked in a number of theatres of conflict from Syria to Yemen. But other enmities have also intensified as a result of growing tensions and states' self-perception of their regional weight. These include frictions between Qatar and Egypt, Iran and Turkey, and Egypt and Turkey. Compounding each of these is the emergence of the self-declared Islamic State and the prospects of a future Kurdish state.

This symposium brings together a number of informed scholars concerned with the lacuna in knowledge that this situation has created in order to hold a robust exchange of ideas on the following key questions:

  • Do recent events suggest a reassertion of state-centric politics over ideological considerations?
  • Are we witnessing the demise of ideology as a normative tool for change?
  • To what extent can the reassertion of geo-politics in the Middle East be seen as a vindication of the neo-realist paradigm in International Relations?
  • What is the trajectory of future developments in the region?
  • As well as any other questions related to geo-politics in the Middle East

If you would like to present a paper as part of this conference, please submit the following to Dr. James Barry ( by Friday 31 July 2015:

  • A title and 250 word abstract addressing one of the key questions outlined above, and a 100 word biography

Note that the conference convener aims to produce a significant publication out of the forum papers. Select papers at the forum will therefore be chosen and included as chapters in an edited volume or articles in a special issue of a journal.

Keynote Speakers Include (TBC):

  • Prof Mehran Kamrava, Center for International and Regional Studies, Georgetown University
  • Prof. Amin Saikal, Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies, Australian National University
  • Prof. Gareth Stansfield, Institute for Arab and Islamic Studies, Exeter University

Other Speakers Include (TBC):

  • Prof. Shahram Akbarzadeh, ADICG Deakin University
  • Dr. Veronika Deffner, Middle East Institute, National University of Singapore
  • Dr. Benjamin Isakhan, ADICG, Deakin University
  • Dr. Benjamin MacQueen, Monash University
  • Prof. Fethi Mansouri, ADICG, Deakin University
  • Dr. Gwynn Okruhlik, Middle East Institute, National University of Singapore
  • Dr. Zoltan Pall, Middle East Institute, National University of Singapore
  • Prof. Amin Saikal, Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies, ANU

The symposium was held at
Deakin University
Burwood Corporate Centre

Level 2, Building BC
221 Burwood Hwy Burwood

Academic queries Dr James Barry
T: +61 3 9244 3922
General queries Institute Administration Team
T: +61 3 5227 1464

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