The popular demonstrations during the Arab Spring not only transformed the political and societal landscape across the Middle East but also challenged deep-rooted notions about the role played by national, ethnic and religious identity in the politics of the region. What are the historical roots and recent developments that have led to deepening ethnic and sectarian schisms? How does identity politics influence democratization and governance? What can local, regional and international actors do to limit the violence and extremism associated with specific forms of identity politics and encourage more inclusive political systems?
This Center for the Middle East conference brought together regional and international scholars with a wide range of expertise to explain current trends and offer policy prescriptions to promote more inclusive and stable political systems in the region. The conference focused on three areas where identity politics plays a key role: 1) sectarianism in the region; 2) gender, identity and conflict post-Arab Spring; and 3) Palestinians in Israel and the future of the Jewish state.
Scroll down to watch the videos of the conference proceedings, and view photos from the event on Facebook. Click on the presentation titles in the agenda to view the speakers' PowerPoint presentations.
Cover photo: Keynote speaker Shibley Telhami, Ph.D.
Registration and Breakfast
Welcome and Introduction
The Honorable Edward P. Djerejian
Shibley Telhami, Ph.D.
Panel I — Sectarianism in the Region
Moderator: Kristian Coates Ulrichsen, Ph.D., Fellow for the Middle East, Baker Institute
“The Islamic State and Gulf Sectarianism”
“Playing on Identity: Elite Struggle and Fragmented Politics in Kuwait”
“The Emergence of Identity Politics among the Shia in Saudi Arabia”
Panel II — Gender, Identity and Conflict Post-Arab Spring
Moderator: Marwa Shalaby, Ph.D., Fellow for the Middle East and Director, Women's Rights in the Middle East Program, Baker Institute
“Sectarian Politics in the Gulf: The Challenge to Women’s Rights”
“Narratives of Sacrifice: Palestinian Women, Violence and the Nation”
“Women’s Islamic Social Reform in Egypt: Beyond the Secular-Religious Divide”
Panel III — Palestinians in Israel and the Future of the Jewish State
Moderator: Allen Matusow, Ph.D., Director of Academic Affairs, Baker Institute
“The Palestinian Minority in the Jewish State: Between Civic Status and National Security Concern”
“Civic Zionism and the Challenges of the 21st Century”
To view the entire conference, please click below: