AUK Hosts Multi-Speaker Event with Sciences Po and KFAS
In collaboration with the Sciences Po Kuwait Program and the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS), the Departments of International Relations and Social and Behavioral Sciences at AUK held an informative multi-speaker event titled, Transnational Issues in International Relations which aimed to shed light on different topics that have affected the Middle East recently. The event was moderated by Dr. Roman Kulchitsky, chair of the International Relations and Social and Behavioral Sciences Departments at AUK and was attended by the University’s students and faculty members.
The first speaker was Dr. Dawn Chatty, anthropology professor at the University of Oxford. Dr. Chatty’s presentation entitled, Forced Migration: Changing Concepts of Belonging and Identity, Citizenship, and Denationalization. Her presentation began with the history of forced migration after World War Ⅱ. Dr. Chatty described that period as a “Modern Humanitarian Era” when the U.N. agency for refugees was founded to aid displaced people and migrants through various international covenants, laws, and treaties. Supported by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the UN Refugee Convention and other supporting treaties contain articles that ensure that everyone can leave and return back to their own country as well as obtain asylum in other countries. Dr. Chatty also emphasized the powerful role of activists in supporting refugees and promoting their human rights. “In many countries of Europe and throughout the world, individuals and solidarity networks have begun to emerge to help forced migrants and people who have lost protection of their own country,” Dr. Chatty affirmed.
The next speaker, Dr. Pete Moore, visiting professor at Paris School of International Affairs started off his presentation on international relations by first explaining conflictual events in the Middle East. In his presentation, Dr. Moore discussed the conflicts of the Middle East that had foreign intervention, and noted that the duration of these conflicts were the result of many variables. “The Middle East in some way is unique because of what is considered the permeability of borders in the Middle East,” Dr. Moore said. He then discussed how the militarization of Western foreign powers in Middle East conflicts also had impacts in the west, suggesting an increased use of domestic force within Western nations. He cited some of the recent national responses to the Black Lives Matter movement as an example of increased domestic militarization.
The final speaker, Dr. Tamirace Fakhoury, associate professor of political science and global migration and refugee studies at Aalborg University introduced her topic, Pandemic Borderscapes and Governance: Mobility and Rights, and demonstrated how governments draw on the pandemic to implement strict rules and policies by limiting people’s mobility and rights. She supported her argument with the worsening conditions in Lebanon due to the pandemic. “Covid-19, in fact, became one of the pivotal factors that enabled the Lebanese government to further escape its responsibilities and obscure accountabilities and cascading crises, whether we are talking about the financial collapse or Beirut blast,” Dr. Fakhoury said.
The event concluded with a Q&A session where students and faculty presented their questions and engaged in intellectual discussions with the speakers.
Science Po is a renowned research university specialized in the field of humanities and social sciences based in Paris, and KFAS is a Kuwaiti private non-profit organization that aims to support progress and advancing sciences and technology. Working together, the two institutions—through the Sciences Po’s Kuwait Program—support a range of initiatives in the fields of research, teaching, and academic events, with special emphasis on studying the Middle East and Gulf region. The AUK Department of International Relations continues to support student learning inside and outside the classroom by offering discussions of regional and local issues.
Dr. Roman Kulchitsky, chair of the International Relations and Social and Behavioral Sciences Departments at AUK, Dr. Dawn Chatty, anthropology professor at the University of Oxford, Dr. Pete Moore, visiting professor at Paris School of International Affairs, Dr. Tamirace Fakhoury, associate professor of political science and global migration and refugee studies at Aalborg University