167 episodes

Welcome to the LSE Middle East Centre's podcast feed.

The MEC builds on LSE's long engagement with the Middle East and North Africa and provides a central hub for the wide range of research on the region carried out at LSE.

Follow us and keep up to date with our latest event podcasts and interviews!

LSE Middle East Centre Podcasts LSE Middle East Centre

    • Education

Welcome to the LSE Middle East Centre's podcast feed.

The MEC builds on LSE's long engagement with the Middle East and North Africa and provides a central hub for the wide range of research on the region carried out at LSE.

Follow us and keep up to date with our latest event podcasts and interviews!

    Assad Or We Burn the Country: How One Family's Lust for Power Destroyed Syria (Book Launch)

    Assad Or We Burn the Country: How One Family's Lust for Power Destroyed Syria (Book Launch)

    This event is a launch for Pulitzer Prize-nominated journalist Sam Dagher's latest book Assad or We Burn the Country: How One Family's Lust for Power Destroyed Syria.

    In spring 2011, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad turned to his friend and army commander, Manaf Tlass, for advice about how to respond to Arab Spring-inspired protests. Tlass pushed for conciliation but Assad decided to crush the uprising -- an act which would catapult the country into an eight-year long war, killing almost half a million and fueling terrorism and a global refugee crisis.

    Assad or We Burn the Country examines Syria's tragedy through the generational saga of the Assad and Tlass families, once deeply intertwined and now estranged in Bashar's bloody quest to preserve his father's inheritance. By drawing on his own reporting experience in Damascus and exclusive interviews with Tlass, Dagher takes readers within palace walls to reveal the family behind the destruction of a country and the chaos of an entire region. Dagher shows how one of the world's most vicious police states came to be and explains how a regional conflict extended globally, engulfing the Middle East and pitting the United States and Russia against one another.

    Sam Dagher has reported in the Middle East for more than twelve years. He was the only Western reporter based in Damascus from 2012 to 2014, until being detained by the Assad regime and expelled for reporting deemed unfavorable to the regime. He has worked for the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Christian Science Monitor, and Agence France Presse, and has covered the conflict in Iraq, the Arab Spring uprisings, and Libya. The Wall Street Journal nominated Dagher’s work from Syria for the Pulitzer Prize and other journalism awards.

    Ian Black is a Visiting Senior Fellow at the LSE Middle East Centre and former Middle East editor, diplomatic editor and European editor for the Guardian newspaper. In recent years he has reported and commented extensively on the Arab uprisings and their aftermath in Syria, Libya and Egypt, along with frequent visits to Iran, the Gulf and across the MENA region. His latest book, a new history of the Palestine–Israel conflict, was published in 2017 to mark the centenary of the Balfour Declaration and the 50th anniversary of the 1967 war. He has an MA in history and social and political science from the University of Cambridge and a PhD in government from LSE.

    Join the conversation on Twitter using #LSESyria

    • 1 hr 21 min
    Approaches to Reforming the Iraqi Economy amid Popular Protests

    Approaches to Reforming the Iraqi Economy amid Popular Protests

    This event is the launch of the report titled ‘Public Payroll Expansion in Iraq: Causes and Consequences’ published under the LSE Conflict Research Programme by Principal Investigator Ali Al-Mawlawi. The public payroll in Iraq has grown unchecked since 2003, commensurate with the country’s vastly expanding oil wealth. With few alternative sources of government income, the state budget’s growth poses worrying questions about whether this ongoing trend can be sustained without risking economic ruin. The report offers policy recommendations for a realistic path to address unemployment and job creation.

    At the same time, the current protest movement in Iraq, centred around demands for jobs and against corruption and nepotism, also raises concerns about Iraq’s economic trajectory, including in relation to public sector employment growth. This report will be discussed in relation to developments on the ground in Iraq.

    Ali Al-Mawlawi is head of research at Al-Bayan Centre for Planning and Studies, a public policy think tank based in Baghdad, where he specialists in institutional reform and foreign affairs. He has written extensively on public sector spending and combatting corruption in Iraq. He holds a Master of International Studies and Diplomacy from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London.

    Alia Moubayed is an economist and former director of geo-economics and strategy at the International Institute for Strategic Studies. Previously, she worked as Chief Economist for the MENA region at Barclays Bank in London. She has also worked at the World Bank as a senior economist responsible for research and policy dialogue covering several countries in Europe and Central Asia, and held policy responsibilities in various economic institutions of the Government of Lebanon.

    Toby Dodge is Kuwait Professor and Director of the Kuwait Programme at the LSE Middle East Centre. He is also Professor in the Department of International Relations. Toby currently serves as Iraq Research Director for the DFID-funded Conflict Research Programme (CRP). From 2013–18, Toby was Director of the Middle East Centre. He has been visiting, researching and writing about Iraq for over twenty years and his main areas of research include the comparative politics and historical sociology of the Middle East, the politics of intervention, the evolution of the Iraqi state, state-society dynamics and political identities in Iraq.

    Taif Alkhudary is a Research Assistant on the LSE Middle East Centre research project, 'Managing Religious Diversity in the Middle East: The Muhasasa Ta'ifia in Iraq, 2003–2018'. She has previously held roles at several Geneva-based NGOs, where she worked on women’s and girls’ rights and on bringing cases of enforced disappearances, torture, arbitrary detention and extrajudicial killings in the Gulf and Iraq before the United Nations.

    Join the conversation on Twitter using #LSEIraq

    • 1 hr 26 min
    Yazidis and ISIS: The Causes and Consequences of Sexual Violence in Conflict

    Yazidis and ISIS: The Causes and Consequences of Sexual Violence in Conflict

    This event launches the paper “Yazidis and ISIS: The Causes and Consequences of Sexual Violence in Conflict” published under the LSE Conflict Research Programme by Principal Investigator Dr. Zeynep Kaya.

    It has been five years since ISIS brought the Yazidi community in Iraq to the brink of destruction. Some women and children held by ISIS have been re-captured by criminal gangs to be trafficked or sold to their families. Those that managed to escape the brutal attacks have ended up in displacement camps scattered around Iraqi Kurdistan, with a small number relocating to Western countries as refugees.

    This report shows that preventing sexual violence in conflict is not possible without tackling the underlying structural factors that foster this form of violence. Militant radical groups such as ISIS use specific gender norms in connection with perceived religious/sectarian identities in order to morally justify and organise violence. ISIS’s attacks on the Yazidis showed again that gender (and gendered violence) is a key component of the politics of violence and cannot be reduced simply to an outcome of conflict. Therefore, gender is key not only to the prevention of conflict but also to how this is addressed in post-conflict periods.

    Zeynep Kaya is a Research Fellow at the LSE Middle East Centre. She is part of the UK DFID-Funded Conflict Research Programme and is leading projects on gendered drivers of conflict in Iraq, the impact of genocide on the Yazidi community, responses to internal displacement in Iraqi Kurdistan, WPS and displacement in the Middle East, and women’s political participation in Kuwait. She is also a Lecturer at the Pembroke-King’s Programme, University of Cambridge.

    Nazanin Shahrokni is an Associate Professor at the LSE Department of Gender Studies. Prior to joining LSE, she held positions in various international settings such as Syracuse University, Lund University, the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies, and the American University of Beirut. Nazanin is currently on the Executive Board of the International Sociological Association, and serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Middle Eastern Women's Studies. Her research interests fall at the intersection of gender politics, feminist geography, and ethnographies of the state in Iran, the Middle East, and beyond, bringing a critical lens and an ethnographic approach to the study of gendered public spaces and spheres, the reconstruction of gender difference in city spaces, and the complex gendered underpinnings of urban governance and political institutions.

    Join the conversation on Twitter using #LSEIraq

    Image: ©AFP/Safin Hamed

    • 1 hr 11 min
    Methodological Approaches in Kurdish Studies: Theoretical and Practical Insights from the Field

    Methodological Approaches in Kurdish Studies: Theoretical and Practical Insights from the Field

    This event launches the book Methodological Approaches in Kurdish Studies: Theoretical and Practical Insights from the Field. It is a volume that presents thirteen contributions that reflect upon the practical, ethical, theoretical and methodological challenges that researchers face when conducting fieldwork in settings that are characterized with deteriorating security situations, increasing state control and conflicting inter-ethnic relations. More precisely, they shed light to the intricacies of conducting fieldwork on highly politicized and sensitive topics in the region of Kurdistan in Iraq, Syria and Turkey as well as among Kurdish diaspora members in Europe.

    Bahar Baser is associate professor at the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations, Coventry University.

    Yasin Duman is a Ph.D. candidate at the Center for Trust, Peace, and Social Relations (CTPSR), Coventry University. His research focuses on the role of intergroup relations in the integration of Syrian refugees in Turkey.

    Begüm Zorlu is a PhD candidate and a teaching assistant in the department of International Politics at City, University of London. Her research focuses on political parties and contentious politics in Latin America and the Middle East.

    Francis O’Connor is a post-doctoral researcher at the Peace Research Institute in Frankfurt. His research focuses on social movements and civil wars.

    Marc Sinan Winrow is a PhD candidate in International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

    Zeynep Kaya is a Research Fellow at the LSE Middle East Centre. She is part of the UK DFID-Funded Conflict Research Programme and is leading projects on gendered drivers of conflict in Iraq, the impact of genocide on the Yazidi community, responses to internal displacement in Iraqi Kurdistan,

    This event is part of the Kurdish Studies Series at the LSE Middle East Centre. Convened by Zeynep Kaya and Robert Lowe, the series will encourage dissemination and discussion of new research on Kurdish politics and society and provide a network for scholars and students with shared research interests. Public lectures and research seminars will be held regularly during term-time. If you wish to join the mailing list for the series, please contact Robert Lowe: r.lowe@lse.ac.uk

    Join the conversation on Twitter using #LSEKurds

    • 1 hr 27 min
    Current Developments In North And East Syria with Ilham Ehmed

    Current Developments In North And East Syria with Ilham Ehmed

    Please note that this event involved a translator, as a result there may be some background noise in parts of the recording where translation is taking place.

    This event will analyse current developments on the ground in Northern Syria with Ilham Ehmed, co-president of the Executive Council of the de-facto autonomous region of North and East Syria.

    Following the recent Turkish incursion and US withdrawal, the Syrian Democratic Council (SDC) have stated that they are ready to negotiate with Damascus. This event will take a look at a general overview of what led up to this decision, what the future holds for the Kurdish project in North and East Syria and how these negotiations will impact the future of Syria in all it's regions.

    Ilham Ehmed is a Syrian-Kurdish politician. Until July 2018, she was a co-chair of the SDC, the political wing of the Syrian Democratic Forces in the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria. She is a senior member of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and a member of the executive committee of the Movement for a Democratic Society (TEV-DEM) coalition. Ahmed is an active member of the Syrian Women’s Initiative for Peace and Democracy (SWIPD), a network of civil society organizations from inside and outside of Syria.

    Robert Lowe is Deputy Director of the Middle East Centre.

    Join the conversation on Twitter using #LSEKurds

    • 1 hr 10 min
    Truths And Lies In The Middle East: Memoirs of a Veteran Journalist, 1952-2012 (Book Launch)

    Truths And Lies In The Middle East: Memoirs of a Veteran Journalist, 1952-2012 (Book Launch)

    This event is a book launch for Eric Rouleau's autobiographical work titled Truths and Lies in the Middle East: Memoirs of a Veteran Journalist, 1952-2012. Eric Rouleau was one of the most celebrated journalists of his generation, a status he owed to his extraordinary career, which began when Hubert Beuve-Méry, director of Le Monde, charged him with covering the Near and Middle East.

    Alain Gresh, French journalist and former editor of Le Monde Diplomatique, who also wrote the foreword for this book will be speaking at this event about Rouleau's life and work. The event will be chaired by Jim Muir, Visiting Senior Fellow at the LSE Middle East Centre and BBC Middle East Correspondent.

    Writing between Cairo and Jerusalem, Rouleau was a chief witness to the wars of 1967 and 1973, narrating their events from behind the scenes. He was to meet all the major players, including Nasser, Levi Ashkol, Moshe Dayan, Golda Meir, Yasser Arafat, Ariel Sharon, and Anwar Sadat, painting striking portraits of each. More than a memoir, his book presents a history, lived from the inside, of the Israel–Palestine conflict. In 1963, Rouleau was invited by Gamal Abd al-Nasser to interview him in Cairo, a move which was not lost on the young Rouleau—going through him, a young Egyptian Jew who had been exiled from Egypt in late 1951, shortly before the Free Officers coup, was a means to renew diplomatic ties with de Gaulle’s France. This exclusive interview, which immediately made headlines around the world, propelled Rouleau into the center of the region’s conflicts for two decades.

    Alain Gresh is Publication Director of the online newspaper Orient XXI. He was previously Deputy Director of Le Monde Diplomatique from 2008-2013. A specialist on the Middle East, he is author of several books including PLO: The Struggle Within, de quoi la palestine est elle le nom? and Un chant d’amour. Israël-Palestine, une histoire française. In 1983, Gresh completed a PhD on the Palestinian Liberation Organisation.

    Jim Muir is a British journalist and BBC Middle East Correspondent. After taking a first in Arabic at Cambridge University in 1969, Jim worked in book publishing in London in the early 70s and moved to Beirut in January 1975. He covered all phases of the Lebanese Civil War 1975–1990 for the BBC and many other radio and print outlets. He then moved to Bosnia in the early 1990s before arriving in Cairo as BBC Middle East correspondent in 1995. Jim then reopened the BBC Tehran bureau and was correspondent there from 1999 to 2004. In 2005, he returned to Beirut and spent much time covering Iraq for the BBC, followed by the overthrow of Mubarak in Egypt in 2011. Jim also provided a large proportion of the BBC's coverage of the Syrian uprising and civil war from the spring of 2011.

    Join the conversation on Twitter using #LSEMiddleEast

    • 1 hr 31 min

Customer Reviews

JPP in Ist ,

Poor sound

LSE podcasts often include relevant experts covering interesting topics. However LSEs podcasts are purely produced. Its (perhaps) ok that they’re basically unedited meetings, but it is not ok that the recordings are of poor sound quality. You can’t hear what is said. It amateurish!

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