Some of the recent activities of the Middle East Politics Research Group included high profile talks by MP Andrew Mitchell (on the Syrian Crisis); former Secretary of State for International Development Claire Short (on the legacy of the Iraq War), Norwegian Diplomat Aud Lise Norheim on her ambassadorial experience in the Middle East; a panel on approaches to the refugees crisis in the Middle East with GT, Ruvi Zigler (Reading) and Filippo Dionigi (Bristol) ; a book launch by Michelle Pace on Syrian refugee children in the region; and several reading groups attended by staff and doctoral students.
Wednesday 25 October 2017: Understanding the Politics of the Syrian Refugee Crisis
Location: Room 121, Muirhead Tower
Speakers: Dr Reuven Ziegler (Reading), Dr Gerasimos Tsourapas (POLSIS), Dr Filippa Dionigi (Bristol)
The seminar, which attracted a range of staff and students from across the University of Birmingham, included three presentations – firstly, Dr. Reuven Ziegler (University of Reading), spoke on “The Refugee ‘Crisis’ in Europe: Between Luxembourg, Lesbos, Brussels, Dublin, and Aleppo”. Dr. Gerasimos Tsourapas (POLSIS) followed with a discussion on “Refugee Rentier States in the Middle East”. Finally, Dr. Filippo Dionigi (Bristol) gave a presentation on “Borders and the Syrian Refugee Crisis in Neighbouring Countries: Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq”.
The seminar was part of a broader set of activities of the Middle East Politics Research Group, which is based in POLSIS, University of Birmingham.
Monday 21 November 2016: Chilcot and Iraq
Location: Main Arts Lecture Theatre
Speaker: Clare Short
Ms Short was an MP, representing Birmingham Ladywood, from 1983 to 2010. From 1997 to 2003, she was Secretary of State for International Development, resigning in May 2003 over the Blair Government's conduct during and after the 2003 Iraq War. In 2010, she addressed the Chilcot Inquiry into Iraq, criticizing Prime Minister Blair and others in the Government for deception to obtain consent for Britain's involvement in the war. Ms Short continues to campaign for fairness, justice, accountability, sustainable development and just trade relations. She is a trustee of Trade Out of Poverty, the Welfare Association, and Africa Humanitarian Action and a patron of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions. She is currently Chair of Cities Alliance, an intergovernmental advocacy organisation committed to meeting the UN target to abolish slums in cities across the globe.
Thursday 01 December 2016: The Syrian Crisis
Location: G15, Muirhead Tower
Speaker: Andrew Mitchell MP
Mr Mitchell has been MP for Sutton Coldfield since 2001 and for Gedling from 1987 to 1997. He has served as Shadow Minister for Economic Affairs, Shadow Minister for Home Affairs, and Shadow of State for International Development. From 2010 to 2012, he was Secretary of State for International Development. Mr Mitchell is a leading voice in Parliament on the Syrian crisis, serving as chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Syria. In October 2016, he called in an emergency debate for protected zones inside the country.
Monday 09 January 2017: Diplomacy in the Middle East: The Norwegian Experience
Speaker: Ambassador Aud-Lise Norheim, Norway’s Ambassador to Tehran
Ambassador Norheim has been has served at the Norwegian embassy in Tehran since 2014. Her previous ambassadorial posts include Damascus, Beirut, Dhaka, Rome and South Africa.
- Roundtable / expert panel on Egypt - this builds on Dr. Tsourapas’ collaborative project with colleagues at KCL and Exeter on Anwar Sadat.
- Roundtable /expert panel on Syria/migration crisis
- Annual MEP lecture on the centenary of the Balfour Declaration Balfour & fifty-year anniversary of the June 1967 war