List of seminars
Date: April 27th, 2017
Speaker: Max Ajl is a doctoral student in the department of Development Sociology at Cornell University. He is based in Tunis, where he is researching state agricultural development policy and the politics of price fixing during the era of state-directed development. His fields of expertise include comparative international development, world-systems theory, Middle East political economy, and rural political economy. His academic writing has been published in many venues, including Historical Materialism, MERIP, and the Journal of Palestine Studies. He has presented at universities in Tunisia and across North America, including at Cornell, Columbia, and the University of California – Berkeley. He co-edits the Palestine page at Jadaliyya. He is also a member of the Political Economy Project, linked to the Arab Studies Institute, and works on the pedagogy project. His most recent piece was “The Hypertrophic City versus the Planet of Fields,” in Implosions/Explosions: Towards a Study of Planetary Urbanization, edited by Neil Brenner (Berlin: Jovis Verlag).
Topic: The Political Economy of Food Sovereignty: Global South Programs for a New Economic Order
Date: April 20th, 2017
Speaker: Charles Tripp is Professor of Politics with reference to the Middle East. His research interests include the nature of autocracy, state and resistance in the Middle East, the politics of Islamic identity and the relationship between art and power. He is currently working on a study of the emergence of the public and the rethinking of republican ideals across the states of North Africa. Together with other colleagues in the department he has been one of the founders of the Centre for Comparative Political Thought at SOAS. His publications include Islam and the Moral Economy: The Challenge of Capitalism (Cambridge University Press, 2006); A History of Iraq (Cambridge University Press, 2007) His most recent book is The Power and the People: Paths of Resistance in the Middle East (Cambridge University Press, 2013).
Topic: Building National Identities in Divided States: the case of Iraq
Date: April 13th, 2017
Speaker: Chaima Bouhlel is currently the president of Al-Bawsala (a non-profit NGO established under Tunisian law and having for goal to control the parliamentary and governmental activity of the Tunisian politicians). She graduated from Harvard University in political philosophy and biochemistry. She has been the project leader of “Marsad Baladiya” from 2014 until her election as the president of Al-Bawsala.
Topic: Decentralization as the Missing Pillar for Democracy in Tunisia
Date: April 12th, 2017
Speaker: Mehdi Barhoumi is a rights and governance expert, with eight years of experience in the field. He has a strong understanding of a variety of issues affecting fragile and conflict-affected states, including security sector reform, rule of law, corruption, youth inclusion and radicalisation in the Middle East and North Africa region, and operational and structural conflict prevention. He previously worked with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and IREX in projects covering Tunisia and Libya. Mehdi studied Political Science at the Maxwell School of Citizenship at Syracuse University.
Topic: Jeunes des quartiers populaires et transition politique
Date: March 29th, 2017
Speaker: Dr. Shana Marshall is Associate Director of the Institute for Middle East Studies and Research Faculty member at the George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs. She earned her PhD in International Relations and Comparative Politics of the Middle East at the University of Maryland in 2012. Her dissertation is entitled “The New Politics of Patronage: The Arms Trade and Clientelism in the Arab World.” Dr. Marshall’s work has appeared in The Middle East Report (MERIP), The International Journal of Middle East Studies, Middle East Policy, Jadaliyya, and the Carnegie Middle East Center. Prior to coming to George Washington University, Dr. Marshall was a research fellow at The Crown Center for Middle East Studies at Brandeis University and the Niehaus Center for Globalization and Governance at Princeton University. Her current research focuses on patterns of military entrepreneurship in Egypt, Jordan, and the UAE.
Topic: Protests Movements in an Era of Right-Wing Politics: Recognizing Trends in the Middle East and the United States
Date: February 23th, 2017
Speaker: Dr. Gaëlle Krikorian was until recently an advisor on Access to Knowledge and Intellectual Property issues for the Greens at the European Parliament. She has a PhD in sociology at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales and is a member of the Interdisciplinary Research Institute on Social Issues. Social Sciences, Politics and Health (IRIS) in Paris. She conducted research in sociology on the way health issues and intellectual property are negotiated in Free Trade Agreements and how government build their position and policies. She is the author of articles about the Commons, Intellectual property issues, Access to medicines, Access to knowledge. She co-edited a book on social mobilizations in this field: Access to Knowledge in the Age of Intellectual Property (Zone Books Eds: New York). Before doing research on these topics she was an activist: during almost 10 years she was with the AIDS group Act Up.
Topic: Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) and Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA)
Date: November 4th, 2016
Speaker: Dr. Sami Ben Sassi, Lecturer in Managerial Economics, Birmingham Business School, University of Birmingham.
Topic: Estimating informal trade across Tunisia’s land borders
Abstract: This paper uses mirror statistics and research in the field to estimate the magnitude of Tunisia’s informal trade with Libya and Algeria. The aim is to assess the scale of this trade and to evaluate the amount lost in taxes and duties as a result as well as to assess the local impact in terms of income generation. The main findings show that within Tunisian trade as a whole, informal trade accounts for only a small share (5 percent of total imports). However, informal trade represents an important part of the Tunisia’s bilateral trade with Libya and Algeria, accounting for more than half the official trade with Libya and more than total official trade with Algeria. The main reasons behind this large-scale informal trade are differences in the levels of subsidies on either side of the border as well as the varying tax regimes. Tackling informal trade is not simply a question of stepping up the number of controls and sanctions, because differences in prices lead to informal trade (and to an increase in corruption levels among border officials) even in cases where the sanctions are severe. As local populations depend on cross-border trade for income generation, they worry about local authorities taking action against cross-border trade. At the same time, customs officials are concerned about the risk of local protests if they strictly enforce the tariff regimes in place. This issue will become even more significant if fuel prices in Tunisia rise again as a result of a reduction in the levels of domestic subsidies.
Time: 2:00 pm
Date: October 27th, 2016
Speaker: Dr. Altay Atlı is a research associate at the Asian studies stream of Istanbul Policy Center, and teaches courses on international political economy, international economics and comparative Asian political economy at Boğaziçi University and other universities in Istanbul. After graduating from the German High School of Istanbul, he received a B.A. degree in economics from Boğaziçi University, an M.A. degree in international business from Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia, and completed his Ph.D. at the Department of Political Science and International Relations of Boğaziçi University. Research interests of Dr. Altay Atlı cover international political economy, business-government relations, economic diplomacy, political economy of Turkish foreign policy, and Turkey’s relations with Asian countries. Dr. Atlı, who has worked as a research coordinator at the Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey (DEİK), provides consulting services for public and private institutions on international relations, global affairs, and Asian economies; writes a regular column for the Hong Kong based “Asia Times”; appears on television programs in channels like Bloomberg, Turkish Radio Television (TRT), Kanal 24, CCTV, Channel News Asia commenting on developments in world economies and on Turkey’s foreign relations. More information on Dr. Atlı’s work can be found in his personal web site at www.altayatli.com.
Topic: The Political Economy of Turkey’s Foreign Policy towards the MENA Region
Time: 1:30 pm
Date: September 29, 2016
Speaker: Mrs Nejla Ghachem Cherif, PhD
Topic: Présentation du Projet d’Accès aux Marchés des Produits Agroalimentaires et de Terroir (PAMPAT)
Time: 1:30 pm
Date: September 20, 2016
Speaker: Dr. Sarah Feuer is an expert on politics and religion in North Africa.She completed her doctorate in politics at Brandeis University’s Crown Center for Middle East Studies in 2014, and wrote her dissertation on state-religion relations in Tunisia and Morocco. Dr. Feuer is currently a Soref Fellow, a highly competitive, one-year research position designed to enable young scholars who have already earned their master’s or doctoral degrees to transition to policy-relevant research and analysis at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
Topic: The upcoming US elections.
Time: 1:30 pm