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The Middle East: The Rise and Fall of an Idea

Dates:
  • Wed 01 Feb 2017 15.30 - 17.00
  Add to Calendar 2017-02-01 15:30 2017-02-01 17:00 Europe/Paris The Middle East: The Rise and Fall of an Idea

HEC Colloquium Why over the last century has there been systemic conflict in the Middle East, and between the region and the West? Answers to this question tend to focus either on dynamics within Western Asia and North Africa— in terms of religion, political culture, economy— or the role of the outside world. In this paper, I will present an alternative explanation, which draws on my book project— The Middle East: The Rise and Fall of an Idea, which is based on archival research conducted in India, France, Switzerland, Egypt, Israel, and the UK. I will argue that the state of systemic conflict is the result of a crisis of power that was provoked by the transition to a postcolonial global order and deep structures of Islamophobia and antisemitism in Western political thought. This crisis was not shaped by a predominant source of power within or external to the region. It was, rather, the result of an unresolvable struggle—an interactive process— across a single political ecology that incorporated both the global West and the Middle East. The paper will concentrate on the life-story of the European concept of the ‘Middle East’— a space of nations, civilizationally located between East and West that required European tutelage for the foreseeable future. Dr James Renton is a Jean Monnet Fellow in the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, EUI, and Reader in History at Edge Hill University. He is author of The Zionist Masquerade: The Birth of the Anglo-Zionist Alliance, 1914-1918 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007), and co-editor with Ben Gidley of Antisemitism and Islamophobia in Europe: A Shared Story? (Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming).

Sala degli Stemmi DD/MM/YYYY
  Sala degli Stemmi

HEC Colloquium Why over the last century has there been systemic conflict in the Middle East, and between the region and the West? Answers to this question tend to focus either on dynamics within Western Asia and North Africa— in terms of religion, political culture, economy— or the role of the outside world. In this paper, I will present an alternative explanation, which draws on my book project— The Middle East: The Rise and Fall of an Idea, which is based on archival research conducted in India, France, Switzerland, Egypt, Israel, and the UK. I will argue that the state of systemic conflict is the result of a crisis of power that was provoked by the transition to a postcolonial global order and deep structures of Islamophobia and antisemitism in Western political thought. This crisis was not shaped by a predominant source of power within or external to the region. It was, rather, the result of an unresolvable struggle—an interactive process— across a single political ecology that incorporated both the global West and the Middle East. The paper will concentrate on the life-story of the European concept of the ‘Middle East’— a space of nations, civilizationally located between East and West that required European tutelage for the foreseeable future. Dr James Renton is a Jean Monnet Fellow in the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, EUI, and Reader in History at Edge Hill University. He is author of The Zionist Masquerade: The Birth of the Anglo-Zionist Alliance, 1914-1918 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007), and co-editor with Ben Gidley of Antisemitism and Islamophobia in Europe: A Shared Story? (Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming).


Location:
Sala degli Stemmi

Affiliation:
Department of History and Civilization

Type:
Lecture

Organiser:
Prof. Luca Molà (EUI - Department of History and Civilization)
Corinna Ruth Unger

Speaker:
James Renton (Edge Hill University)
 
 

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