DIME’S SUCCESSFUL FIRST YEAR


This year over two dozen faculty members and graduate students from multiple disciplines on cam- pus, including Political Science, Law, Religion, Geography, Public Administration, International Relations, Judaic Studies, and Social Science met regularly to discuss democratization in the Middle East at a series of workshops sponsored by the recently-launched Project on Democracy in the Middle East (DIME). Supported by a seed grant from the Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs, the Project’s 2008-09 programming included discussions of key readings on the topic; several guest lectures; and organized interaction with the Leaders for Democracy Fellows from the MENA region. The project’s culminating event was a March 26, 2009 confer- ence on “Democracy, Religion, and Conflict: the Dilemmas of Israeli-Palestinian Peacemaking.” Sponsored by the MES Program, the Moynihan Institute, the Program for the Advancement of Research on Conflict and Collaboration, the Judaic Studies Program, and Executive Education Programs, the conference brought experts on Israel-Palestine to campus to discuss the domestic political, cultural, and religious factors that influence the Israeli government’s capacity to pursue peacemaking policies. Over seventy students, faculty, and members of the Syracuse community attended the conference, which was also featured in local media outlets.

In the coming academic year, DIME is planning several new initiatives, including extending program- ming to the undergraduate student body and creating new linkages with faculty from other institutions in the region. For further information, see http://middle-eastern-studies.syr.edu/Dime.htm

DIME Speaker Series, 2008-2009

Michele Penner Angrist, Associate Professor of Political Science at Union College, “What’s Different About the Arab World? Women, Parliaments, and War,” November 20, 2008

Deniz Gokalp, Postdoctoral Fellow at the Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs, “The State and Contentious Politics: the Kurdish Question in Turkey’s Neo-liberal Epoch,” January 22, 2009

Ronnie Olesker, Assistant Professor of Political Science at St. Lawrence University, “Elections in Israel: Implications for the Jewish State and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict,” February 13, 2009

Alan Dowty, Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame, “Keynote Address: the Fourth Stage of the Arab-Israel Conflict,” March 26, 2009

Richard Antoun, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at SUNY Binghamton, “What Do We Mean By Democ- racy in the Middle East” and “Tribalism, Democracy, and Civil Society in the Middle East,” March 31, 2009

Yitzhak Reiter, Visiting Professor at the University of Minnesota and Senior Lecturer in Political Science, Ashkelon Academic College, Israel, “Conflict Resolution in Shared Holy Places In Palestine and Israel” and “Israel and Its Arab Minority: a Special Case of an Interlocking Conflict,” April 13, 2009

Bruce Rutherford, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Colgate University, “Why Do Islamist Groups Moderate? Explaining Ideological Change in Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood,” April 23, 2009