SC 138 – Middle East Seminar
The Middle East (ME) Seminar is a two-day seminar intended to provide a strategic overview of the major political-military and security-related issues in the region. The seminar focusses on the geo-strategic relevance of the Middle East, its impact on global security, and the role of major external actors.
Day 1 of the seminar was devoted to providing analysis of the main drivers of the current instability in the region overall, as well as discussion on the approaches of the affected countries in countering terrorism and mass migration to Europe. The first topic of the session, “A Geopolitical Perspective on the Region”, was introduced by Dr. Pierre Razoux, from the Institute for Strategic Research of the École Militaire (IRSEM) in Paris. Dr. Nicola Pedde from the Institute for Global Studies in Rome then provided enriching insights into “Iran in the Middle East: internal and international challenges.” To conclude the first set of lectures, a briefing on “Arab Gulf Countries: security challenges, present and future trends” was delivered by Dr. Emma Sky, from the Yale Jackson Institute for Global Affairs. The afternoon continued with a lecture on “Terrorism-connected challenges and regional approaches to them” by Dr. Mitchell Belfer, from the Euro-Gulf Information Centre in Rome, which was followed by “Israel’s policy and challenges in the region,” by Prof. Ilan Greilsammer, from the Bar-Ilan University of Tel Aviv. The final briefing of the day centered on “Palestinian policy and challenges in the region,” presented by Dr. Alaa Tartir, from the Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva. On Day 2 of the seminar, participants gained deeper insight into the major issues facing the ME region. They discussed the main conflicts, the potential for conflict resolution, and shared opinions and knowledge within working groups through a “reflective learning process.”