The Continuous Upheaval in the Middle East and North Africa Since 2011

Guest Lecture by Professor Gilbert Achcar, discussion with Dr. Fanar Haddad from Copenhagen University and Q&A session with Professor with Achcar.

Thirteen years have elapsed since the Arab Spring. The great hope aroused in 2011 and renewed at much lower expectation in 2019 has been overwhelmed by the adverse winds of counter-revolution and/or horizontal civil war between ethnic, religious or regional groups instead of vertical opposition of the people versus the power elite. And yet, the region is anything but restabilised in reactionary mode: the regional destabilisation proved to be for the long haul, confirming that 2011 was but the beginning of a long-term revolutionary process set in motion by a deeply rooted structural socioeconomic crisis. The lecture will assess these dynamics, discuss the factors hampering regional sociopolitical change, and ponder the regional political prospects in this light.

About the speaker

Professor Gilbert Achcar is a renowned scholar and author of many influential books. He grew up in Lebanon, researched and taught in Beirut, Paris and Berlin and has been Professor of Development Studies and International Relations at SOAS, University of London, since 2007. His perspectives on global affairs have contributed significantly to academic discourse and understanding of the field. Join us as Professor Achcar delves into pressing issues shaping our world today.

His noteworthy book The People Want: A Radical Exploration of the Arab Uprising, explore the Arab Spring, the different the social, economic, historical and political background of the uprising, and the power dynamics in play that ultimately influenced future prospects of a movement.

His latest works include The New Cold War: The US, Russia and China - From Kosovo to Ukraine, argues that the Cold War did not end with the collapse of the USSR. Instead the US, Russia and China are today locked in a spiral of hostilities ongoing since the 1990's.

And Israels War on Gaza, which delves into the ongoing war and occupation on the Gaza strip in Palestine. Achcar argue that Hamas's operation on 7 October 2023 became an opportunity for Israel to effectively reduce Gaza to rubble, massacring a huge number of its inhabitants and forcing the rest to flee. Another Nakba is underway 75 years after the creation of Israel, and Professor Achcar points to Western Governments complicity, by refusing to call for ceasefire.