Working Groups Program
The ACSS Working Groups Program (WG) aims at bringing scholars from across the Arab region and beyond, who are at different stages in their academic careers, to work collectively and comparatively on a particular research theme. This collaborative work not only enables the WG to explore and develop new and innovative research agendas from interdisciplinary perspectives but also allows its members to network effectively and share academic knowledge, skills and experience.
Under the lead of Dr. Adam Hanieh (Reader in Development Studies at SOAS-University of London) the Working Group on “New Regionalisms” aims to address the continually emergent, inter-connected, inter-penetrated and overlapping nature of regions, with a focus on the Middle East, North Africa region. This working group hopes to challenge conventional geographic, political and thematic ways of thinking about the MENA region and to push for a better understanding of the relationships between the local, national, regional and global scales. Rather than viewing the Arab region or the Middle East as an exception, anti-thesis or laboratory for theories produced elsewhere, regional events and dynamics will be used to inform and theorize global systems and connections.
Past and Forthcoming Activities
A background note was written by Hanieh and was titled “Shifting Regional Dynamics of the Middle East: Hierarchies New and Old”.
A consultative meeting took place in London on October 24-25, 2018 and brought together 12 senior and junior scholars from the Arab region, Iran, Turkey and some adjacent areas to discuss concepts of the region, its changing dynamics and its connections with other parts of the global system. The questions explored included the following: features of the current regional power struggles, definitions/conceptualizations of crises and regions, and the role of sectors such as infrastructure, logistics, trade and finance in shaping the region’s connection to the world market and its accumulation patterns.
A call for papers will be announced in mid-February of 2019 that would solicit contributions in Arabic and English aimed for publication as special issues in peer-reviewed journals, depending on the nature of contributions (both quality and quantity). Authors of selected papers will be invited to a workshop to be held in Nov 2019 in Beirut or London.
The WG will be an integral component of the first ACSS Summer Academy planned for July 2020.
During 2019, the core group will discuss medium and long-term plans for setting 3-4 research themes and agendas to be explored through the WG.
This Working Group is funded by a grant provided to the ACSS by the Carnegie Corporation of New York.
About the Working Group Coordinator
Adam Hanieh is a Reader in development studies at SOAS, University of London, a founding member of the SOAS Centre for Palestine Studies and a member of the Council for British Research in the Levant. He is noted for his research on the political economy of the Middle East, labour migration, class and state formation in the Gulf Cooperation Council, and Palestine studies. From 1997–2003, he completed an MA in Regional Studies at Al Quds University. Hanieh holds a PhD in political science from York University in Canada, and taught at Zayed University in the United Arab Emirates prior to joining SOAS in London. He is the author of Capitalism and Class in the Gulf Arab States (2011) and Lineages of Revolt: Issues of Contemporary Capitalism in the Middle East (2013).