Solidarity in Crisis - Perspective from the Middle East

A Discussion Jointly Organized by Bruno Kreisky Forum for International Dialogue & the Striking from the Margins Project at Central European University 


The end of the Cold War ushered in a period in which social, political and national solidarities everywhere were subjected to severe stresses arising from the consequences of neo-liberal transformations. These stresses are associated with the recession of Keynesian and allied regimes of solidarity and social protection, and the rising salience, often to a position of centrality, of the politics and mobilisation of identity and its associated ideologies of the authentic and the foreign.

These stresses were felt keenly in the central parts of the Arab World to an aggravated extent due to institutional fragility and precarious economic and social arrangements. This saw political and social regimes of solidarity succumb largely to the strains that arose globally after the Cold war. The present condition of the Arab world east of the Mediterranean, and in Libya as well, is one of political and social fragmentation with lingering conditions of post-conflict instability. Hitherto marginal religious, tribal, sectarian and other forms of solidarity have been striking at the centre and reconstituting national consensus along lines of patrimonialist fragmentation. Newer solidarities are being generated by regimes of military control, the distribution of benefits and spoils, and appeal to ancestral rights and wrongs. The challenge of political reconstitution of state and society makes novel demands on social political and national solidarity under new and, to many, unfamiliar post-war conditions. This discussion will bring together Middle East experts who offer insights into the connected political processes and the demands for political and social solidarity arising from the specific circumstances of Arab states and societies in crisis.

Moderation and introductory intervention
Nadia Al-Bagdadi, Professor at CEU and Co-Director Striking from the Margins, CEU Vienna

Initial comments on Solidarity in Crisis
Aziz Alazmeh, University Professor at CEU, Vienna and Co-Director Striking from the Margins, CEU Vienna

Interventions by Fellows of Striking from the Margins project:

Strangers, diasporas and transregional connections
Valentina Zagaria, Post-doctoral research Fellow Striking from the Margins, CEU Vienna and Visiting Fellow IRMC, Tunis

Sectarian and anti-sectarian solidarities in the Arab Mashriq: A decade in review
Harout Akdedian, Senior post-Doctoral research Fellow Striking from the Margins, CEU and Visiting Scholar Portland State University, Middle East Studies Centre

National fragmentation and tribal solidarity: Lessons from Syria and Iraq
Haian Dukhan: Post-Doctoral Research Fellow Striking from the Margins, CEU and Fellow of the Centre for Syrian Studies at the University of St Andrews

ANNUAL THEME 2021: SOLIDARITY AND CRISIS Thursday, 16 September, 2021, 18.00 hrs

Venue: Bruno Kreisky Forum for international Dialog, Armbrustergasse 15, 1190 Wien

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