Monthly Digest is a resource provided by Security in Context that provides a list of recent publications, calls, conferences and other items relevant to the critical global, security, and international political economy studies audience. In addition to new items, our digest may contain relatively recent entries, so please double check dates on any calls or conferences. All descriptions taken from their original sources unless otherwise indicated. If we’ve missed something, or you have items you’d like to contribute for future digests, please email us at:


Revisiting Natural Resources in the Middle East and North Africa

Luigi Narbone (ed.), European University Institute, 2021

This ebook is a collection of essays that revisit the issues around natural resources in the Middle East and North Africa region in light of the events and transformations that the region has witnessed. It explores how the role of natural resources have been influenced by these transformations and vice versa in national, regional and international political contexts.

Global Middle East Into the Twenty-First Century

Asef Bayat, Linda Herrera, University of California Press, 2021

Written in short and accessible essays by prominent experts on the region, Global Middle East covers topics including God, Rumi, food, film, fashion, music, sports, science, and the flow of people, goods, and ideas. The text explores social and political movements from human rights, Salafism, and cosmopolitanism to radicalism and revolutions. Using the insights of global studies, students will glean new perspectives about the region.

Turkey and China Political, Economic, and Strategic Aspects of the Relationship

Selçuk Çolakoğlu, World Scientific, 2021

Turkey and China analyses Turkey–China relations from political, economic, strategic, and cultural perspectives. Turkey's policies towards Taiwan and the Uyghur cause are covered from the beginning. The Sino-Turkish cooperation on the economy, trade, the defence industry, energy, and nuclear technology are also elaborated. Crucially, the Silk Road partnership in the context of China's Belt and Road Initiative and Turkey's Middle Corridor has a deep-rooted focus alongside future perspectives. Finally, the roles of other actors — particularly the United States and Russia — in Sino-Turkish relations have a primary focus, further clarified by the impact of international organizations and forums like the United Nations, NATO, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the European Union, the G20, and BRICS.

Geographic Perspectives on Urban Sustainability

V. Kelly Turner, David H. Kaplan, Routledge, 2020

Geographic Perspectives on Urban Sustainability reflects on the contributions that geographers have made to urban sustainability scholarship on varied domains such as transportation, green infrastructure, and gentrification. Contributed chapters probe uniquely geographic perspectives on urban resilience, environmental justice, political ecology, and planning that arise from empirically integrating social and biophysical realms that arise from considering spatial dimensions of problems like scale- and place-based peculiarities of phenomena.

Temporality in Mobile Lives Contemporary Asia–Australia Migration and Everyday Time

Shanthi Robertson, Bristol University Press, 2021

Shanthi Robertson provides fresh perspectives on 21st-century migratory experiences in this innovative study of young Asian migrants’ lives in Australia. Exploring the aspirations and realities of transnational mobility, the book shows how migration has reshaped lived experiences of time for middle-class young people moving between Asia and the West for work, study and lifestyle opportunities. Through a new conceptual framework of ‘chronomobilities,’ which looks at 'time-regimes' and 'time-logics', Robertson demonstrates how migratory pathways have become far more complex than leaving one country for another, and can profoundly affect the temporalities of everyday life, from career pathways to intimate relationships.

Routledge Handbook on Political Parties in the Middle East and North Africa

Francesco Cavatorta, Lise Storm, Valeria Resta, Routledge, 2021

This comprehensive Handbook analyses the political parties and party systems across the Middle East and North Africa. Providing an in-depth, empirically grounded and novel study of political parties, the volume focuses on a region where they have been traditionally and often erroneously dismissed.

The Military-Peace Complex : Gender and Materiality in Afghanistan Hardback

Hannah Partis-Jennings, Edinburgh University Press, 2021

Exploring the physical, embodied landscape of the military-peace complex in Afghanistan This book focuses on the military and statebuilding components of the international project in Afghanistan since 2001. It posits and discusses the military-peace complex as a framework through which to understand the international project in Afghanistan, pointing to the sliding together and collapse between military and peace actors, mandates and ideational frameworks.

Arguing that military and peace work in the liberal mode cannot be logically separated, but rather are co-constituted and operate in a dynamic relationship to each other with fluid and shifting boundaries, the book focuses on the role of gender within the logics of the international project in Afghanistan, as well as exploring material and spatial entanglements and cross-cutting logics.

The United States of War A Global History of America's Endless Conflicts, from Columbus to the Islamic State

David Vines, University of California Press, 2020

In The United States of War, David Vine traces this pattern of bloody conflict from Columbus’s 1494 arrival in Guantanamo Bay through the 250-year expansion of a global US empire. Drawing on historical and firsthand anthropological research in fourteen countries and territories, The United States of War demonstrates how US leaders across generations have locked the United States in a self-perpetuating system of permanent war by constructing the world’s largest-ever collection of foreign military bases—a global matrix that has made offensive interventionist wars more likely. 


‘Welcome to Mars’: space colonization, anticipatory authoritarianism, and the labour of hope

Nicole Sunday Grove, Globalizations Journal, 2021

Professor Nicole Grove considers how Mars colonization and its Earth-bound beta tests - with a focus on the UAE's Mars 2117 project - point to mutations in authoritarian forms of governance, where the future functions as a form of collateral for present day legitimacies that are leveraged upon an infrastructure to come.

Security implications of climate change: A decade of scientific progress

Nina von Uexkull & Halvard Buhaug, Journal of Peace Research, 2021

The study of security implications of climate change has developed rapidly from a nascent area of academic inquiry into an important and thriving research field that traverses epistemological and disciplinary boundaries. Here, the authors take stock of scientific progress by benchmarking the latest decade of empirical research against seven core research priorities collectively emphasized in 35 recent literature reviews. Jointly, contributions to this special issue, demonstrate significant climate impacts on social unrest in urban settings; they point to the complexity of the climate–migration–unrest link; they identify how agricultural production patterns shape conflict risk; they investigate understudied outcomes in relation to climate change, such as interstate claims and individual trust; and they discuss the relevance of this research for user groups across academia and beyond.

Underestimating the Challenges of Avoiding a Ghastly Future

Corey J. A. Bradshaw, et. al., Frontiers in Conservation Science, 2021

This report is the result of collaboration of 12 authors who present three major and confronting environmental issues that have received little attention and require urgent action: evidence that future environmental conditions will be far more dangerous than currently believed; what political or economic system, or leadership, is prepared to handle the predicted disasters, or even capable of such action, and; the extraordinary responsibility of scientists to speak out candidly and accurately when engaging with government, business, and the public. 

Human Rights and Dignity

Sylvie Mesure, International Studies in Sociology and Social Anthropology, December 2020

In this article on understanding dignity through sociologies of indignities, Sylvie Mesure analyzes the United Declaration for Human Rights based on the concept of dignity. Mesure demonstrates how “despite  its  specific  historical  roots  at  the  end  of  the  Second  World  War  and  the  onset  of  the  Cold  War, the Declaration still possesses normative resources that are pertinent for anyone who cannot in good faith resign themselves to the world’s injustices”.

Merchants of Terror: Neo-Patrimonialism, Counterterrorism Economy, and Expansion of Terrorism in Nigeria

Emeka Thaddues Njoku, African Conflict and Peacebuilding Review, 2021

How can neo-patrimonialism aid our understanding of the materiality of counterterrorism and the expansion of terrorism? While previous works on the growth of terrorism have focused on issues such as the spread of radical religious ideology, US foreign policy in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), and poverty, recent works have examined factors such as the formation of linkages with other terrorist groups, fragmentation into cell-structures, forming of franchises, and exploitation of clannism and ethnicity. However, studies that interrogate the rentier nature of African and MENA region security institutions and its implications for the rise of terrorism are yet to be accounted for. This article draws from field research done in Nigeria between 2015 and 2019. It traced the expansion of terrorism in Nigeria to the neo-patrimonial systems inherent in security and political institutions, which are engaged in corrupt financial practices that breed a counterterrorism economy.

Re-negotiating social reproduction, work and gender roles in occupied Palestine

Hannah Bargawi, Randa Alami & Hurriyah Ziada, Review of International Political Economy, 2021

This article uncovers the crisis of social reproduction in Occupied Palestine in the context of severe economic and political turmoil by specifically highlighting the ways in which impacts have been felt differently by men and women. The article confirms that, as a result of economic hardship, women, particularly married women, are increasingly participating in the formal and informal labor market.

Governing Dahiya: Interrogating the State in Beirut’s Southern Suburbs

Fouad Gehad Marei, King's College London, 2021

A new publication on multi-level governance in Lebanon and the relationship between the State and non-state actors. The article engages with critical state theories, informed by an empirical investigation into Hizbullah’s post-2006 reconstruction of Beirut’s southern suburbs.

A New Estimate of China’s Military Expenditure

Dr Nan Tian and Fei Su, SIPRI, 2021

Given China’s accelerating military modernization and reforms in recent years, the existing estimate of China’s military spending deserves a reassessment. This SIPRI report provides a comprehensive new analysis of the financial resources China dedicates to military purposes. Using publicly available sources in both English and Chinese, the report presents a new estimate of Chinese military expenditure.

The new estimate—1660 billion yuan ($240 billion) in 2019—is around 142 billion yuan ($21 billion) less than the old SIPRI estimate. Although the new approach to estimating Chinese military expenditure improves on the old method, limited public transparency in budgeting on specific categories is still a cause of concern.

(Un)making illegality: Border control, racialized bodies and differential regimes of illegality in Morocco

Lorena Gazzotti, The Sociology Review, 2021

Drawing on qualitative data gathered between 2013 and 2019 in Morocco, this article questions the category of ‘illegality’ as it is policed at the street level and experienced by different groups of foreigners in Morocco. Building on Sara Ahmed’s understanding of whiteness as an ‘orientation’, in this article the author argues that illegality is a label which is racially altered and expanded by border bureaucrats, who use it to differentially police the presence of migrant bodies preemptively visualized as legal or illegal. Whereas black people undergo pervasive containment procedures, white privilege allows white migrants to be oblivious of the border, even when their administrative situation is not compliant with migration law.

Global Climate Risk Index 2021: Who Suffers Most from Extreme Weather Events? Weather-Related Loss Events in 2019 and 2000-2019

David Eckstein, Vera Künzel, Laura Schäfer

The Global Climate Risk Index 2021 analyses and ranks to what extent countries and regions have been affected by impacts of climate related extreme weather events (storms, floods, heatwaves etc.). The countries most affected in 2019 were Mozambique, Zimbabwe as well as the Bahamas. For the period from 2000 to 2019 Puerto Rico, Myanmar and Haiti rank highest.

Wartime Transformation of Aqap in Yemen

Andrea Carboni, Matthias Sulz, ACLED, 2021

Analysis of the wartime transformation of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula in Yemen and their  current retrenchment in Al Bayda.

Families First? The Mobilization of Family Norms in Refugee Resettlement

Natalie Welfens & Saskia Bonjour, International Political Sociology, 2020

European resettlement programs prioritize the admission of refugee families. This article argues that the mobilization of family norms is crucially political: in everyday bordering practices, interpretations of family norms are decisive for who is admitted to Europe. Fusing practice-theoretical approaches to humanitarianism and mobility governance on the one hand, with gender and sexuality scholarship on nationalism, empire, and migration on the other, the authors show how family norms configure discretionary power in transnational migration governance. 

Visualizations of the small military drone: normalization through ‘naturalization’

Anna Jackman, Critical Military Studies, 2020

Drawing on fieldwork at defence trade shows, this article explores promotional visualizations of small military drones as they are ethnographically-encountered in these spaces. Jackman identifies frames that both engage and employ visual conventions associated with ‘nature’ and the ‘natural’ in order to ‘naturalize’ and normalize the drone in as-yet unaccounted ways.

The Bartlett Annual Review 2020

The Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment, University College London, 2020

In this edition of The Bartlett Annual Review, The Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment put this remarkable year in focus, and examine the most pressing issues for the built environment in 2020. The review provides insights and ideas on the climate crisis, diversity and inclusion in urban spaces, and what the future could hold as we recover from the pandemic.

Memetic Irony And The Promotion Of Violence Within Chan Cultures

Blyth Crawford, Florence Keen, Guillermo Suarez de-Tangi, Crest Research, 2021

This report is from the project Memetic Irony And The Promotion Of Violence Within Chan Cultures, which investigated the role of alt-right online subcultures in the promotion and escalation of real-world violence through the comparative analysis of violent memes and discourse across both prominent and more niche chan platforms.

Mitigating the Impact of Media Reporting of Terrorism: Libya case study

Mary Fitzgerald, International Centre for Counter-Terrorism, 2021

This research paper shows that Libyan media outlets – particularly television channels, by far the most popular and influential medium – have played a significant role in the civil conflict since 2014. By taking partisan positions and adopting specific – and highly simplistic – narratives to describe complex security dynamics, they have influenced public perceptions of actors and driven the polarisation of public opinion.

Conferences/Calls for Papers or Abstracts

Calls for papers: Political Violence

European Consortium for Political Research

February 10, 2021

This section, sponsored by the ECPR Standing Group on Political Violence, addresses current debates and newly emerging topics in the field of political violence. It brings together scholars across disciplines and welcomes papers that apply multidisciplinary perspectives to political violence, extending beyond the common approaches of political science and sociology. The papers can deal with various forms and manifestations of political violence, ranging from street violence, rioting and clandestine violent campaigns to civil wars and pro-government militias. 

Papers can be both theoretical and empirical. Also papers analysing the measures taken to prevent or counter various forms of political violence are welcome. 

Call for Papers for CMES Workshop: Inter-Asian Cold War Linkages, November 12-13, 2021

The Center for Middle Eastern Studies (CMES), Harvard University

Deadline: February 20, 2021

The Center for Middle Eastern Studies (CMES) at Harvard University is pleased to announce a call for papers for a workshop and special issue journal publication examining the theme of inter-Asian Cold War linkages, with a focus on the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

Call for papers: Global South voices on sport for development and peace

Deadline: February 28, 2021

A call for abstracts has been launched for a publication on “Global South Voices on Sport for Development and Peace” to be submitted for consideration to Routledge as part of its Book Series “Routledge Studies in Sport Development”. The deadline for submitting abstracts is the end of February.

Global Carceral States: Violence, Transgressions, and Methodologies of Imprisonment

Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies & the Muwatin Institute for Democracy and Human Rights

Deadline: March 8, 2021

This event is organized in partnership between the Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies at the University of California – Santa Barbara (UCSB), and the Muwatin Institute for Democracy and Human Rights at Birzeit University. The partnership invites applicants who wish to participate to reflect upon the current globalized carceral reality, and on imprisonment as one tactic of control, subjugation and dispossession. The conference presents an opportunity for scholars to contribute to our understanding of prisons, torture, violence, securitization and related issues. It also invites engagement with the wide range of resistance tactics and transgressions that prisoners, worldwide, devise against state policies and incarcerating regimes.

Call for Proposals: The Domestic-International Connection New ideas and practical solutions for rethinking U.S. foreign and national security policies

Carnegie Corporation of New York

Deadline: March 15 

Experts, political leaders, and voters are increasingly calling for the United States to reorient its foreign and national security policies to better reflect connections between international and domestic concerns. They argue that economic, health, education, and social problems cannot be addressed by separating foreign and domestic policies and that greater integration would lead to more effective U.S. policies at home and abroad. Through this Request for Proposals, Carnegie Corporation of New York seeks projects that provide new and actionable insights on these issues.

Call for Proposals: Reimagining Multilateralism New ideas and practical solutions for addressing transnational challenges

Carnegie Corporation of New York

Deadline: March 15 

From pandemics and climate change, to disruptive technologies and other emerging risks, it is a truism that most of today’s global threats cannot be addressed effectively without collective action. The failure of international responses to COVID-19 is only the most recent and dramatic example of the inability of long-standing cooperative mechanisms and institutions to withstand the pressures of nationalism, protectionism, and broader structural and systemic deficiencies. As the nature of security in the 21st century continues to evolve, there is a need to reimagine existing multilateral approaches to critical transnational challenges.

Call for abstracts for the Handbook on Feminist Approaches to Women’s Violence

Editors: Stacy Banwell, Lynsey Black, Dawn Cecil, Yanyi Djamba, Sitawa Kimuna, Emma Milne, Lizzie Seal, Eric Tenkorang

Deadline: March 31, 2021

The editors are compiling a Handbook on Feminist Approaches to Women’s Violence. They are now encouraging potential contributors to submit abstracts for consideration which relate to this area of research. The Handbook aims to encompass a wide conceptualisation of violence,

including perspectives that look at the question structurally, symbolically, and relationally. In

taking this comprehensive approach, we intend the Handbook to make a significant theoretical

contribution to how women’s violence is understood. The editors are seeking chapters that consider women’s violence across the world and the text will incorporate, but also look beyond, Europe and North America. They are also interested in work from across disciplines: arts, humanities, social sciences, and interdisciplinary work.


The Tomorrow’s Leaders Graduate Program (TLG) is a Masters' scholarship progra​m funded by the U.S. Department of State’s U.S.-Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI)

AUB is now receiving fall 2021-22 applications for fully sponsored master's degrees with professional training on leadership and gender and research focus on data science.

Authoritarianism and Global Capitalism: Emancipatory Counter-Strategies in and from the Middle East

Deadline: March 1, 2021

Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung

The Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung, the Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies, the Center for Middle Eastern and North African Studies (both Freie Universität Berlin), and “Europe in the Middle East—The Middle East in Europe” (EUME), a research programme at the Forum Transregionale Studien, invite postdoctoral researchers, research-based artists, and journalists from countries of the Middle East and North Africa to apply for up to six short-term research fellowships in the period from April–December 2021.

The DPU Health in Urban Development Scholarship

UCL, The Bartlett Development Planning Unit

Deadline: July 1, 2021

The Development Planning Unit (DPU) are pleased to announce the launch of the Health in Urban Development (HUD) MSc Scholarship.


US-Iran Relations in a Post-Trump World

LSE Middle East Centre

February 2, 2021

This webinar Hassan Ahmadian, Aniseh Bassiri Tabrizi, Ali Vaez, and Ghoncheh Tazmini will explore what the short-term prospects are for US-Iran relations under the Biden administration.

Silences are Political! Unpacking Silences as International Politics

European International Studies Association

February 3, 2021

Silences are powerful political acts in international politics. They can obscure, discriminate, and marginalise, denying voice and visibility. They are thus political and need to be inquired. Yet, they are sometimes taken for granted as concepts and areas of research. This Café aims to discuss silences in international politics.

Between Rebellion and Revolution: 10 years after the Middle East Uprisings

DFAT Council for Australian-Arab Relations, MESF and WoMENA

February 4, 2021

Ten years ago, millions of citizens took to the streets across the Middle East to call for freedom, dignity and hope in a wave of uprisings that would fundamentally change the region. Join the DFAT Council for Australian-Arab Relations, the Middle East Studies Forum and WoMENA for a panel of Women Know MENA experts Alia Ibrahim (Daraj Media), Asma Khalifa (Tamazight Women’s Movement) and Lama Fakih (Human Rights Watch) to discuss the role of women in and since the uprisings.

IR From the Global South: Worlds of Difference Book Launch and Roundtable!

February 5, 2021

This roundtable will celebrate, and critically engage, the recent publication of Tickner and Smith’s "International Relations from the Global South: Worlds of Difference.” This roundtable brings together the book’s editors, chapter contributors, and members of the Global Development Studies (GDS) community to discuss the book’s contribution to the discipline as well as possible ways of incorporating it into the classroom.

Welcome to Mars: The UAE’s Space Colonization Mission, Anticipatory Authoritarianism, and the Labor of Hope, by Nicole Grove

Cornell University

February 17, 2021

Webinar with Professor Nicole Grove on her new article that considers how Mars colonization and its Earth-bound beta tests - with a focus on the UAE's Mars 2117 project - point to mutations in authoritarian forms of governance, where the future functions as a form of collateral for present day legitimacies that are leveraged upon an infrastructure to come.

Women and the Iraqi Uprising

The Academic Research Institute in Iraq

Following the release of Dr. Zahra Ali’s book, “Women and Gender in Iraq: Between Nation-Building and Fragmentation”, join Dr. Ali, Dr. Nadje Al-Ali, and Dr. Yasmin Chilmeran for a discussion on the role that women, feminist discourses, and gender norms have had on the Iraqi uprising. The discussion will be led and moderated by Dr. Dina Khoury.

The End of Oslo: A New European Strategy on Israel-Palestine\

European Council on Foreign Relations

A policy paper prepared by Hugh Lovatt, Fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), and discussed by Hanan Ashrawi, Daniela Huber, and moderated by Rami Khouri

Tech-Based States of Emergency: Public Responses and Societal implications


​A one-in-a-century pandemic challenges global stability, threatening the lives of millions and the economic well-being of most countries on earth. Many states are invoking state of emergencies as the world collectively faces the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. States have relied on technologies to help mitigate the spread of the disease by deploying the use of metadata analysis, geolocation tracking, facial recognition screening and drones. But the resort to tech-based solutions to a complex social problem raises new questions that demand public and societal scrutiny.

Job Openings

Associate Professor in Humanitarian Economics

UCL - UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction

Deadline: February 5, 2021

The Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction is seeking an Associate Professor in Humanitarian Economics to carry out research, teaching and administration within the IRDR, especially in the areas of humanitarian economics, including the political economy of humanitarian crises and aid, and the economics of development and migration, linking theory with practice; and to contribute to curriculum development and teaching on the new BSc Global Humanitarian Studies.

Doctoral Research Assistant - School of Politics & International Relations

Queen Mary University of London

Deadline: February 11, 2021

An opportunity has arisen for a part-time (11-12 hours/week, 18 months fixed-term) Doctoral Research Assistant to work on the ESRC-funded project ‘From Walls to Corridors: The Global Logistics of Israel's HaEmek Railway’ (ES/S01439X/1). Working with the project PI (Dr. Sharri Plonski), the role involves mapping the layered infrastructures normalising Israel’s relationship to the Middle East, while bypassing and erasing Palestine/Palestinians. The role – which focuses on the GCC and Jordan – includes online research, interview transcription, some archival work and, where relevant, co-developing written and visual outputs for the project with the PI and project partner (the Arab Centre for Alternative Planning). The role is meant to complement the PI’s existing expertise in Palestine/Israel and Hebrew language skills.

Assistant/Associate Professor Position in International Economics

Deadline: February 28, 2021

The School of Humanities and Social Sciences (SHSS) of Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane (AUI) invites applications from qualified and interested candidates for a position in International Studies/International Economics as of Fall 2021. Responsibilities of the successful applicant will include teaching a range of undergraduate and graduate-level courses in International Studies, Economics, and Political Economy. The candidate will hold regular office hours and participate in co-curricular activities on a regular basis (e.g., school committees, supervision of master’s theses, internships and student projects, etc.). Scholarly research and service to SHSS and to the university are expected. 


Democracy, Counterrevolution and the Rhetoric of Anti-Imperialism (with Rohini Hensman)

The Fire These Times

The Fire These Times talks with Rohini Hensman, an India-based Sri Lankan labor activist and feminist. In her book “Indefensible: Democracy, Counterrevolution, and the Rhetoric of Anti-Imperialism” she argues that the apparent anti-imperialism of many self-professed socialists amounts to explicit or implicit support for totalitarianism, fascism, Islamist theocracy and, ironically enough, imperialism. 

Israel’s Medical Apartheid

This is Palestine Podcast

This is Palestine speaks with Dr. Yara M. Asi (University of Central Florida). Her research focuses on global health and development in fragile and conflict-affected populations. She has written extensively on the impact of COVID-19 on Palestinians and her most recent op-ed on Palestinians and the coronavirus vaccine appeared in the Washington Post.



JinNews is a Turkish media network staffed entirely by women, with a mission to make women's lives visible and heard in mainstream discourse.

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Feb 1, 2021



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