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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Good Soldiers Don't Rape
The Stories We Tell About Military Sexual Violence
By Megan MacKenzie, Simon Fraser University, British Columbia
Sexual violence is a significant problem within many Western militaries. Despite international attention to the issue and global #MeToo and #TimesUp movements highlighting the impact of sexual violence, rates of sexual violence are going up in many militaries. This book uses feminist theories of 'rape culture' and institutional gaslighting to identify the key stories, myths, and misconceptions about military sexual violence that have obstructed addressing and preventing it. It is a landmark study that considers nearly thirty years of media coverage of military sexual violence in three case countries – the US, Canada and Australia. The findings have implications not only for those seeking to address, reduce, and prevent sexual violence in militaries, but also for those hoping to understanding rape culture and how patriarchy operates more broadly. It will appeal to students, scholars and general readers interested in gender, feminism and the military.
Gender Studies in the Arab Region:
New Research Directions
Contributors: Moushira Elgeziri, Hoda Elsadda, Dalia Ghanem, Doaa and Weeam Hammoudeh, Serena Canaan, Yara Tarabulsi, Nida Abu Awwad, Lena Meari, and Zahia Gweru
This publication titled "Gender Studies in the Arab Region: New Research Directions" consists of six papers, five of which are in English and one in Arabic. The publication uncovers research gaps and tackles different topics within the interdisciplinary field of gender studies, such as the non-governmental organization phenomenon within women's and gender studies in the Arab region; an introduction to feminist security studies; the status of research on gender, health, and displacement in the Arab region; women's economic empowerment in the Middle East and North Africa, gender and higher education in Palestine; and gender and law in the Tunisian context.
Animal Interventions in Global Politics
By Benjamin Meiches
Both critical and mainstream scholarly work on humanitarianism have largely been framed from anthropocentric perspectives highlighting humanity as the rationale for providing care to others. In Nonhuman Humanitarians, Benjamin Meiches explores the role of animals laboring alongside humans in humanitarian operations, generating new ethical possibilities of care in humanitarian practice.
Nonhuman Humanitarians examine how these animals not only improve specific practices of humanitarian aid but have started to transform the basic tenets of humanitarianism. Analyzing case studies of mine-clearance dogs, milk-producing cows and goats, and disease-identifying rats, Nonhuman Humanitarians ultimately argues that nonhuman animal contributions problematize foundational assumptions about the emotional and rational capacities of humanitarian actors as well as the ethical focus on human suffering that defines humanitarianism.
Meiches reveals that by integrating nonhuman animals into humanitarian practice, several humanitarian organizations have effectively demonstrated that care, compassion, and creativity are creaturely rather than human and that responses to suffering and injustice do not—and cannot—stop at the boundaries of the human.
The Rise of the Masses
Spontaneous Mobilization and Contentious Politics
An insightful examination of how intersecting individual motivations and social structures mobilize spontaneous mass protests.
Between 15 and 26 million Americans participated in protests surrounding the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and others as part of the Black Lives Matter protests in 2020, which is only one of the most recent examples of an immense mobilization of citizens around a cause. In The Rise of the Masses, sociologist Benjamin Abrams addresses why and how people spontaneously protest, riot, and revolt en masse. While most uprisings of such a scale require tremendous resources and organizing, this book focuses on cases where people with no connection to organized movements take to the streets, largely of their own accord. Looking to the Arab Spring, Occupy Wall Street, and the Black Lives Uprising, as well as the historical case of the French Revolution, Abrams lays out a theory of how and why massive mobilizations arise without the large-scale planning that usually goes into staging protests.
Analyzing a breadth of historical and regional cases that provide insight into mass collective behavior, Abrams draws on first-person interviews and archival sources to argue that people organically mobilize when a movement speaks to their pre-existing dispositions and when structural and social conditions make it easier to get involved—what Abrams terms affinity-convergence theory. Shedding a light on the drivers behind large spontaneous protests, The Rise of the Masses offers a significant theory that could help predict movements to come.
The Bad Thing Henry Kissinger Did That You Don’t Even Know About
By Matthew Duss
It may not be up there with East Timor, but the practice of turning vast global contacts into wealth has been horrible for American democracy.
Given the kind of offenses listed on Henry Kissinger’s bill of indictment, buckraking might seem less significant compared to the Everest-sized mountain of dead human bodies left by the various policies he advocated over the years. But it’s worth considering the impact of this practice on U.S. foreign policymaking.
Safety Of Journalists In The MENA Region Amid The Turmoil
This article is based on remarks in a panel organized by Security in Context on April 4th, 2023 titled “Shooting The Messenger: Journalism and Warfare in the MENA Region.”
Independent journalists in the MENA region risk their livelihoods and freedom, and sometimes their lives, reporting on high-profile or sensitive stories. Despite these difficulties, journalists continue to perform a crucial civil society function that is often not performed by governmental or judicial institutions: holding powerful actors accountable, or advancing knowledge on secretive topics, key elements in the societal struggle for freedom and democracy. For those reasons journalists in MENA have an additional responsibility to abide by the journalistic codes of conduct.
Is Civic Space Shrinking Over Israel and Palestine?
While a negotiated political solution between Israelis and Palestinians is not on the horizon, policymakers must work to ensure that civic spaces in the region and in the United States are free and open so that people with a range of interests can be heard.
The Peace Movement and Ukraine: John Feffer Replies to Critics
By: John Feffer
[John Feffer was interviewed by email by Stephen R. Shalom of the New Politics editorial board.]
New Politics (NP): You wrote an article for Foreign Policy in Focus entitled “The Surprising Pervasiveness of American Arrogance,” criticizing a view in the peace movement on the war in Ukraine. Medea Benjamin, Nicolas J. S. Davies, and Marcy Winograd (hereafter BDW) wrote a response to you, also published on Foreign Policy in Focus, “The Surprising Pervasiveness Of Pro-War Propaganda.” I’d like to discuss your reaction to this critique.
BDW argue that the United States, as Ukraine’s main arms supplier, has an obligation to push Ukraine towards negotiations at the same time that the world is pushing the Russians towards negotiations. BDW have called for an end to U.S. weapons to Ukraine. Do you think cutting off arms to Ukraine will hasten diplomacy?
Putin: Disastrous but indispensable for the system he created?
The Wagner insurrection has raised serious questions about not only the durability of Putin’s role, but also that of the regime that he has built.
President Putin has emerged strengthened from whatever it was exactly that may or may not have happened in Russia this weekend; strengthened, that is, compared to his situation of ten days ago – which is not saying a great deal. For months now, the open public dispute between Yevgeny Prigozhin, leader of the Wagner Group, and the leadership of the Russian Defense Ministry had escalated to the point where Putin’s inability or unwillingness to end it was undermining his authority.
Conferences/Calls for Papers or
The Global South in International Organizations and Beyond: Transformation, Influence, and Empowerment in an Evolving World Politics
We are delighted to announce a call for proposals for the upcoming conference on “The Global South in International Organizations and Beyond: Transformation, Influence, and Empowerment in an Evolving World Politics.” The event aims to create a vibrant platform where scholars, researchers, experts and policymakers from various disciplines and professional backgrounds can come together to engage in enriching discussions and develop fresh perspectives on the Global South’s impact on the world policy arena, particularly through its engagement with international organizations.
Context and Objectives
International organizations play a crucial role in shaping global governance and tackling the complex challenges confronted by the international community. Historically, these organizations have been largely dominated by the Global North; however, recent years have witnessed a significant shift with the growing influence and participation of the Global South. Comprising a diverse group of countries across Africa, Eurasia, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East and North Africa, South/Southeast Asia and the Pacific, the Global South has undergone a substantial transformation that not only has altered their internal dynamics, but also has had a profound impact on international relations and their role in the functioning of global governance mechanisms.
The Global South has emerged as an important force in shaping global politics, challenging existing asymmetries in international power dynamics and advocating for the interests of developing countries. The primary objective of this conference is to explore the transformative potential of the Global South within international organizations and beyond. Specifically, it seeks to analyze how these countries collectively and individually pursue their interests; structure, influence and reshape international organizations; the extent to which they influence decision-making processes; and how they interact with other member states in addressing emerging global issues and contributing to global governance. By exploring these aspects, the conference aims to deepen understanding of the evolving role of the Global South within and beyond international organizations, and its impact on the broader global landscape.
We invite proposals for paper presentations, panel discussions, and interactive workshops that critically examine the transformation, influence, and empowerment of the Global South in international organizations and beyond. The focus should be on, but is not limited to, the following topics:
- Power dynamics, representation and transformation: Analyzing the power dynamics between the Global North and the Global South in international organizations, and assessing the extent to which the Global South has transformed these institutions to better reflect the interests and priorities of developing countries.
- Influence in decision-making: Examining the strategies employed by the Global South to increase its influence in decision-making processes within international organizations and evaluating the impact of such efforts on global governance.
- Norm entrepreneurship: Assessing the role of the Global South in promoting and shaping norms within international organizations, and examining the challenges and opportunities it faces in challenging existing norms and establishing new ones.
- Regionalism and South-South cooperation: Reviewing the role of regional organizations and South-South alliances in enhancing the influence and engagement of the Global South in international organizations and their implications for world politics.
- Development agenda: Exploring the Global South’s engagement in international organizations and beyond in relation to development initiatives, including efforts to address poverty, inequality, environmental crises, and sustainable development goals.
- Global security: Investigating the contributions of the Global South to global security agendas through international organizations, including peacekeeping operations, conflict resolution, peacebuilding initiatives, human security and counterterrorism efforts.
- Southern perspectives on global challenges: Analyzing how Global South engagement in international organizations brings alternative perspectives and approaches to address global challenges such as climate change, migration, human rights, poverty, social, economic and gender inequalities, pandemics and global health.
- International organizations in the Global South: Looking into the historical background and evolution of international organizations in the Global South, and evaluating their impact and effectiveness in promoting development and empowerment of these regions.
- Financing development in the Global South: Investigating the role of international financial institutions and donors in supporting production, trade and sustainable development in the Global South, including the opportunities and challenges faced in accessing finance.
- Case studies: Presenting empirical studies that examine the experiences, strategies, and outcomes of Global South engagements with international organizations.
Interested participants are invited to submit abstracts of no more than 300 words, outlining the proposed paper or panel discussion. Abstracts should clearly indicate the relevance to the conference themes and provide a brief overview of the theoretical and methodological approaches employed. The deadline for abstract submission is July 17, 2023.
Accepted participants will be notified by early August, 2023, and full papers will be due by November 10, 2023. Selected papers may be considered for publication in an edited volume or a special issue of a reputable academic journal.
The conference comprises plenary sessions featuring keynote speakers, panel discussions, and interactive workshops tailored to specific themes and topics. We welcome proposals for both individual papers and pre-organized panels. Each presentation will be allocated 15-20 minutes, followed by a Q&A session. Furthermore, a limited number of travel grants will be available for participants from the Global South, subject to funding availability.
Program details, as well as information on registration fees, recommended hotels and possible cultural programs will be published on the conference website and communicated to all selected participants.
- Proposal submission deadline: July 17, 2023
- Program announcement: early August, 2023
- Full paper submission deadline: November 10, 2023
- Conference dates: December 15-16 (virtual), December 17-20 (in-person)
For any inquiries regarding paper and panel proposal submissions, please reach out to the conference organizing committee at ISAGSCIS2023@isanet.org. If you have any questions about specialized interactive workshops, kindly send an email to Aigul Kulnazarova, the GSCIS Chair, at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Struggle to Reshape the Middle East: An Interview with Samer Shehata
In this video, Executive Producer of the Security in Context podcast Anita Fuentes interviews Samer Shehata about "The Struggle to Reshape the Middle East in the 21st Century" (Edinburgh University Press).
Samer Shehata is an Associate Professor of Middle East Studies in the Department of International and Area Studies at the University of Oklahoma. He is the editor of recently published book "The Struggle to Reshape the Middle East in the 21st Century." His areas of research include Middle Eastern politics, Egyptian politics, the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood and Islamist politics, and U.S. foreign policy toward the Middle East. He is the author of "Shop Floor Culture and Politics in Egypt" (SUNY, 2009), and editor of "Islamist Politics in the Middle East: Movements and Change" (Routledge, 2012). His articles have appeared in both academic and policy journals including the International Journal of Middle East Studies, Current History, MERIP, Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, Middle East Policy, Folklore and as book chapters and encyclopedia articles. His analysis and op-ed pieces have been published in the New York Times, Boston Globe/International Herald Tribune, Salon, Slate, Arab Reform Bulletin, Al Hayat, Al Ahram Weekly and other publications.
The Geopolitics of Industrial Policy
Recent years have brought renewed interest in industrial policy in the United States. Some claim that we’re witnessing the formation of a “new Washington Consensus”—a rejection of the post–Cold War economic order of trade liberalization and globalization. These developments are occurring in tandem with escalating tensions between the United States and China. Can state-led industrial policy be disentangled from rhetoric about a new Cold War?
If we are inclined to welcome the “post-neoliberal” moment, how concerned should we be about the backdrop of geo-economic conflict? Featuring Yakov Feygin, Daniela Gabor, Ho-fung Hung, Thea Riofrancos, and Quinn Slobodian, this discussion was recorded live on June 26, 2023 and will be printed in our upcoming fall issue. Subscribe: https://www.ezsubscription.com/dis/su...
POMED: Project on Middle East Democracy
Location: Washington, D.C.
Full Time: Hybrid, Telework/In-Office
Salary Range: $75–89,000 annually
The Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to examining how genuine democracies can develop in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and how the United States can best support that process. POMED is a small organization of about 12 full time staff across three main teams – advocacy, research, and regional engagement. The work of these teams is publicly supported by a communications team and is led by a Managing Director and an Executive Director.
POMED advances a vision of a democratic and human rights-respecting MENA region supported by pro-democracy and anti-autocracy policies of the United States through three interconnected goals. We: 1) support pro-democracy actors across MENA to advocate for why democracy matters; 2) influence the U.S. government and its democratic allies to prioritize democracy and human rights in MENA as a core national security interest; and 3) expose and counter authoritarian tactics, trends, and narratives of MENA governments and their enablers.
POMED is hiring a Director to lead its Regional Engagement Team. The purpose of this team is to develop relationships with fresh, dynamic and diverse pro-democracy voices in MENA; to serve as POMED’s hub for fostering reflection, analysis, action, and planning amongst these actors; and to develop comparative lessons learned with activists and experts from other regions of the world facing similar challenges. The Director will manage one employee, a Program Coordinator, and the Director will report to POMED’s Managing Director.
The Director will shape POMED’s work overall to: build on the knowledge and expertise of regional pro-democracy and human rights experts; expand pro-democracy constituencies; share comparative experiences and best practices from democracy activists and experts across the globe; and develop new tools for remaking the case for democracy.
The primary responsibility of the Director in 2023 will be to oversee the launch of a new “Why Democracy Matters Initiative,” which will be executed on a day-to-day basis by their Program Coordinator. The Director will be the most senior spokesperson for the Initiative, and collaborate at the highest levels with leading MENA pro-democracy advocates to organize and direct innovative programming and research on the importance and benefit of democratic governance in the region. This Initiative will produce collaborative dialogues, public events, research products, and public advocacy on three themes: 1) making the case for democracy and human rights: why does this matter?; 2) pushing back against anti-democratic actors and narratives: how do we do it?; and 3) strategies of communication and mobilization.
Please submit a resume and cover letter to email@example.com with “Program Director – MENA Regional Engagement” in the subject line. We will begin reviewing application materials on June 26th, and continue on a rolling basis until the position is filled. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.
POMED: Project on Middle East Democracy
Location: Middle East, North Africa, or Europe
Full Time Contract: Remote telework, with occasional travel
Salary Range: $30–60,000 annually, based on experience and geographic residence
POMED is hiring a Program Coordinator to join its Regional Engagement Team. The purpose of this team is to develop relationships with fresh, dynamic and diverse pro-democracy voices in MENA; to serve as POMED’s hub for fostering reflection, analysis, action, and planning amongst these actors; and to develop comparative lessons learned with activists and experts from other regions of the world facing similar challenges. The Program Coordinator will report directly to the Regional Engagement Director.
The Program Coordinator will help launch and lead POMED’s new “Why Democracy Matters Initiative.” The Program Coordinator will lead the day-to-day work of the new Initiative, collaborating virtually and in-person with leading MENA pro-democracy advocates to carry out innovative programming and research on the importance and benefit of democratic governance in the region.
The primary responsibilities of the Coordinator will be to develop and maintain active working relationships with a diverse set of MENA pro democracy advocates and support the successful execution of the Initiative’s activities and deliverables. The Initiative will produce collaborative dialogues, public events, research products, and public advocacy on three themes: 1) making the case for democracy and human rights: why does this matter?; 2) pushing back against anti-democratic actors and narratives: how do we do it?; and 3) strategies of communication and mobilization.
Please submit a resume and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Program Coordinator MENA Regional Engagement” in the subject line. We will begin reviewing application materials on June 26th, and continue on a rolling basis until the position is filled. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.
Connections Episode 67: Syria Today with Omar Dahi
On Thursday, 8 June Jadaliyya co-editor Mouin Rabbani spoke with Omar Dahi about Syria. This episode of Connections examines the current situation in Syria and its future prospects.
Connections offers timely and informative interviews on current events and broader policy questions, as well as themes relevant to knowledge production. It combines journalism, analysis, and scholarship.
Omar S. Dahi is Interim Vice-President for Academic Affairs, Dean of Faculty and Professor of Economics at Hampshire College. He is the founding director of Security in Context, an international research initiative on global affairs. Dahi serves as an Associate Editor of the Review of Social Economy, Co-Editor of Jadaliyya, and was previously on the editorial committee of Middle East Report. He is a founding member of the Beirut School of Critical Security Studies within the Arab Council for the Social Sciences (ACSS), and served as a lead expert on the United Nations Economic and Social Commission of West Asia's National Agenda for the Future of Syria program. He has published in academic outlets such as the Journal of Development Economics and Applied Economics, Southern Economic Journal, Political Geography, Middle East Report, Forced Migration Review, and Critical Studies on Security. He is co-author of South-South Trade and Finance in the 21st Century: Rise of the South or a Second Great Divergence.
Mouin Rabbani has published and commented widely on Palestinian affairs, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the contemporary Middle East. He was previously Senior Analyst Middle East and Special Advisor on Israel-Palestine with the International Crisis Group, and head of political affairs with the Office of the United Nations Special Envoy for Syria. He is Co-Editor of Jadaliyya Ezine.
Liberal Zionism: A Veneer for Settler Colonialism with M. Muhannad Ayyash
M. Muhannad Ayyash joins host Yara Hawari to discuss liberal Zionism and the dominant role it plays in Zionist ideology. He exposes its essential function of providing the settler colonial project with the veneer of enlightened, Western civilization and democratic politics.