May 5, 2006
The premise of U.S. policy since 9/11 is that we can win the war on terrorism by introducing democratic reform in the Middle East. But does democracy have any base of support in the Middle East? The lecture examines the current struggle for reform in the Arab world and shows how hostile clerics, government oppression, and entrenched cultural attitudes have thwarted democratic impulses-until now. It profiles courageous Middle Eastern activists and thinkers who have worked to introduce reforms in their native lands - and analyzes their complicated current chances of success in the wake of the American presence in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Professor Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center in Herzliya, Israel and a professor at the Interdisciplinary University. He is editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal and of Turkish Studies journal. During 2005-2006 he is Seymour & Lillian Abensohn Visiting Professor in Israel Studies at The American University. He writes the Middle East column for the Jerusalem Post and an international affairs column for the Turkish Daily News. Professor Rubin's books include: The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East; Hating America: A History; Yasir Arafat: A Political Biography; The Tragedy of the Middle East; The Transformation of Palestinian Politics; Revolution Until Victory: The Politics and History of the PLO. He has edited four books on terrorism and From War to Peace, 1973-1993, and co edited: Anti-American Terrorism and the Middle East; The Israel Arab Reader; The Armed Forces in the Contemporary Middle East; The Region at the Center of the World: Crises and Quandaries in the Contemporary Persian Gulf; America and Its Allies; Turkey in World Politics; Revolutionaries and Reformers: Contemporary Islamist Movements in the Middle East; Political Parties in Turkey; Turkey and the European Union; Turkey's Economy in Crisis; Critical Essays on Israeli, Society, Politics, and Culture; Iraq's Road to War; The Central American Crisis Reader; The Human Rights Reader; and Human Rights and U.S. Foreign Policy. Prof. Rubin has written more than 40 book chapters, among them: "U.S. Middle East Policy, 1993," Ami Ayalon, Middle East Contemporary Survey, 1993; "U.S.-Israel Relations and Israel's 1992 Elections," Asher Arian and Michal Shamir, Elections in Israel; "The U.S. and Iraq" and "The PLO and Iraq," Amatzia Baram and Barry Rubin, Iraq's Road to War; "Religion in International Politics," Douglas Johnson and Cynthia Samson, Religion: The Missing Dimension of Statecraft; "The PLO After the Gulf Crisis," Robb Satloff, The Politics of Change in the Middle East; "The Middle East in 1993," Yoshiki Hidaka, Prospects for 1993 [Japanese]; and "U.S. Middle East Policy and the Intifada," Gad Gilbar and Asher Susser, At the Core of the Conflict [Hebrew]. He is the editor of three book series: The Middle East in Focus (Palgrave-Macmillan); Islamism (Palgrave-Macmillan); and Military and Strategic Issues in the Middle East (Taylor & Francis). He has been a Fulbright and a Council on Foreign Relations Fellow; a U.S. Institute of Peace and Hebrew University Leonard Davis Center grantee. He has taught at American University, Bar-Ilan University, Georgetown University, Hebrew University, Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, Monash University, and Tel Aviv University.