Call for Papers: “Western Intervention in the Wake of the Arab Uprisings: Political Containment, Neoliberalism, and Imperial Legacies” (deadline extended to 10 Dec 2019)

Western Intervention in the Wake of the Arab Uprisings: Political Containment, Neoliberalism, and Imperial Legacies
Workshop, University of Oxford, Oxford School of Global and Area Studies
March 10–11, 2020

In the present as in the past, the Arab world remains a central target of international military, humanitarian and development interventions. From the First World War and the imposition of the League of Nations mandates, to the United Nations partition of Palestine, through the Cold War efforts to contain Arab anticolonialism, the War on Terror, and the post-2011 chain of uprisings, civil wars, and military interventions, Western policy is a basic factor in shaping Arab polities.

There is a dearth of studies that critically engage the merging of civilian with military practices while maintaining a critical distance from interventionist frameworks. What is the meaning of the recent redefinitions of development, humanitarian and military interventions? How have crises in the Arab world shaped interventionist discourses? How have recent Western policy changes been met by the concerned populations? What are the possible consequences and meanings for the Arab world? This workshop aims to address these and other questions. It aims to situate current military and development interventions into a larger context and debate about (neo)colonialism, governance, the state, sovereignty, and to encourage a systematic treatment of the historical continuities and ruptures between the present and the explicitly imperial political contexts of the early twentieth century.

We seek papers discussing examples from throughout the Arab world that address, but are not limited to, the following themes:

1. Developments in Western humanitarianism and interventionism in the wake of the Arab
2. The merging of development, humanitarianism and military intervention
3. Ethnographic approaches to global discourses and policies
4. Strategies of control, neoliberal reforms and popular discontent

Please see the full concept paper here:

How to Apply:

Applicants must submit an abstract of 300–400 words as well as a 100 word bio, and two page CV to by December 10, 2019 (extended deadline).

Partial funding is available for accommodation and/or travel expenses. Funding priority will be assigned to assist participants who have limited support from their institutions, and/or to those who will not be able to attend the workshop without assistance. Please indicate in your application if you wish to be considered for accommodation/travel expenses, and include a short justification for this support. Participants will be informed about the amount of reimbursement available for these costs when abstract is approved.

Conveners: Dr Susann Kassem ( and Dr Shun Watanabe (

This conference is funded by the Sasakawa Peace Foundation and St Antony’s College, Oxford.


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