Summer School on Understanding the Middle East, 2nd Edition

Within the context of the TOMidEast initiatives, the Department of Cultures, Politics and Society of the University of Turin, is pleased to announce the second edition of the Summer School “Understanding the Middle East” dedicated this year to the issue of the Transformation of Contentious Politics. The School will take place in Turin, Italy, from June 29 to July 3, 2015. All necessary information for prospective participants is available at the School’s web address. Applications will be accepted from March 15 to May 18, 2015.

The profound changes that have occurred across the Middle East over the past four years have challenged the geographical and also political notion of borders and boundaries.

With regard to geographical borders, the Arab uprisings have undoubtedly helped make them more porous showing that they can be easily criss-crossed by transnational groups offering new unifying ideologies.

With respect to the political order, the revolts have produced major changes in the organization of citizens’ claims, challenging the boundaries between state and society. From this point of view, the most visible element is the demand for dignity springing from workers’ movements, trade unions, minority associations, and all sorts of other local citizens’ groups. “Street politics” has re-emerged forcefully contributing to change how politics is and should be conducted in at least some countries of the region.

Both challenges to traditional borders and boundaries have led to the emergence of new actors employing discourses and practices that are destabilising. This destabilisation can have positive effects – the introduction of the language of rights for instance in political discourse – or negative ones- the rise of sectarian violence. In any case both challenges need further examination and the second edition of the summer school “Understanding the Middle East” focuses precisely on them.

The School will provide students with a set of analytical tools through enabling them to understand and explain the complexity of the Middle East. All information about the

Scientific Committee

  • Gilbert Achcar, SOAS, London;
  • Francesco Cavatorta, Laval University, Quebec City;
  • Rosita Di Peri, University of Turin (Summer School coordinator);
  • Raymond Hinnebusch, St. Andrews University, St. Andrews;
  • Fadia Kiwan, St. Joseph University, Beirut;
  • Ilter Turan, Bilgi University, Istanbul.

TOMidEast secretary, Mrs Violetta Ubertalli, can be reached via email, or by writing at the following postal address:

c/o Department of Cultures, Politics and Societies
Lungo Dora Siena 100
10153 Torino – ITALY

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