“Securitization and Insecurity in the Middle East and North Africa”
Virtual Program (July/August 2020) + In-person Workshop (TBD)
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, APSA decided to postpone the MENA workshop scheduled to take place in Rabat, Morocco from May 29 – June 4. In the meantime, co-leaders Samer Abboud (Villanova University, USA), Zaynab El Bernoussi (Al Akhawayn University, Morocco), Omar Dahi (Hampshire College, USA), and Salim Hmimnat (Mohamed V University, Morocco) have developed an online summer program that will take place from July 27 to August 21. The 4-week program will interrogate several themes related to MENA Critical Security Studies and provide fellows with preliminary feedback on their research papers. The connections and discussions that begin during the virtual program will be carried through to the in-person workshop at a later date. We believe that this revised structure offers the best opportunity for scholarly engagement in light of current health concerns and travel restrictions.
The 2020 MENA Workshop will be held both online and in-person. Sixteen fellows from countries across the Arab MENA region have been selected to take part in the program, which will engage academic and policy debates about security and international relations of the MENA region and consider alternative understandings of insecurity that focus on the research projects of scholars within the region. The workshop will also explore various methodological approaches in the study of insecurity and address the challenges that researchers from the region face in producing theoretically and conceptually legible research for a mainly English-speaking audience.
Thematically, the workshop will be theoretically grounded in critical approaches to Security Studies and International Relations, with discussions structured around two central themes. Discussions of insecurity will be framed through the question of what makes people insecure, rather than what makes them secure. By inverting the traditional questions of Security Studies that seek to answer how security can be achieved, this question asks fellows to think of the production of insecurity as the key variable to be explained. Discussions of securitization will reflect on how new patterns of securitization are emerging in the region. By widening the agents of securitization beyond the state, this approach highlights how private companies, social movements, political parties, and even municipalities, are implicated in contemporary securitization in the MENA region.
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