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CIC Victoria: Great Power Competition in Today’s Middle East: A Time of Transformation
May 24 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm PDT
An in-person event at the Union Club. Registration now closed.
One century ago, the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire allowed Britain and France to consolidate their roles as the Middle East’s dominant colonial powers. Following World War II, national independence and anti colonial activism intersected with manipulations by the United States and Soviet Union. Eventual US hegemony then seemed to have reached a symbolic end with the chaotic 2021 Afghanistan withdrawal. Today, the scenario is extraordinarily complex. Residual US influence, ascendant Chinese interests, and a Ukraine-distracted Russia compete amidst the ambitions of formidable regional–perhaps even aspiring imperial–states like Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Israel, and Egypt. Also pivotal are such non-state actors as the Kurds, Hezbollah in Lebanon, jihadist organizations, and the Yemeni Houthis. A continually shifting blend of geopolitical, economic, ideological, and religious factors makes this a highly unpredictable, transformational time. Our speaker is Andrew M. Wender, an Associate Teaching Professor in the Departments of Political Science and History, and Director of the Religion, Culture and Society Program, University of Victoria. He is a specialist in the politics and history of the modern Middle East, especially the many religious dimensions.