Tuesday, May 13, 2014

May 26 - Panel: China and the Middle East - International Studies Association, New Orleans, Louisiana, February 18th - 21st, 2015

Dear all,

As some you you know, the ISA's 56th Annual Convention (Global IR and Regional Worlds A New Agenda for International Studies) will take place in  New Orleans, Louisiana, from February 18th - 21st, 2015.

Chinese involvement in the Middle East goes back to the early days of the PRC; however, neoliberalization of the Chinese economy under Deng Xioaping after 1978 has led to transformations in the Chinese economy, and has created a large middle class in the late 1990 and 2000s, consisting of approximately 350 – 400 million people that require energy and a new market for it, similar to the African case. Therefore, PRC involvement in the Middle East energy and consumer market has evolved over time. Today, almost half of the Chinese Oil and energy needs are filled with the Middle East, and this is expected to grow in the next decade. This turn of events challenges American Petroimperialist interests in the region.  However, China is a soft power in the region and does not get involved in ethnic or religious conflicts; their interests originate in the global market. The two global powers, the PRC and the US have had 'soft clashes' in Africa, but these may start to take place in the Middle east as well in the near future. On the other hand, Middle Eastern societies have undergone substantial social, political and economic transformations over the last several years. "Made in China" products have poured into the Middle eastern market, Confucius Institutes opened new Chinese cultural and language centers similar to the Fulbright scholarship and British and American Cultural Centers and universities from Iran to Turkey, Bahrain to Egypt. In this panel, we will investigate the growing role of the PRC in the Middle East in modern times.              

If you are working on and interested in organizing a panel on China and the Middle East, please drop  me an informal email, we can organize a panel on this important subject.

We need the following information on May 26th. 

Title of Your Proposal
200 words summary
Your academic affiliation

Best to all,

Tugrul Keskin
tugrulkeskin (at) pdx.edu