Call for Panellists (BRISMES 13-15 July 2016):
Societal factors shaping Middle East foreign policies
With the Middle East in a state of unprecedented turmoil, and internal conflicts becoming increasingly regionalised and internationalised, there is a pressing need to understand how foreign policies, and international relations more broadly, are influenced by societal factors, particularly in non-democratic contexts. Although societal influences on foreign policy are perhaps more acute or obvious during periods of instability and flux, this does not mean they are absent during more peaceful times.
The papers examine drivers of, and constraints on, foreign policy such as socio-political movements; opposition and other corporate interest groups; media; business and other economic interest groups; transnational non-state actors; and influences stemming from ethnic, national, sectarian and religious identities more broadly. The panel seeks to advance understanding of how societal factors have affected foreign policy in fragmented and authoritarian contexts where formal mechanisms of representation and influence are lacking or ineffective. It highlights societal influences on short-term policy decisions as well as broader strategic reorientations.
The panel is held as part of the BRISMES research network on People Power and State Power: Religious and Political Dialogue in the Middle East and North Africa. Limited funding is available to assist with travel expenses to the BRISMES Annual conference, which will take place 13-15 July 2016 at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Lampeter Campus. If you would like to join the panel please send a short (maximum 250 words) abstract and short CV to Ewan Stein (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Noa Schonmann (email@example.com) by Friday 4 March. Please indicate whether you have already submitted an abstract as part of the main BRISMES conference call for papers.
Dr Noa Schonmann
University of Oxford