During the past decade, social, economic and military developments have challenged the stability and validity of political borders in the Middle East. In some cases, violent events called into question the mere existence of these borders. These developments and events make part of the current doubt about the usefulness and the utility of modern international borders, and call for ideas for alternatives. While political borders are dividing different units (such as states, districts, municipalities etc.), can environmental borders be uniting – or vice versa? May environmental borders help in decreasing tensions and solving political problems? Can environmental borders help in reconciliating different religious and ethnic groups?
This panel at the ESEH meeting in Zagreb (to be held from June 28 to July 2, 2017) aims to explore different types of environmental borders in the Middle East, and to discuss the alternatives they pose to ethnic or political borders. While the trigger for raising these questions is contemporary, the case studies and examples sought after for this panel are not limited to a certain era or period, nor to specific environmental features – but geographically to the region. We welcome proposals for 20-minutes papers from all methodological approaches related to the ways in which the environment may create new borers or undermine existing ones in the Middle East.
Applicants should submit a 250-words proposal along with a short CV to: firstname.lastname@example.org before September 23, 2016. Feel free to contact me to discuss your ideas.
Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
University of Zurich