The past few years have witnessed the rise of new conflicts in the Middle East, such as the Syrian civil war, rise and (partial) fall of Daesh (The Islamic State), the breakdown of relations between Qatar and its Arab neighbors, the continuation of old ones (the Israeli-Palestinian one) the worsening of others (Iran and Saudi Arabia, Israel, and the U.S.), and the increasing involvement of Turkey in the region. In the background, there is continuing unrest in many regional states and the shadow of the Trump Administration.
Our panel will focus on several of these issues and also address their implications for Japan.
Alain Frachon, Senior Foreign Affairs Columnist, Le Monde
Alain Frachon is a Senior Foreign Affairs Columnist at Le Monde. He covered the Iranian revolution for AFP News Agency, was stationed in Jerusalem and Washington D.C., and has been following developments in the Middle East for several decades. Mr. Franchon will join via videoconference.
Matthew Gray, Associate Professor, Waseda University
Matthew Gray is Associate Professor at the School of International Liberal Studies (SILS), Waseda University, Tokyo. Prior to this, from 2005 to 2016 he was at the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra, Australia. He has held visiting positions at the Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia at the University of Tokyo, Japan, and at Durham University in the U.K. His research and teaching is focused on Middle Eastern politics, political economy, and international relations. He is the author of ‘Conspiracy Theories in the Middle East: Sources and Politics’ (Routledge, 2010), ‘Qatar: Politics and the Challenges of Development’ (Lynne Rienner, 2013), ‘Global Security Watch – Saudi Arabia’ (Praeger, 2014), and ”The Economy of the Gulf States’ (Agenda, 2019).
Shigeto Kondo, Research Fellow, JIME Center, the Institute of Energy Economics, Japan (IEEJ)
Shigeto Kondo is a Research Fellow at the JIME Center, the Institute of Energy Economics, Japan (IEEJ). His expertise includes politics, economy, and society of GCC countries focusing on Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. He wrote doctoral thesis on Saudi Arabia’s policy on Arab-Israeli conflict and obtained the Ph.D. in Law from Keio University in 2016. Kondo teaches on the contemporary Middle East and international politics as an adjunct lecturer at various universities, and comments frequently in print and television media outlets regarding the foreign policy and social economic reform of Saudi Arabia. He is a member of research committee at the Japan Institute of International Affairs (JIIA) and other research institutes.
Christopher Lamont, Associate Professor, Tokyo International University
Christopher Lamont is Associate Professor of International Relations at the Institute for International Strategy in Tokyo International University. He holds a Ph.D. in Politics from the University of Glasgow (2008) and M.Sc. in International and European Politics from the University of Edinburgh (2005) and a B.A. in International Studies from the University of Mississippi. Previously, Dr. Lamont was Assistant Professor of International Relations at the University of Groningen (2011-2018) and prior to that he was an R.C.U.K. postdoctoral fellow in the Transitional Justice Institute at the University of Ulster (2009-2011).
Director, Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies
Temple University, Japan Campus