Geopolitics Expert Dr. Graziano Gives a Talk at AGS on The Arab Spring: Geopolitics and Democracy
|Tuesday, 04 December 2012|
On November 29, Geopolitics expert Dr. Manlio Graziano gave a presentation and discussion at AGS about the geopolitical context and consequences of the "Arab Spring".
The talk focused on the role that the shift in the balance of power between the major world players has had in triggering the political crises in the Middle East. It looked at the transition that is taking place and its impact on the regional and global geopolitical configuration.
Dr. Graziano also demonstrated how interpretive the very notion of democracy can be, as the transitions that are taking place in the Middle East will not necessarily correspond to the Western version of democracy and are largely conditioned by the particular history, traditions, and context of those countries.
Comparing the Arab Spring to the French Revolution, he explained how those recent events have been ground-flattening and have paved the way for a new form of international relations. The shift has opened room for new state-based as well as non state-based actors, including religious ones, to participate in the ongoing process and play a role on the international scene.
Dr. Graziano explains: "The Arab countries, first frozen by the Cold War, then by American interventionism, are adapting themselves to the political possibility, now more ample than ever, of diversifying their international relations, courting new strategic partners, and even finding new protectors."
Dr. Manlio Graziano specializes in geopolitics and geopolitics of religions. He has published several books on the subject, including: Essential Geopolitics: a Handbook (2011, in English and in French, available on Kindle); Il secolo cattolico. La strategia geopolitica della Chiesa (Laterza, Rome, 2010; Barcelona, 2012); The Failure of Italian Nationhood. The Geopolitics of a Troubled Identity (Palgrave Macmillan, New York, 2010); Italia Senza Nazione? Geopolitica di un'identità difficile (Donzelli, Rome, 2007); Italie. Un État sans nation? Geopolitique d'une identité nationale incertaine (Erès, Toulouse, 2007); and Identité catholique et identité italienne. L'Italie laboratoire de l'Église (L'Harmattan, Paris, 2007). He also edited L'Italie aujourd'hui. Situation et perspectives après le séisme des années 90 (Paris, 2004). He collaborates with the journals Outre-terre (Paris), Geopolitical Affairs (London); Limes (Rome) and International Affairs Forum (Washington DC).
Dr. Graziano teaches at Université Paris IV-La Sorbonne and AGS, and has taught at several universities in Paris, Lyons and Rome. He has also given lectures in the US at CUNY's Brooklyn College and SUNY's Stiny Brooks in New York, as well as in Sweden at Stockholms Universitet, in the UK at the University of Bath, and in France at Sciences Po Paris.
This talk was part of the "AGS Issue Roundup" series which consist of a review of a chosen topic of international affairs by an AGS professor with specific expertise followed by a Q&A and discussion on the subject. Previous Issue Roundup talks have focused on the regime change in Tunisia, the Russian elections, the US election and the media, among other topics. Issue Roundups are open to all AGS students, alumni and faculty as well as outside guests by RSVP. If you are interested in attending please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ryan MillsUnited States
From current issues in the Middle East taught together by an Iranian historian and an Israelli journalist, to NGO management taught by the director of Human Rights Watch in France, every class was fascinating and taught by some of the most impressive people I could ever have imagined. I immediately felt at home in this small but active AGS community because, although students and professors are all from different parts of the world, everyone takes the time to understand each other's perspective. Overall, I would recommend AGS to anyone with a thirst for intellectual stimulation and a drive to not only understand the world of international relations, but engage in it..