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The Olive Tree Programme

The Changing Shape of War in the Middle East

Date: Wednesday 26 February 2014

Time: 6 - 7:30pm

Location: A130, College Building, 280 St John Street, London EC1V 4PB

The Arab-Israeli wars of 1967 and 1973, the Iran-Iraq war (1980-88) and the Kuwait war (1990-91) were essentially contests over territory and sovereignty between the armed forces of state actors. The region has also witnessed guerrilla campaigns and uprisings against states, notably between the Palestinians and Israel. But there was also the Lebanon war of 1975-90, which saw civil conflict within, an Israeli invasion and international interventions. Then came 9/11 and 'the War on Terror', the US invasion of Iraq and armed resistance infiltrated by Al Qaeda.

In 2006 Israel went to war with Hezbollah in Lebanon. In 2011 NATO forces mobilized to help Libyan rebels overthrow Qhadafi. And now the war for Syria sees a multiplicity of armed groups, each with regional and international backers, battling for every city, village and street and refugees fleeing in all directions.

On the panel to discuss the changing shape of war in the Middle East and the implications we shall bring together two expert analysts:

Dr Tarak Barkawi, Reader in the Department of International Relations at the LSE. He is a specialist in warfare between the West and the non-European world in historical and contemporary perspective. He will speak to why war has such extraordinary powers of change over societies and politics.

Prof Michael Kerr, Professor of Conflict Studies and Director of the Middle East & Mediterranean Studies programme and the Centre for the Study of Divided Societies at King's College London. His research interests concern power-sharing and third party intervention in deeply divided societies, civil war, and peace processes. He has written extensively about Lebanon and Northern Ireland.

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City, University of London is an independent member institution of the University of London. Established by Royal Charter in 1836, the University of London consists of 18 independent member institutions with outstanding global reputations and several prestigious central academic bodies and activities.