Admission Price: Free Admission, all welcome
Speaker: Professor Rosemary Hollis, Director, Olive Tree Scholarship Programme, City University London
Dialogue across Cultures: Theory and Practice in the Middle East
Based on her own experience and research over many years, Professor Hollis will draw lessons from three different versions of cross-cultural dialogue in the Middle East. In each case, practical experience belies some common assumptions. Thus, (1) 'Track-two diplomacy' between Americans and Iranians has improved understanding, she claims, even if it has not produced harmony. (2) The Olive Tree Israeli-Palestinian Scholarship Programme at City University London is more about changing the way people view problems than eliminating them. And (3) the official EU-Mediterranean dialogue has exposed the Europeans to accusations of hypocrisy and naiveté as well as failing to reach those most angry and impoverished on the Arab street.
Professor Hollis draws the general conclusion that public enthusiasm for dialogue is driven by a misplaced expectation that they will be vindicated and agreement will result. The real benefit of dialogue, she believes, is as an educational tool with the power to transform only those directly involved.
Rosemary Hollis was made Professor of Middle East Policy Studies in October 2010 and she is Director of the Olive Tree Scholarship Programme at City University London. Prior to joining City University London in 2008 Professor Hollis was Head of the Middle East Programme (1995-2005), then Director of Research at the foreign policy think tank Chatham House. She has a PhD in Political Science from George Washington University in Washington, DC, where she also taught for a number of years; an MA in War Studies and a BA in History from the University of London, King's College.
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