CARPO’s virtual research forum aims to address reconfigurations in the WANA region. With our speakers and audience, we want to discuss some of the most pressing topics at the nexus of research and practical experience.

If you are interested in upcoming events and would like to be informed, please send an email to Mirjam Schmidt with your name, affiliation and geographical or thematic area of interest and expertise in the Middle East or register for the CARPO newsletter.

Upcoming Events:

November 30th, 2021: Road to World Cup 2022 - Deconstructing the Multidimensional Nature of Sport Politics in Gulf Monarchies 

Road to World Cup 2022 – Deconstructing the Multidimensional Nature of Sport Politics in the Gulf Monarchies

Road to World Cup 2022 – Deconstructing the Multidimensional Nature of Sport Politics in the Gulf Monarchies

When: 30 November 2021, 14.00 – 16.30 (CET)

The Gulf region provides a whole bunch of examples of how leaderships strategically engage in global sports. For instance, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Saudi Arabia organize sports mega events such as the Formula One races and boxing fights. Additionally, Gulf state organizations are heavily involved in sport business through large-scale investments in the French football club Paris St. Germain by Qatar or British football clubs such as Manchester City and Newcastle United by the UAE and Saudi Arabia respectively. The FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar is the most recent climax in a series of events and initiatives related to sport politics in which the Gulf Arab region has emerged as an international center of gravity.    

Against this backdrop, CARPO’s second virtual Research Forum (CRF) looks at the multi-layered impact of sport politics in the Gulf region. Using a multidimensional perspective, we consider not only outward-oriented issues such as sportswashing or -branding but also its inward-oriented implications on state-society relations in times of socio-economic transformation.

Together with scholars from the Gulf region and Europe we will highlight some of these aspects: The political trend to use sport and sport events as a soft power measure and foreign policy instrument of development cooperation, for instance. On the societal level, guiding themes and questions include sport’s impact on national identity, culture, women empowerment, lifestyle, and activism among others.  

Overall, the CRF wants to shed more light on the multidimensional role sport plays in the Gulf region by highlighting obstacles and grievances but also chances and opportunities of future social and political developments.  

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Reconfigurations in West Asia and North Africa. CARPO Research Forum 2020 – Conference Report

Reconfigurations in West Asia and North Africa. CARPO Research Forum 2020 – Conference Report

by Mirjam Schmidt, Julia Gurol and Tobias Zumbrägel

The first CARPO Research Forum, which took place in November 2020, addressed the reconfigurations and challenges the WANA region is currently grappling with by selecting three major themes at the global, regional and local levels: It discussed the reconfigurations of external powers in the region with a particular focus on a rising China, dealt with the looming climate peril and the arduous path of the region towards sustainable development, and examined the social contract, looking at regional protest waves since the ‘Arab Spring’. Bringing together practitioners and academics, it provided an insight into the interplay between the global, regional and local levels in a highly heterogeneous region, thereby pointing towards future paths for development. This Conference Report summarizes the main take-aways of the Research Forum and highlights avenues for future discussion.

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Reconfigurations in West Asia and North Africa (WANA)

Reconfigurations in West Asia and North Africa (WANA)

When: Nov 19th 2020; 14:45-18:30 CET

The region that spans West Asia and North Africa (WANA) is in a process of a profound transformation. Despite their heterogenous character, all WANA countries experience social, (geo)political, environmental and economic challenges they need to overcome; albeit in different degrees. The current COVID-19 pandemic acts as an accelerator to this development while at the same time exposing the high vulnerability of the region.

CARPO’s first virtual research forum aims to address these reconfigurations in the region. With our speakers and audience, we not only plan to discuss some of the most pressing threats, including geopolitical shifts, questions of a sustainable development and more widespread social contestation, but we will also elaborate on the interplay of the different contexts (national, regional and global) in which these developments take place.

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