Hicham Alaoui, Robert Springborg, Zeinab Abul-Magd, Lindsay Benstead, and Sean Yom join ARD to discuss their recently released book, Security Assistance in the Middle East: Challenges ... and the Need for Change (Lynne Rienner, 2023). To order, click here.
Why, given the enormous resources spent by the US and Europe on security assistance to Arab countries, has it led to so little success? Can anything be done to change the disheartening status quo? Addressing these thorny questions, the authors of this state-of-the-art assessment evaluate the costs and benefits to the main providers and recipients of security assistance in the MENA region and explore alternative strategies to improve outcomes for both.
ABOUT THE SPEAKERS
Hicham Alaoui is the founder and director of the Hicham Alaoui Foundation, which undertakes innovative social scientific research in the Middle East and North Africa. He is a scholar on the comparative politics of democratization and religion, with a focus on the MENA region. In the past, he served as a visiting scholar and Consulting Professor at the Center for Democracy, Development and Rule of Law at Stanford University. He more recently served as postdoctoral fellow and research associate at Harvard University. He was also Regents Lecturer at several campuses of the University of California system. Outside of academia, he has worked with the United Nations in various capacities, such as the peacekeeping mission in Kosovo. He has also worked with the Carter Center in its overseas missions on conflict resolution and democracy advancement. He has served on the MENA Advisory Committee for Human Rights Watch and the Advisory Board of the Carnegie Middle East Center. He served on the board of the Freeman Spogli Institute at Stanford University and has recently joined the Advisory Board of the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard. He holds an A.B. from Princeton University, M.A. from Stanford University, and D.Phil. from the University of Oxford. His latest book is Pacted Democracy in the Middle East: Tunisia and Egypt in Comparative Perspective (Palgrave, 2022). His memoirs, Journal d'un Prince Banni, were published in 2014 by Éditions Grasset, and have since been translated into several languages. He is also co-author with Robert Springborg of The Political Economy of Arab Education (Lynne Rienner, 2021), and co-author with the same colleague on the forthcoming volume Security Assistance in the Middle East: Challenges and the Need for Change (Lynne Rienner, 2023). His academic research has been widely published in various French and English journals, magazines, and newspapers of record.
Robert Springborg is a Scientific Advisor of the Istituto Affari Internazionali and Adjunct Professor at SFU School for International Studies (Vancouver). Formerly he was Professor of National Security Affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, and Program Manager for the Middle East for the Center for Civil-Military Relations; the holder of the MBI Al Jaber Chair in Middle East Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, where he also served as Director of the London Middle East Institute; the Director of the American Research Center in Egypt; University Professor of Middle East Politics at Macquarie University in Sydney Australia; and assistant professor of political science at the University of Pennsylvania. He has also taught at the University of California, Berkeley; the College of Europe; the Paris School of International Affairs of Sciences Po; the Department of War Studies, King’s College, London; and the University of Sydney. In 2016 he was Kuwait Foundation Visiting Scholar, Middle East Initiative, Kennedy School, Harvard University. His publications include Mubarak’s Egypt. Fragmentation of the Political Order (1989); Family Power and Politics in Egypt (1982); Legislative Politics in the Arab World (1999, co-authored with Abdo Baaklini and Guilain Denoeux); Globalization and the Politics of Development in the Middle East first and second editions, (2001 and 2010, co-authored with Clement M. Henry); Oil and Democracy in Iraq (2007); Development Models in Muslim Contexts: Chinese, ‘Islamic’ and Neo-Liberal Alternatives(2009) and several editions of Politics in the Middle East (co-authored with James A. Bill). He co-edited a volume on popular culture and political identity in the Gulf that appeared in 2008. He has published in the leading Middle East journals and was the founder and regular editorialist for The Middle East in London, a monthly journal that commenced publication in 2003.
Zeinab Abul-Magd is a professor of Middle Eastern history. She received a PhD in history and political economy in 2008 at Georgetown University, and an MA in Arab studies and Islamic law in 2003, also at Georgetown University. She received a BS in political science in 1996 at Cairo University, Egypt. She specializes in the socioeconomic history, army, war and society, and Islamic law and society in the Middle East. Her first book, Imagined Empires: A History of Revolt in Egypt (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2013) won the Roger Owen Book Award in economic history from the Middle Eastern Studies Association in North America (MESA). This book has been translated into Arabic and published in Cairo by the Egyptian National Center of Translation in 2018. Her recent publications include a monograph titled Militarizing the Nation: The Army, Business, and Revolution in Egypt (New York: Columbia University Press, 2017), and an edited volume titled Businessmen in Arms: How the Military and Other Armed Groups Profit in the MENA Region, coeditor with Elke Grawert (New York: Rowman and Littlefield, 2016). As an internationally recognized expert in the field, Abul-Magd was invited to publish countless reports with influential think tanks in Washington, D.C. and Europe. In addition, she published articles at Foreign Policy magazine, Jadaliyya, and several Arabic newspapers. In the United States, she published essays with renowned think tanks such as Carnegie Endowment, the Atlantic Council, and Middle East Institute. In Europe, she wrote reports for the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), London; SOAS’s Middle East in London Magazine, University of London; Transparency International (TI), London; the German Orient-Institute (Deutsches Orient-Institut), Berlin; Christian Michelson Institute (CMI), Norway; and Istituto Per Gli studi Di Politica Internazionale (ISPI), Italy. In Egypt, she published Arabic journalistic articles at al-Manassa, and Mada Masr. She was interviewed or quoted by local and international newspapers and networks such as the Washington Post, the New York Times, Reuters, al-Monitor, France 24, DW (Deutsche Welle), El Mundo, Vox, ONTV, and al-Masry al-Youm TV.
Lindsay J. Benstead is Associate Professor of Political Science in the Mark O. Hatfield School of Government and Director of the Middle East Studies Center (MESC) at Portland State University. Her research on women and politics, public opinion, and survey methodology has appeared in Perspectives on Politics, International Journal of Public Opinion Research, Governance, and Foreign Affairs. She holds a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Political Science from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and served as a doctoral fellow at Yale University and a post-doctoral fellow at Princeton University. For more on her research, see https://pdx.academia.edu/LindsayBenstead.
Sean Yom is Associate Professor of Political Science at Temple University, Senior Fellow in the Middle East Program at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, and Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Project on Middle East Democracy in Washington, DC. He is a specialist on regimes and governance in the Middle East, especially in Arab monarchies like Jordan, Kuwait, and Morocco. His research engages topics of authoritarian politics, democratic reforms, institutional stability, and economic development in these countries, as well as their implications for US foreign policy. His publications include the books From Resilience to Revolution: How Foreign Interventions Destabilize the Middle East (Columbia University Press, 2016); the co-edited volume The Political Science of the Middle East: Theory and Research since the Arab Uprisings (Oxford University Press, 2022); and articles in print journals like Comparative Political Studies, European Journal of International Relations, Studies in Comparative International Development, and Journal of Democracy.