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Social Movements and Political Dynamism in the Middle East
In the Era of Globalization
Institute of Developing Economies-JETRO
Makuhari, Chiba (map:Japanese / English)
October 9, 2001

Keynote Speech:
Sadashi Hukuda

Lectures on: Nationalism, Islamism, and Social Identity in the Muslim societies

Lecture 1
"Roots of Revolution: A Comparative Analysis of the Social Dynamics For Change in the Middle East"
Isam al-Khafaji(University of Amsterdam)

Lecture 2
"The Cultural Crisis and the Future of the Arab Civil Society: The Debate of Enlightenment and Liberalization"
El-Sayed Yassin(al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies)

Lecture 3
"How Did the Disappearance of the Religious Reform Have a Part in the Stumble of the Arab Renaissance Projects? "
Maher al-Charif(Institut Francais d'Etudes Arabes de Damas)

Lecture 4
"Crises of Global Modernism and Radical Social Movements: Japan and Egypt"
Eiji Nagasawa(University of Tokyo)

Isam al-Khaffaji
Takeji Ino
Hiroshi Matsumoto



  In the last decade of the 20th century, the Middle East witnessed drastic changes. Among the most noteworthy were the Gulf Crisis/War and the Middle East Peace Process. However, the efforts to establish the “new regional order” after these developments were thrown into turmoil at the turn of the century; the al-Aqsa Intifada broke out in Palestine in the autumn of 2000, symbolizing a setback in the Peace negotiation; the economic sanctions imposed on Iraq were practically dismantled despite a lack of Iraq’s clear compliance with the U.N. resolutions. Meanwhile, at the dawn of the new century, symptoms of change appeared which can be understood as the formation of civil society; Iran under the Khatami regime has been highly praised for its movements toward democratization; Syria under Bashar al-Asad is reportedly preparing for political and economic reforms. Islamic movements, particularly in Egypt, have undergone a transformation from political activism in the 1980s to less political grass-rooted social movements in the 1990s. In the context of so-called “Globalization,” it is possible to understand the symptoms in Iran, Syria and Egypt as being the results of the absorption of “Global Ethics” such as civil society, human rights and political liberalization, into the societies of the Middle East. On the other hand, the examples of Palestine and Iraq are symbolic of the collapse of the international political system and regional security systems based on “states.” This means that Globalization has had different impacts on states and societies of the Middle East, and that it is necessary to discuss them separately.

  The Institute of Developing Economies (IDE), one of the largest and oldest Japanese research institutes dealing with Third World countries, will hold a workshop titled Social Movements and Political Dynamism in the Middle East In the Era of Globalization on October 9, 2001. Here in the IDE International Workshop, we will analyze the current transformation of society in the Middle East under “Globalization,” shedding light on its influence on social consciousness and on its effects on political structure.

  Also we are to analyze the notions of the social identities and the way of mobilizing them in the political movement. A special focus will be put on the notions of Islamism and Nationalism and the correlations between them.

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