Conference to Focus on Political Shifts in Region

  • 24 March 2015

The Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR) announced on Monday that its 20th annual conference will focus on political unrest and conflicts in the Arab countries.

The conference on the ‘Middle East: Shifting Roles, Interests and Alliances’ will take place at the ECSSR headquarters here on March 31-April1, bringing together national and international politicians, academicians, diplomats and leading experts in political affairs.

The ECSSR representatives would not comment whether the conference’s theme has any direct implication for the UAE, but they did stress that the centre has been monitoring the political affairs in the Middle East since 1994 and regards as its responsibility to record and analyse events in the region.

“The conference is of great importance owing to its vital theme revolving around the transformation of roles, interests and alliances in the Middle East — a region that has witnessed numerous turbulent developments as part of the so-called Arab Spring and the many risks and challenges this has posed to the stability of its constituent countries,” stated ECSSR representatives claiming anonymity.

According to a study recently published by the centre, titled ‘Islamic Political Movements and Authority in the Arab World. The Rise and Fall’, the political turmoil in the Arab countries will continue for some time as it has been hijacked by self-proclaimed religious movements such as the Muslim Brotherhood or Daesh.

“With the expanding ambitions of some Islamic political organisations and movements, and their attempt to take complete control of the countries facing change, resistance increased and a state of religious and political polarisation followed,” political analysts stated in the study.

“Along with this unstable political situation, economic, social and security problems and challenges became exacerbated to a degree that seemed to spell the impending disintegration of some of the so-called Arab Spring countries, and a slide into the realm of failed states for others.

“Hence, the concept of statehood became ambiguous: would civil states prevail or religious states? If civil, would they be democratic or military, or represent a return to the former regime?” asked the experts.

Conference speakers will attempt to answer such questions, sharing their views about the current and future situations in the Middle East.