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Geopolitics of the Mediterranean and the Middle East in a Post-Western World

6 hour course by Eduard Soler Lecha (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona-Institut Barcelona d'Estudis Internacionals)

  • Schedule: 5, 6 & 7 July (9:00-11:00)
  • Venue: IBEI

This course explores the implications for the Middle East and North Africa of the relative decline of the West, the resurgence of Russia, the ascent of China, and the emergence of Africa as a competitive space for global and regional powers in the Middle East and North Africa. With the passing of 20 years since the US invasion of Iraq, which represented a high point of American hegemony and unilateralism in the region, the course will examine how regional powers are now leveraging the new dynamics of global competition to their advantage. The course will first analyze the interplay between global and regional dynamics over the last two decades to then focus on Ukraine as a case study to assess the extent and depth of these transformations. Specifically, the course will evaluate how the war in Ukraine impacts cooperation and conflict dynamics within the Middle East and North Africa, as well as the foreign policies of the region's major powers. This assessment will allow the students to discuss the implications of those changes for EU-MENA relations in the years to come.

Eduard Soler
Lecturer of International Relations at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Associate Senior Researcher at CIDOB (Barcelona Centre for International Affairs), and Affiliated Faculty member at IBEI.

Between 2016 and 2019, he was the scientific coordinator of MENARA, a European project on geopolitical shifts in the Middle East and North Africa. He holds a PhD in International Relations from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Dr. Soler i Lecha is a political scientist and a part-time lecturer in International Relations at the Institut Barcelona d’Estudis Internacionals and at Ramon Llull-Blanquerna University. From 2013 to 2017 he lead the El Hiwar project on Euro-Arab diplomacy at the College of Europe (Bruges) and in 2010 he was seconded to the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs as an advisor in the Direction General for the Mediterranean, the Maghreb and the Middle East. He has also advised in several occasions the Catalan government and the Barcelona local governments on Euro-Mediterranean affairs. His main areas of expertise are: Euro-Mediterranean relations, Turkey’s foreign and domestic politics, North African and Middle Eastern political dynamics, Spain's Mediterranean policy and security cooperation in the Mediterranean. He is a member of the Observatory of European Foreign Policy, FIMAM (the Spanish network of researchers working on Arab and Muslim studies), EuroMeSCo and the advisory boards of Mediterranean Politics and IEMed’s Mediterranean Yearbook.

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