LISD convened an eight-week seminar series, "Mismatch? Political Thory and Middle Eastern Practice" during the Fall 2008 semester. The seminar was led by Uriel Abulof, LISD visiting fellow. The workshop examined eight relationships, between various theories and one empirical arena. Participants critically discussed key concepts and theories of political thought and international relations, examining their merits for a better understanding of the Middle East and the Arab‐Israeli conflict.
The seminar group was divided into two "teams," dealing, interchangeably, with theory and practice. In each of the eight sessions, one group briefly presented (and represented) the proposed concept and theory; the other, the empirical aspects. Subsequently discussions dealt with both the validity of each and the viability of their co‐existence, and the possible result of a whole greater‐than‐the‐sum of its parts. The seminar did not aim to fully expound each topic, but to expand horizons of inquiry – asking new questions, and finding new ways to answer them, hopefully providing some food for (political) thought.
Sessions met at 12:00 p.m. on Wednesdays through the Fall 2008 semester in 012 Bendheim Hall.
The “Great Man in History” Theory and Political Assassinations
Anarchy and the "State as a Person"
Fear and Uncertainty: Securitization Theory and Beyond
God and State: Secularization Theory and Beyond
"Blood and Soil": Ethno-Nationalism and Civic-Patriotism
Justice and Legitimacy Crisis
Bullets, Ballots and "Black Gold": The Role of Oil
Liberty and the Democratic Peace Theory