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Newsletter No.10 - August 2011
Issue No.10 | August 2011 

Palestinian Camps:
Governance Research-to-Practice links for Camps in Lebanon

   IFI's Policy and Governance in Palestinian Refugee Camps program has recently hosted several meetings to discuss possible linkages between research and practice, following the publication of Dr Sari Hanafi's working paper "Governing Palestinian Refugee Camps in the Arab East: Governmentalities in Search of Legitimacy".
   To disseminate and discuss the findings of the working paper, meetings were held with Palestinian Factions, Popular Committees (Shatila, Burj el-Barajneh and Mieh Mieh camps), Lebanese Authorities, Embassies, and Local and Foreign Donors. Upcoming discussions will be held with Palestinian Unions, NGOs and Civil Society.
   Experts shared their opinions and research at the meetings, aiming to shed light on the current state and future of governance within Palestinian camps.
   This pilot project to enhance the role of the popular committees in these three camps, funded by the Swiss Foreign Ministry, aims to explore public policy and governance challenges of Palestinian refugee camps across the Levant, based on the need to legitimize and enhance the efficacy of popular committees in the eyes of both of the Lebanese authorities and the camp populations.

International Affairs:
A Revolutionary's Perspective from Tahrir Square

   Abdul Rahman Hamdy Jad, a member of the Executive Office of the Coordination Committee for the Popular Supporters of the Revolution, and Coordinator of the Coalition of Independent Academics and Development Workers in Egypt, spoke at AUB recently on the state of political change in Egypt during the post-Mubarak transition.
   Jad was engaged in pre-revolution action and explained that the main challenge faced by activists was the impossibility of change, given the political stagnation in Egypt. During his talk, "From Tahrir Square to a New Republic: The Challenges of Promoting Democratic Constitutionalism in Egypt Today", Jad described the three historic incidents that sparked the spirit of revolution: the murder of Khaled Said, a young Egyptian man killed by security forces; the bombing of the Qeddeesin Church, where the absence of security measures prior to the explosion infuriated people; and the success of the Tunisian revolution in toppling Zein El Abedine Ben Ali's regime.

The event was held in Arabic: Audio ||| Video
A summary is available in English.

Research in Focus : IFI Working Paper

Europe's Lopsided Foreign Policy:
Israel, Lebanon and the Palestinians

   Managing Editor of REVOLVE magazine Stuart Reigeluth has published a working paper in IFI's UN in the Middle East Research Initiative in which he argues, "Europe's nascent foreign policy provides a 'soft' buttress to the overarching foreign policy of the United States." In his introduction, Reigeluth explains the difficulties (and contradictions) in the European Union's (EU) efforts to bring about a common foreign policy. This is partly because "European nation states participate in peacekeeping missions, such as UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), where they do not officially represent the EU," and partly because of its role in the US-led Middle East Quartet, where "Brussels has created its closest ties with Tel Aviv, while being engaged in conflict management and reform missions in Lebanon and the Palestinian territories."
   Reigeluth concludes in his introduction, "This has created a lopsided European foreign policy in Israel's favor."

Read Reigeluth's Working Paper and related materials here.

The Bill and Sally Hambrecht Distinguished Peacemakers Lecture Series

"Beyond Mediation: Promoting Change and Resolving Conflicts Through Authentic National Dialogue"

A lecture and open discussion with Hannes Siebert, who has 25 years experience in peacemaking. He has collaborated with 5 Nobel Peace Laureates on issues related to sustainable peace and constitutional reform, and 2003 he developed Peace Tools, a comprehensive set of tools for conflict transformation and negotiations processes.

Listen Audio ||| Watch Video

United Nations in the Middle East Research Initiative

"Debating the UN Security Council: The UN's Role, Experience and Interest"

A lecture and open discussion with Nick Hopton, Deputy Director and Head of International Organizations Department, British Foreign & Commonwealth Office. He has particular expertise in international, EU and security policy.

Listen Audio ||| Watch Video

Climate Change

"Renewable Energy Policies: What can the Middle East learn from the European Experience?"

A lecture and open discussion with Stefan Schurig, Director of Climate Energy for the World Future Council (WFC). He headed the Climate and Energy unit at Greenpeace.

Listen Audio ||| Watch Video

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