Issam Fares Institute

IFI Newsletter Issue No.18 - June - July 2013

IFI Newsletter Issue No.18 - June - July 2013 Web Part Menu

 Public Policy in the Arab World 
Research project by former AUB President Professor John Waterbury
The Future of Flagship Universities in the Arab World

   IFI is supporting a research project by former AUB President Professor John Waterbury, currently Global Professor at New York University, Abu Dhabi, and distinguished senior public policy fellow at IFI. The project aims to understand the changes and proposed reforms to leading public higher education institutions in the Middle East and North Africa, specifically in Lebanon, Syria, Morocco and Egypt since their founding in the waning years of the colonial era. Flagship universities often were part of nation-building projects, shaping the new citizens of the nation, and embodying the values of the post-colonial state. Over the years, however, these universities have been unable to maintain quality education provision – whether because of decreasing public funds, greater state involvement in university affairs, an inability to match taught degrees to market needs, or other quality concerns with regards to faculty, research, funding and students. The project will assess how flagship universities can overcome these difficulties, and will look into the following public policy questions: What is the way out for flagship universities? Re-inventing public higher education? Encouraging greater private sector participation? Doing nothing and riding out the current situation for as long as possible?

IFI research by Rita Sakr
"Irish Peacekeeping in Lebanon: A Historical, Political, and Socio-Cultural Study"

   Dr. Rita Sakr, Research Associate on a Global Uncertainties Leadership Fellowship at University of Kent, U.K. has recently completed a study funded by IFI, which explores Irish peacekeeping within UNIFIL. The study examines UNIFIL from historical, social, political, and cultural perspectives, from its inception in 1978 through the expanded UNIFIL formed after the 2006 Lebanon war. Sakr pays particular attention to the development of the Irish battalion’s training and missions in Lebanon and the centrality of humanitarian and civilian assistance to the missions. The study sheds light on the history of the battalion as well as their unique experience in Lebanon, finding that the Irish battalion in particular developed close relationships with the local communities in the areas of deployment.

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IFI co-hosts policy-making workshop in parliament

   The Lebanese House of Representatives, in collaboration with the Westminster Foundation for Democracy, the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs, and the National School of Government, U.K. organized a workshop in mid-June entitled “Towards Participatory and Transparent Policy-making in the MENA Region: The Case of Lebanon,” attended by a number of MPs, ministers, university professors and local experts. The workshop was the culmination of a year-long research project to analyze the role of parliament in policy-making.


IFI scholar Lori Allen explores Palestine's international commissions

    IFI affiliated scholar Professor Lori Allen, of Cambridge University, U.K., gave a public lecture at IFI recently entitled, “Unstateable Palestine: A History of Proving Political Worthiness through International Investigative Commissions”. The IFI working paper she produced on this topic traces the changing ways in which Palestinians have presented their demands for liberty and justice to the international powers perceived to be most influential in determining the fate of Palestine, after the rise of Zionism and the ongoing colonization of Arab lands. Allen specifically examines international investigative commissions from the King-Crane Commission to Syria to the 2009 UN Goldstone Commission. Allen is University Lecturer in Contemporary Middle Eastern Politics & Society and Fellow at King's College, University of Cambridge.

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IFI hosts a delegation from the U.K. Royal College of Defense Studies

   IFI recently hosted a closed discussion seminar with a visiting delegation from the U.K. Royal College of Defense Studies during their regional study tour of four Arab countries. The delegation runs one course a year for military officers and senior government servants from the U.K. and allied nations, primarily focused on the study of international relations and security. This year’s Overseas Study Tour to the Middle East visited Qatar, Oman, Lebanon and Jordan. In Lebanon the delegation, which came from the U.K. and a variety of nations such as Indonesia, Ukraine, India and Australia, took part in a round table discussion hosted by IFI with participation from AUB faculty and students and several IFI visiting fellows. The discussion focused on the challenges and opportunities facing Lebanon in the context of the current regional situation, with emphasis on the war in Syria, Hezbollah and foreign interventions in the region.

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Paul Salem gives IFI Director's Policy Lecture

 Carnegie Middle East Center Director Dr. Paul Salem spoke at IFI-AUB recently on “The Role of a Global Research Institute in Public Policy in the Arab World”. He emphasized the role of global institutions like Carnegie and their impact in a region like the Middle East as it experiences major changes.

Summary ||| Video
تقرير بحثي عن الحقوق المشروعة لفلسطينيي لبنان
 مقاربة منهجية تاريخية تأصيلية للعالقات الفلسطينية - اللبنانية والحقوق المشروعة لفلسطينيي لبنان، بقلم الدكتور حسين أبو النمل.  انقر هنا لقراءة التقرير       
IFI at the International Communications Association conference

IFI Director Rami Khouri and AUB media studies Professor Jad Melki spoke in a six-member panel at the annual International Communications Association conference in London, to release and analyze a new Northwestern University - Qatar survey of media habits in the Arab world.

Read more ||| Full survey report
IPI interviews IFI director on Syria conflict

"Syria's Conflict Sets Stage for Proxy Battles as it Draws in Global Powers", an interview with IFI Director Rami G. Khouri by Marie O'Reilly from Global Observatory at International Peace Institute.

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Higher Education Policy workshop

As part of IFI's Research, Advocacy and Public Policy-making Program's work on higher education, Dr. Hana El-Ghali participated in the "Regional Workshop on Establishing and Enhancing a Culture of Quality in Higher Education Systems of Arab States" in May in Beirut. The workshop participants from across the Arab world worked closely together on drafting issues for a higher education policy framework to be agreed upon for the countries of the region.
Working Paper

  Emerging Powers and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: The Case of Brazil and Venezuela

IFI Working paper #16 by Guy Burton

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 Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs
American University of Beirut

PO Box  11-0236, Riad el Solh
Beirut 1107 2020, Lebanon
Tel: +961 1 350000, x 4150/1
Fax: +961 1 737627 

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