March 3 Panel to Consider "Watershed" Changes in Middle East

From Tunisia to Egypt, revolution is sweeping across the Middle East. Non-violent resistance to authoritarian regimes, new political systems, and the rise of democratic institutions promise to  have an enormous impact on the region’s economic and political environment. On Thursday, March 3 at 12:15 p.m., a panel of experts on the region, its history and politics, will discuss these changes in an open forum at the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law, titled “Spring in the Middle East: Revolution 2.0.”

“Looking forward, this is a watershed moment in history, but there are many questions about the character of new regimes and how they will affect both regional and global geopolitics,” notes panel moderator Wayne McCormack, E. Wayne Thode Professor of Law. “Looking back, these events may arise from a number of factors – transitions of power from dictators to democracy, collisions of ideologies, conflicts over economic resources – and may fit in several niches in human history.”

Law Professor Amos Guiora, an organizer and panelist, adds, “The title ‘Spring 2011’ was chosen to capture several themes that overlap and intersect, including images of ‘Prague Spring,’ the uprising in Czechoslovakia in 1968.”

In the hour-long event, panelists will consider a number of issues, including whether resistance movements will be able to create democratic institutions, resolve ideological conflicts, and disputes over water and other valued resources; and what impact current events may have on the geopolitics of the region, including the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and beyond.

In addition to McCormack and Guiora, other participants include Chibli Mallat, Presidential Professor of Law and Professor of Middle Eastern Law and Politics, as well as the Custodian of the Two Holy Places Visiting Professor of Islamic Legal Studies at Harvard Law School (participating via teleconference); and Ibrahim Karawan, Professor of Political Science.

Attendance to the event is free and open to the public and a light lunch will be provided. Free parking is available, no permit required, in the Rice Eccles Stadium lot. One hour of free CLE has been applied for. The panel will be webcast on the College of Law dashboard and streamed on Facebook.

“Spring in the Middle East: Revolution 2.0: is presented in collaboration with the Institute of Public and International Affairs.