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SOAS University of London
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The world's leading institution for the study of Asia, Africa and the Middle East
The world's leading institution for the study of Asia, Africa and the Middle East

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The panel discussion "AngloArabia: Why Gulf Wealth Matters to Britain" with David Wearing (Royal Holloway), Iona Craig (New America), Owen Jones (author) was held by the London Middle East Institute (LMEI), SOAS University of London on 15 October 2018. Find out more at http://bit.ly/2ToDCRM
UK ties with Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf monarchies are under the spotlight as never before. Increasing controversy surrounds Britain’s alliances with these regimes, and the UK’s key supporting role in the disastrous Saudi-led intervention in Yemen. What lies behind the British government’s commitment to the conservative regional order in the Gulf? Why have these ties grown even closer in recent years, despite ongoing, egregious human rights violations?

In his ground-breaking new book, AngloArabia: Why Gulf Wealth Matters To Britain (Polity 2018), David Wearing argues that the Gulf Arab monarchies constitute the UK’s most important and lucrative alliances in the global south. They are central both to the British government’s ambitions to retain its status in the world system, and to the maintenance of the UK’s neoliberal economic model. Exploring the complex and intertwined structures of UK-Gulf relations in key areas like trade and investment, arms sales and military cooperation, and energy, Wearing shines a light on the shocking lengths the British state has gone to in order to support these regimes.

The event will consist of a short talk by the author, followed by a panel discussion, and then an audience Q&A.

David Wearing is a Teaching Fellow in International Relations at Royal Holloway, University of London, where he runs undergraduate and postgraduate courses on US Foreign Policy and on the Political Economy of the Middle East. He completed his doctoral thesis on Britain’s relations with the states of the Gulf Cooperation Council at SOAS in 2017. He has produced research briefings for Campaign Against Arms Trade, War On Want and Palestine Solidarity Campaign, and provided comment and analysis for the BBC, the Guardian, CNN, the New Statesman, the Independent, New Humanist, Novara Media and the London Review Of Books.

Iona Craig is the ASU Future of War Fellow at New America, working on US counterterrorism and foreign policy in Yemen. She was previously the Yemen correspondent for The Times between 2010 and 2015. Her journalism has won numerous awards, including the 2016 Orwell Prize, and the 2014 Martha Gellhorn Prize, Britain’s leading investigative journalism award. Her investigation for The Intercept of a Navy SEAL raid in a remote Yemeni village won the 2018 George Polk Award for foreign reporting. Also in 2018 she was the runner-up for the Overseas Press Club of America Roy Rowan Award for investigative reporting on an international story, as well as the James Foley Medill Medal for Courage in Journalism.

Owen Jones is an award-winning, bestselling author, and one of Britain’s leading political commentators. A columnist for the Guardian and a frequent broadcaster, he has written a number of opinion articles on UK relations with Saudi Arabia, and reported from Djibouti in 2016 on the plight of Yemeni refugees. His first book, the international bestseller Chavs, was long-listed for the Guardian First Book Award and chosen as one of the New York Times top 10 non-fiction books of 2011. In 2013 he won Young Writer of the Year at the Political Book Awards. His second book is the bestselling The Establishment: and How They Get Away With It, an exposé of Britain's powerful elites.

Chair: Gilbert Achcar, SOAS
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The School of Law Inception Lecture 2018: Advocacy in the UN: From Women's Rights to Victims' Rights was given by Jane Connors (UN) on 17 October 2018. Find out more at http://bit.ly/2DBRFOi
Jane Connors is the Victims' Rights Advocate for the United Nations, a new post at Assistant Secretary General level, to which she was appointed in August 2017.

Immediately prior to this appointment, Jane was International Advocacy Director Law and Policy, at Amnesty International, part of her long career in human rights advocacy as well as human rights and humanitarian assistance in the academic, United Nations and civil society spheres. Jane was Director of the Research and Right to Development Division at the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), a post from which she retired in March 2015. From 1996 and 2002 she was the Chief of the Women’s Rights Section in the Division for the Advancement of Women in the Department of Economic and Social Affairs in New York. In 2002 she joined OHCHR, where she worked in the Human Rights Treaties Division and as Chief of the Special Procedures Branch.

Before joining the United Nations, she was a law teacher at the School of Oriental and African Studies in the University of London, the Universities of Lancaster and Nottingham (UK) and the University of Canberra and the Australian National University (Australia).

She has written on United Nations human rights mechanisms, in particular human rights treaty bodies and the Human Rights Council’s special procedures, the human rights of women, and violence against women and children. She is a trustee of the UK charity, Keeping Children Safe and frequently teaches at universities around the world.

This is an annual public lecture to be delivered at the beginning of each academic session by a notable friend of SOAS School of Law, addressing a topical subject of general public interest which relates to the role of law in society in a broad sense. The Inception lecture is intended to serve as an inspiration for our students, contribute to public debate and enhance our academic environment. The lecture is open to all new and returning students, academics, practitioners and the general public.

Previous speakers have been Rt Hon. David Lammy, MP, Geoffrey Robertson, QC, Baroness Hale, Michel Massih QC & Dr Azmi Sharom.
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The Idea of Iran: The Safavid Era Symposium at SOAS University of London held on 18 and 19 November 2017. Find out more about this symposium at http://bit.ly/2OCVbuA

Convened by Sarah Stewart, SOAS and Charles Melville, University of Cambridge.

The Centre for Iranian Studies, the Department of History, Religions and Philosophies, SOAS and the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, University of Cambridge remain deeply grateful to the Soudavar Memorial Foundation for their continued support for this series.

Speakers:

Rudolph Matthee, University of Delaware, Newark;
Andrew J. Newman, University of Edinburgh;
Sajjad Rizvi, University of Exeter;
Daniel J. Sheffield, Princeton University;
Negar Habibi, University of Geneva

The Idea of Iran symposia and book series are sponsored by the Soudavar Memorial Foundation. You can find out more about this event series at http://bit.ly/2MRGqTf

Video: Persian Dutch Network
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This book launch titled "Multilateralism under Siege in the Age of Trump: Would the World Be Better without the UN?" was given by Professor Tom Weiss at the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy (CISD), SOAS University of London on 1 November 2018.
Find out more at http://bit.ly/2BlARtK

The inward-looking and populist movements in electoral politics worldwide make robust multilateralism more, not less, compelling. Donald Trump has regularly pilloried the world organization and intergovernmental organizations more generally; his emphasis on "America First" and US sovereignty are serious threats from the UN's most important member state and largest funder; they also are serious threats to a rules-based International order. Do we need the United Nations? Where would the world be without this essential intergovernmental organization? Where could it be, had the UN's member states and staff performed better?

Biography
Thomas G. Weiss is Presidential Professor at the City University of New York's Graduate Center; he also is Eminent Sc holar at Kyung Hee University and Andrew Carnegie Fellow. Past president of the International Studies Association and recipient of its "2016 Distinguished IO Scholar Award," chair of the Academic Council on the UN System, editor of Global Governance, and Research Director of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty, he has written extensively about international peace and security, humanitarian action, and sustainable development. His latest (2018) single-authored book is Would the World Be Better without the UN?
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This WSD Handa Distinguished Annual Lecture titled "China’s Rise and the Security of East Asia" was given by Professor Thomas J. Christensen (Columbia University) at the SOAS China Institute, SOAS University of London on 12 October 2018. Find out more at http://bit.ly/2K5aivt

Many see a rising China as a security threat to the United States and its friends and allies because it seeks to drive the United States out of East Asia, dominate that region, and challenge the United States globally in a new Cold War. These concerns are overblown. But the good news ends there. The difficult challenges posed by China’s rise are real and take two forms: dissuading China from settling its many maritime disputes with weaker neighbors through coercion and military force and thereby destabilizing a region of growing global importance; and encouraging China to contribute to global stability by using its economic clout to help solve global problems such as nuclear proliferation in North Korea and Iran.

Biography
Thomas J. Christensen is Professor of Public and International Affairs and Director of the China and the World Program at Columbia University. He arrived in 2018 from Princeton University where he was William P. Boswell Professor of World Politics of Peace and War, Director of the Princeton-Harvard China and the World Program, and faculty director of the Masters of Public Policy Program and the Truman Scholars Program. From 2006-2008 he served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs with responsibility for relations with China, Taiwan, and Mongolia. His research and teaching focus on China’s foreign relations, the international relations of East Asia, and international security. His most recent book, The China Challenge: Shaping the Choices of a Rising Power (W.W. Norton) was an editors’ choice at the New York Times Book Review, a “Book of the Week” on CNN”s Fareed Zakaria GPS, and the Arthur Ross Book Award Silver Medalist for 2016 at the Council on Foreign Relations. Professor Christensen has also taught at Cornell University and MIT.
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A Celebration of 40 Years of the SOAS Japan Research Centre on 10 October 2018. The SOAS Japan Research Centre was established in May 1978 and commenced activities in the Autumn term of 1978.
JRC academic members will give visual presentations providing insight into the various fields of research and activity in Japanese Studies covered at SOAS.
Find out more about this event at http://bit.ly/2DhGB9b
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Leaving processional music by Kadialy Kouyate on the West African kora at the SOAS Graduation Ceremony on the afternoon of Friday 27th July 2018.

Kadialy Kouyate is a musician and songwriter inspired by the West African griot repertoire.
Born into the great line of the Kouyate griots in Southern Senegal, Kadialy’s mesmerising
kora playing and singing style have been appreciated in numerous prestigious venues. As both a soloist and in different ensembles he has played at the Royal Festival Hall, the O2 Arena, Union Chapel and WOMAD amongst others. Since his arrival in the UK in 2005 he has been involved in countless musical projects, performing with Baaba Maal, the Royal Shakespeare Company, and Afro Celt Sound System among many others, as well as appearing as an actor, musician and cultural adviser on the recent remake of the TV series ROOTS. Kadialy has been teaching kora at SOAS for many years, and released his second solo album in 2016.
www.kadialykouyate.com
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The Opening Address by Honorary Fellow, Sokari Douglas Camp CBE, at the SOAS Graduation on the afternoon of Thursday 26 July 2018.
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