York professor among distinguished thinkers speaking today on the Middle East

The revolutions in the Middle East have, in their wake, left countries struggling with how to reassert relations with regimes that are in transition. Emanuel Adler

This afternoon, from 2 to 4pm at the Vivian & David Campbell Conference Centre at the Munk School at the University of Toronto, York political science Professor Saeed Rahnema (right) will be among a select group of panellists addressing these political shifts and the implications of the “Arab spring” from regional perspectives. Themes for discussion include, humanitarian intervention, nuclear weapons, non-violence and democracy. The panellists:

Emanuel Adler will speak on “The Israeli perspective on Transformation in the Middle East”. Adler is professor of International Relations in the Department of Political Science at the University of Toronto, Andrea & Charles Bronfman Chair of Israeli Studies, and editor of International Organization.

Adler’s interests include the international politics of identity and peace, rationality and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a constructivist reconsideration of strategic logic, including deterrence in post-Cold War international security, the role of practice in international relations, European security institutions, and international relations theory in particular, constructivism, epistemic communities and security communities.

Ramin Jahanbegloo will talk about “Civil Society and the Transformation in the Middle East”. Jahanbegloo is an Iranian-Canadian philosopher. He taught in the Department of Political Science at the University of Toronto from 1997-2001 and later served as the head of the Department of Contemporary Studies of the Cultural Research Centre in Tehran. In 2006-2007, Jahanbegloo was the Rajni Kothari Professor of Democracy at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies in New Delhi, India. In April 2006, he was arrested in Tehran Airport charged with preparing a velvet revolution in Iran. He was placed in solitary confinement for four months and released on bail. He is presently a professor of political science and a research fellow in the Centre for Ethics at University of Toronto and a board member of PEN Canada.

In October 2009, Jahanbegloo became the winner of the Peace Prize from the United Nations Association in Spain for his extensive academic works in promoting dialogue between cultures and his advocacy for non-violence.

Saeed Rahnema will present “The View from Iran towards Transformation in the Middle East”. Rahnema is professor of political science at York University. He has served as the director of the School of Public Policy & Administration and coordinator of the political science program in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies. Prior to joining York, he was a professor in the School of Policy Studies at Queen’s University. In his homeland of Iran, he taught and worked as a member of the executive of the Industrial Management Institute in Tehran. He is a frequent commentator on Canadian and international media on the issues of the Middle East and Islam, Human Rights, and Left and Labour Movement, and has published several books and numerous articles in English and Farsi (Persian).

He was cited in the Maclean’s Guide to Canadian Universities as a “most popular” professor in 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005. He won the York University Teaching Excellence Award in 2004. In 2007, he won the Government of Ontario’s Leadership in Faculty Teaching Award.

Janice Stein is the Belzberg Professor of Conflict Management in the Department of Political Science and the director of the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto. She is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and a member of the Order of Canada and the Order of Ontario. Her most recent publications include Networks of Knowledge: Innovation in International Learning (2000); The Cult of Efficiency (2001); and Street Protests and Fantasy Parks (2001). She is a contributor to Canada by Picasso (2006) and the co-author of The Unexpected War: Canada in Kandahar (2007).

Stein was the Massey Lecturer in 2001 and a Trudeau Fellow. She was awarded the Molson Prize by the Canada Council for an outstanding contribution by a social scientist to public debate. She is an Honorary Foreign Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Space is limited. Organizers ask that those interested in attending RSVP to rsvp@utapss.ca.