On January 26th, Professor Gilbert Achcar gave a public lecture at AKU-ISMC entitled “Roots and Dynamics of the Revolutionary Upheaval in the Middle East and North Africa.”
In this talk, Professor Achcar sought to ask two questions concerning the recent uprisings in the Arab world. Why is the uprising happening? And why is it happening now?
Professor Achcar highlighted the socio-economic conditions, looking in particular at issues of poverty and unemployment, in the affected regions, noting they had the highest concentration of despotic governments in the world.
Discontent had been simmering for a decade or more, especially in Tunisia and Egypt, and the events of last year were the culmination of what had become almost permanent agitation and discontent. For Professor Achcar, the example of the Tunisians was an amazing inspiration, removing people’s fear across the region.
Professor Achcar is Professor of Development Studies and International Relations. His research interests include the political economy and sociology of globalisation and politics and development economics of the countries of the Middle East and North Africa. His recent books include The Arabs and the Holocaust: The Arab- Israeli War of Narratives (2010) and The Clash of Barbarisms: The Making of the New World Disorder (2006). With Noam Chomsky he has published Perilous Power: The Middle East and U.S. Foreign Policy. Dialogues on Terror, Democracy, War and Justice (2009).