Provocative discussions on the global issues of our time with world-class scholars, authors, and thought leaders
The Middle East is one of the world’s most volatile regions. In recent years, it has presented key international security challenges, from the optimism—and then crushing disappointment—of the Arab uprisings through the rise and fall of the Islamic State. It promises to continue to be a powder keg with the resilient jihadi terror threat, large-scale migration due to warfare and climate change, and fierce competition for control over oil. What ignited this instability?
In his new book, author Gilles Kepel, whom the New York Times called, “France’s most famous scholar of Islam,” offers a persuasive narrative of the long-term causes of tension, weaving together the various threads that run through Middle East politics and tying them to their implications on the global stage.
Lionel Barber is the former editor of the Financial Times. As editor from 2005 to 2020, he helped to transform the FT from a newspaper publisher into a multi-channel global news organization. Barber is an experienced broadcaster and commentator who has co-written several books, including The Price of Truth. He serves on the Board of Trustees at the Tate and the Carnegie Corporation of New York. In 2016, Barber was made a Chevalier in the French Ordre National de la Légion d’Honneur for his journalism.
Gilles Kepel is chair of Middle East and Mediterranean studies at the Université Paris Sciences et Lettres and director of the Middle Eastern Mediterranean Freethinking Platform at the Università della Svizzera italiana in Lugano. He is the author of many widely acclaimed books, including, most recently translated into English, Terror in France: The Rise of Jihad in the West (2017).
Safwan M. Masri is Executive Vice President for Global Centers and Global Development at Columbia University and a Senior Research Scholar at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs. He is the author of Tunisia: An Arab Anomaly (Columbia University Press, 2017). Safwan served as Vice Dean of Columbia Business School from 1993 to 2006. He is a lifetime member of the Council on Foreign Relations and an honorary fellow of the Foreign Policy Association.