Between June 6th and 8th, four researchers of the MENARA Project participated at the 5th European Workshops in International Studies (EWIS), organized by the European International Studies Association (EISA) at the University of Groningen, The Netherlands. In the framework of a panel aiming at rethinking regional order in the Middle East after the invasion of Iraq in 2003, Eduard Soler (scientific coordinator of the project, CIDOB), Jordi Quero (CIDOB), Katerina Dalacoura (LSE) and Maria-Louise Clausen (DIIS) presented the results of their research carried out under the MENARA Project. Meliha Altunışık, professor at the Middle East Technical Universtiy and member of the MENARA’s Steering Committee, also participated in the workshop.
Among the issues raised by these scholars were the changing role of the regional cooperation platforms in the region, namely the Gulf Cooperation Council and the Arab League, amid the transitional period since 2011; the impact of democratization processes over the regional order in place in the MENA; the role of non-state actors in shaping the reality of the region; and the impact of uncertainty over US foreign policy towards the MENA.
Other elements discussed had to do with regional powers’ new assertive foreign policies, China’s role in the region, the future of the Kurdish Regional Government in Iraq or the shifts in the international political economy of the region. All in all, the comparison on the impacts over the regional order of the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the 2011 uprisings was the underpinning inquiry in the discussions on the present and future of the Middle East and North Africa