On 30 September 2016, UNU will host “Making Enemies: The Paranoid Style in the Middle East and Elsewhere”, a conversation with Max Rodenbeck, South Asia Bureau Chief for The Economist. This event will start at 6:30 p.m. at UNU Headquarters in Tokyo.
Fifty years ago, American historian Richard Hofstadter published a seminal paper about the dangerous influence of what he called ‘The Paranoid Style’ in American politics. This style has clearly not disappeared, but perhaps nowhere does paranoia dominate politics so much as in the Middle East. Among the many causes of the overlapping, seemingly intractable and currently devastating crises in this unstable region, one that is often overlooked is the tendency for governing elites in the Middle East to blow out of proportion the dangers that surround them, and in a sense create their own enemies. How does this dynamic work, why is it so prevalent, and how might it be better contained?
Max Rodenbeck will join UNU Rector David M. Malone for a conversation examining recent and current conflicts in the Middle East, such as the Israeli-Palestinian struggle, the Saudi Arabian intervention in Yemen, and the wider tensions between Sunni and Shia Muslims. The conversation will consider how these conflicts have been exacerbated by fears of an ‘other’ that are in good part built on self-serving exaggerations and distortions.
The UNU Conversation Series aims to foster audience participation: you are encouraged to engage with the speakers during the conversation and at the reception that will follow, where all audience members are invited to enjoy the food and drinks that will be served while exchanging ideas and making new contacts.
Please note that this event will be in English only; Japanese interpretation will not be provided. Advance registration (by 29 September) is required. Please click on the REGISTER button above to access the online registration page.
Max Rodenbeck is an American journalist and author, currently working in New Delhi as South Asia Bureau Chief for The Economist.
Mr Rodenbeck grew up in Cairo, and began his career in journalism in the 1980s, reporting from Egypt, Iraq, Algeria, Israel and Lebanon. He began writing for The Economist in 1989.
From 2000 to 2015, he served as Middle East Bureau Chief for The Economist, covering such events as the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the Arab Spring, the eruption of ISIS, the rise to power of Recep Tayyep Erdogan in Turkey, and the elections in Iran. He has also written on the ongoing crises in Libya, Yemen, and Syria.
A frequent contributor to The New York Review of Books, his own book “Cairo: The City Victorious” — a history and portrait of the Egyptian capital — has been published in eight languages.
2F Reception Hall
United Nations University
53-70, Jingumae 5-chome
Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-8925