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The Shia/Sunni Question in a Sectarian Gulf – Politics in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states after the Arab Uprisings

Dr. Toby Matthiesen, Senior Research Fellow in the International Relations of the Middle East at St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford.

03.11.2015 | Mark Sedgwick

Dato ons 11 nov
Tid 14:15 16:00
Sted Building 1333, Auditorium 1, Bartholins Allé 7, Department of Political Science at Aarhus University
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A Shia/Sunni divide has become a prominent feature of both domestic and regional politics in the Middle East after the Arab uprisings. In addition to Syria, one of the places where this is most obvious is in the Gulf States. Thus, sectarianism is an important dimension to take into account if one wants to understand how the Arab uprisings have affected the Gulf States and how the regimes of these states have responded at home and in the wider Middle East. At the same time, a closer inspection will reveal how the dynamics of Shia/Sunni relations differ in places like Saudi-Arabia, Bahrain and Kuwait. The questions about the origins and drivers of the current Shia/Sunni divide are, furthermore, highly contested.

Toby Matthiesen is the author of Sectarian Gulf: Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and the Arab Spring That Wasn’t (Stanford University Press, 2013), and The Other Saudis: Shiism, Dissent and Sectarianism (Cambridge University Press, 2015).

Following Toby Matthiesen’s talk there will be plenty of time for questions. Morten Valbjørn from our IR section will be moderating the debate.

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