« MESA 2008 | Main | IR of the Middle East: State of the Field »

November 26, 2008

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rh

Do you know if the papers presented will be posted online or do we have to search the net by author and hope he/she uploaded to their own website/blog? Thanks for wrapup

arabist

I really wanted to go, had planned to go, and then work got in the way. I would have gone for that Wahhabi meeting alone (although I remember seeing at least six really interesting panels in the program).

Hegghammer, Lacroix, Rougier, Bonnefoix - they got it going on.

The Saudi / globalized Salafi issue is so important in the understanding of emerging contemporary Islamist movements - tying the local manifestations with the Saudi element (when present) is really key to understanding some of the more bizarre and unfortunate things happening in our part of the world. In Egypt, Algeria and Morocco I am starting to see the evidence accumulate for a "diffuse conspiracy" theory of a Saudi masterplan. But then I am a Saudi-basher, and the infuriating thing about these fine scholars of the al-Sauds (and others like Stefan Hertog) is that they have developed a kind of fondness for their subject. Understandable, I suppose.

One thing I wonder about what you describe as the lack of engagement by the academic community of the IR journals: perhaps because they are (arguably rightly) wont to make policy recommendations and are competing with highly politicized, careerist think-tankers (who have to be much more opportunistic since they don't have the stability of tenure and their jobs are cyclical) who have a much better knowledge of the policy audience they are addressing, rather than a pure academic exercise. I won't name names here, but you catch my drift... a lot of these IR publications like Foreign Affairs seem to mostly put out what Foggy Bottom, the White House or the parties want to hear.

Sune Haugbolle

Thanks for the summary, and for a great Saudi panel at mesa. I've posted my own comments at CUMINet,
http://cuminet.blogs.ku.dk/2008/12/01/mesa-2008-put-said-on-the-backburner/

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