A special MEI series of policy papers in 2016 by renowned scholars examined how to foster cooperation between states of the Middle East on economic and environmental challenges, domestic security and political stability, and in military matters. Experts from the region, from Europe, and in the United States contributed to the series' provocative examination of the possibilities and obstacles for a more collaborative Middle East.
The Middle East Institute (MEI) and the Conflict Management Program of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) were pleased to host four of the contributing authors, Anthony Cordesman (CSIS), Shahrokh Fardoust (College of William and Mary), Ross Harrison (MEI), and Jean-Francois Seznec (MEI & SAIS), for a discussion of opportunities in regional cooperation and the costs of the prevailing competition and rivalries between states. Querine Hanlon (Strategic Capacity Group) was scheduled to take part but became unavailable on the day of the event.
Paul Salem (MEI) moderated the discussion.
Arleigh A. Burke chair in strategy, Center for Strategic and International Studies
Anthony H. Cordesman is the holder of the Arleigh A. Burke Chair in Strategy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He has been awarded the Department of Defense Distinguished Service medal. He previously served in posts as Director of Intelligence Assessment in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and Civilian Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of Defense. He has since acted as an informal consultant to senior U.S. officials and commanders in Afghanistan and Iraq, and dealing with the security situation in Syria. He is the author and co-author of numerous books on NATO, the military balance, Chinese military power, the lessons of modern war, and U.S. defense planning and strategy.
Research Professor, Institute of the Theory and Practice of International Relations, College of William and Mary
Shahrokh Fardoust is a research professor at the Institute of the Theory and Practice of International Relations at the College of William and Mary. His previous positions include Director of Strategy and Operations, Development Economics, the World Bank, and Senior Economic Adviser to the Senior Vice President and Chief Economist, the World Bank. Dr. Fardoust obtained his PhD in economics from the University of Pennsylvania. He has authored numerous papers and reports on development policy. He is a co-editor of Post Crisis Growth and Development: A Development Agenda for the G20 (World Bank, 2011) and Towards a Better Global Economy: Policy Implications for Global Citizens Worldwide in the 21st Century (Oxford University Press, 2014). He is also a member of the SovereigNET Advisory Council at the Fletcher School at Tufts University.
Founding President, Strategic Capacity Group
Dr. Querine Hanlon is the founding president of Strategic Capacity Group (S.C.G.), a nonprofit institution created to enhance security sector capacity in the United States and its key security partners. Previously, Dr. Hanlon served as the Special Advisor for Security Sector Initiatives at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP). She has taught at Georgetown University, the Naval War College, and the National Defense University, where she also served as Dean of Academic Affairs. Dr. Hanlon is an expert on security sector reform (S.S.R.) and has published and worked extensively on S.S.R. issues throughout the MENA region, serving as an advisor to governments and international organizations on designing and implementing S.S.R. programs. She is the author of Prioritizing Security Sector Reform: A New U.S. Approach, with Richard Shultz of the Fletcher School.
MEI Scholar; Faculty Member, Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and University of Pittsburgh
Ross Harrison is a scholar at The Middle East Institute and is on the faculty of the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. From 2007-2013, he was professor in the practice of international affairs at Georgetown, serving as chair of the international commerce and business concentration in the Master of Science in Foreign Service (MSFS) program. Ross is also on the faculty of the political science department at the University of Pittsburgh, teaching courses in Middle East politics. He annually teaches a course on strategy and international security to senior Georgian government officials at the Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies in Tbilisi, Georgia, funded by the U.S. Department of State.
MEI Scholar; Adjunct Professor, Johns Hopkins School of Advances International Studies
Jean-François Seznec’s focus is on the growth of the energy-based industries, such as petrochemicals, aluminum, or steel, in the Gulf. He is an adjunct professor at the McDonough Schoool of Business at Georgetown, as well as at Johns Hopkins' School of Advanced International Studies. He has 25 years of experience in international banking and finance, ten of which were spent in the Middle East.
Paul Salem (moderator)
Vice President for Policy and Research, Middle East Institute
Paul Salem is vice president for policy and research at The Middle East Institute. He focuses on issues of political change, transition, and conflict as well as the regional and international relations of the Middle East. He has a particular emphasis on the countries of the Levant and Egypt. Salem writes regularly in the Arab and Western press and has been published in numerous journals and newspapers. Salem is the author of a number of books and reports including Bitter Legacy: Ideology and Politics in the Arab World (1994), Conflict Resolution in the Arab World(ed., 1997), Broken Orders: The Causes and Consequences of the Arab Uprisings (In Arabic, 2013), “The Recurring Rise and Fall of Political Islam” (CSIS, 2015), “The Middle East in 2015 and Beyond: Trends and Drivers” (MEI 2014). Prior to joining MEI, Salem was the founding director of the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut, Lebanon between 2006 and 2013. From 1999 to 2006, he was director of the Fares Foundation and in 1989-1999 founded and directed the Lebanese Center for Policy Studies, Lebanon's leading public policy think tank.