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May 15, 2024
11:00 am - 12:00 pm


Middle East Institute
1763 N St. NW
Washington, District of Columbia 20009 (Map)

In his new book, international relations scholar Christopher Phillips explores geopolitical rivalries in the Middle East and the major external powers vying for influence: Russia, China, the European Union, and the United States. Moving through 10 key flashpoints, from Syria to Palestine, Phillips’ book seeks to answer how the US’s overextension after the Cold War, and retreat in the 2010s, has unbalanced the region. 

What does the post-Oct. 7 Middle East look like? Has the region moved to a post-American era? Can China or Russia replace the United States in the Middle East? How should we understand the current balance of power in the region involving major outside players, and where are the geopolitical trendlines in the Middle East headed? Please join us for a conversation with the author of the book Battle Ground, Christopher Phillips, moderated by the Director of the Turkey Program, Gonul Tol, to discuss these questions and more.


Christopher Phillips
Author, "Battle Ground: Ten Conflicts that Explain the New Middle East"

Gönül Tol
Director of Turkey Program and Senior Fellow, Black Sea Program, Middle East Institute

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Detailed Speaker Biographies:

Christopher Phillips is Professor of International Relations at Queen Mary University of London, where he was formerly a Deputy Dean. He is author of four books including, Battleground: Ten Conflicts that explain the New Middle EastThe Battle for Syria: International Rivalry in the New Middle East and co-editor of What next for Britain in the Middle East? He is founder of Academica International, a geopolitical risk specialist and regularly consults government agencies, private companies and NGOs. He has appeared on BBC Newsnight, BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme, BBC News, Al-Jazeera, Sky News and Channel 4 News. 

Gönül Tol is the founding director of the Middle East Institute’s Turkey program and a senior fellow with the Black Sea Program. She is the author of "Erdogan's War: A Strongman's Struggle at Home and in Syria." She has taught courses at George Washington University’s Institute for Middle East Studies and at the College of International Security Affairs at the National Defense University on Turkey, Islamist movements in Western Europe, world politics, and the Middle East. She has written extensively on Turkey-U.S. relations, Turkish domestic politics, and foreign policy and the Kurdish issue. She is a frequent media commentator.