This next iteration of the project aims to examine the role the FIFA World Cup 2022 plays in enabling the small yet affluent Arabian Peninsula state of Qatar to move from the periphery of global sports and politics to the center.
The Qatar FIFA World Cup 2022 in November and December will be the first World Cup in the Middle East. This CIRS research initiative provides a platform for academic engagement with the tournament.
Under the guidance of GU-Q Visiting Associate Professor Danyel Reiche, the initiative examines the implications of staging “the world’s greatest sporting event” on the social, political, and economic development of Qatar as well as on regional and global affairs. This CIRS project builds on the center’s previous research initiatives related to sports and society in the region. “Sport, Society and the State in the Middle East” and “Football in the Middle East” both resulted in edited volumes containing original research: Sport, Politics, and Society in the Middle (Oxford University Press/Hurst, 2019) and Football in the Middle East (Forthcoming).
Nearly a decade after the outbreak of the uprisings that toppled iconic figures of Arab authoritarianism, the Middle East and North Africa region continues to experience turbulent developments. Hopes for social and political change that fueled the initial uprisings have not materialized and turmoil continues across the region. Although Tunisia has charted a different path which put it on a promising course, it remains mired in a difficult transition politically, socially, and economically. A decade after its revolution, Tunisia emerges as a liminal state that is characterized by perpetual fragility. To better understand these complex and evolving dynamics, CIRS launched a research initiative entitled “Tunisia in the Aftermath of the Arab Uprisings.”
In 2019, the Center for International and Regional Studies (CIRS) launched a new research initiative on “Football in the Middle East.” The aim of this research effort is to provide original academic insight on the political, economic, and social dynamics of football within the region. The project will adopt a multidisciplinary approach, examining a broad range of political, social, and cultural dimensions of the sport. It aims to explore a wide range of topics, including the relationship between the sport and international relations and issues related to gender, tourism, social mobility, media broadcasting rights, the 2022 World Cup, and sports infrastructure.
In late 2018, the Center for International and Regional Studies (CIRS) at Georgetown University’s Qatar campus launched a multi-year research initiative to study Russia’s increasingly proactive and consequential strategic involvement in the Middle East region. While diplomatic, economic, and military relations between Russia and the Middle East have considerable historical roots, Russia’s current, deepening strategic engagement with the region, particularly since the eruption of the Syrian civil war in 2011, appear to signify more fundamental shifts in global and regional realignments. In exploring these shifts and realignments, this research initiative aims to study a variety of related topics, among which: the drivers behind the mutual interest of partnership between Russia and the Middle East; Russian-Middle Eastern economic cooperation; the prospects of a Russian “sovereign democracy” in the Middle East; Islamic extremism and Russian foreign policy towards the Middle East; contemporary migration patterns between Russia and the Middle East; Russia’s “responsibility” to protect; and Russia’s relations with Iran, Syria, Israel, the Maghreb, Yemen, and Turkey. A small number of scholars will be invited to take part in in-depth, critical analysis of the nature of the Russian-Middle Eastern relations post the 2011 Arab-uprisings.