"Shi'a and the State in the Gulf Monarchies" with Laurence Louër

AVACGIS Spring 2015 Lecture Series

Tuesday, March 17, 2015 4:30 PM to 5:45 PM
Johnson Center, Meeting Room F, 3rd Floor

In all the six Gulf monarchies, the Shi'a are a demographic and/or political minority and are not part of the higher strata of the social fabric. They are sometimes subjected to various forms of discrimination. However, discrimination is not always due to religious motives. Saudi Arabia is the exception rather than the rule in this respect. Moreover, in some Gulf states the Shi'a are close allies or associates of the rulers (Kuwait, Oman). This lecture will highlight how the state formation processes and configurations of the political arenas play out in building different models of relations between the Shi'a and the state.

Laurence Louër is assistant professor at Sciences Po in Paris and research fellow at the Center for International Research and Studies (CERI). She served as a permanent consultant for the Direction of Prospective (DP) of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs between 2004 and 2009. She is the editor of the French quarterly Critique Internationale since 2006. Her research has mostly focused on identity politics in the Middle East. She is currently working on welfare state politics in the Gulf monarchies. She is the author of To Be an Arab in Israel (Columbia University Press, 2007), Transnational Shi'a Politics: Religious and Political Networks in the Gulf (Columbia University Press, 2008) and Shi'ism and Politics in the Middle East (Columbia University Press, 2012).