Middle East Societies in Crisis


May 23, 2019 :: Sean McMahon
Moderated by Heather Oxman

The crisis of the global political-economy continues to sharpen. Trade wars—the precursors of military wars—involving the United States, the European Union, China, India, Mexico and Canada are intensifying. The United States has unilaterally abrograted the Trans Pacific Partnership, Intermediate Nucler Forces Agreement and North America Free Trade Agreement. Social inequality and wealth concentration are at record levels. The major central banks are realizing even more “ultra-accommodative” monetary policy for stock markets and more austerity for workers.

Militarization is omnipresent. The European Union is talking about increasing military spending by 50 per cent. Japan is moving to revise its pacifist constitution. Sweden has reimposed military conscription. Fascistic movements are increasingly empowered in societies such as Canada, the United States, Germany, Italy, Brazil, the Philippines and Hungary.

This crisis has myriad expressions in the societies of the Middle East: imperial wars in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen and Palestine; United States’ negation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (the so-called “Iran deal”) and escalation of war on Iran; the further institutionalization of fascism in Israel; revolts in Algeria and Sudan; and currency deflation and immiserating inflation in Turkey and Egypt.

The speaker will locate the crises of the societies of the Middle East in the global political-economy; conceptualize wars, state policies and social dynamism as regional and national processing(s) of global relations in crisis.

Speaker: Dr. Sean McMahon

Dr. Sean McMahon is a visiting assistant professor of political science at the University of Lethbridge and a tutor of labour studies and economics at Athabasca University. From 2007-2018, he was a post-doctoral fellow and assistant professor of political science at the American University in Cairo (AUC).

His primary fields of research are international relations/global political economy and comparative politics of the Middle East. Dr. McMahon is the author of Crisis and Class War in Egypt: Social Reproduction, Factional Realignments and the Global Political Economy (Zed Books, 2017) and The Discourse of Palestinian-Israeli Relations (Routledge, 2010) and editor, with Dan Tschirgi and Walid Kazziha, of Egypt’s Tahrir Revolution (Lynne Rienner, 2013).

Moderator: Heather Oxman

Date: Thursday, May 23, 2019
Time: Doors open 11:30 am, Presentation 12 noon, buffet lunch 12:30 pm, Q&A 1 – 1:30 pm
Location: Royal Canadian Legion (north door) 324 Mayor Magrath Dr. S. Lethbridge
Cost: $14 buffet lunch with dessert/coffee/tea/juice or $2 coffee/tea/juice. RSVP not required

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