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Subversion: the strategic weaponisation of narratives

Andreas Krieg joins Arab Digest editor William Law for a conversation about his just released book Subversion. Andreas looks at how weaponised narratives have been used in the Middle East to sabotage and subvert the Arab Spring and efforts to empower civil society. Key players in the game are the United Arab Emirates and Israel who share a common goal: to subvert democratic engagement and governance in the Middle East and North Africa.

The Iraq war twenty years on

Chatham House Iraq expert Renad Mansour joins Arab Digest editor William Law to discuss the impact of America and the UK’s 2003 decision to invade Iraq and overthrow Saddam Hussein. Faulty assumptions, false claims and the decision to dismantle the armed forces and the civil service coupled with the imposition of a sectarian governance structure led to chaos, corruption and violence that scars Iraq to this day.

Israel and the weaponisation of water

Zoe Robbin, an Amman-based analyst on climate change and water issues joins Arab Digest editor William Law on today’s podcast. Their conversation is about water and how it is a little-reported on but extremely powerful weapon. While cutting Palestine out of climate change talks, Israel is using water to further settlement plans in the West Bank while using Jordan’s increasingly desperate water needs to push the kingdom into a corner.

Salman Abedi: why did he do it?

Summary: with the final volume of the report on the Manchester Arena bomber now released, many questions were raised and some answers delivered but the big question wasn’t asked.

No End in Sight: Libya’s Consolidated Criminal Networks

Summary: the Libyan people have been abandoned to political and military elites that control the country with Mafia-style fiefdoms; their success in entrenching themselves in the state apparatus and in UN-sponsored peace talks means that unless bold initiatives are undertaken, the country’s future remains bleak.

Ukraine war and the Middle East

One year on from the launch of Putin’s ‘special military operation’ Arab Digest editor William Law invites the New Lines Institute’s Caroline Rose back to discuss how the war is impacting the Middle East diplomatically and politically and what a frontline attritional stalemate will mean for America’s relations in the region.

Tunisia’s Gen Z

The 21 year old Tunisian writer Tharwa Boulifi joins Arab Digest editor William Law for a conversation about the young Tunisians who came of age a decade after the revolution only to find the country slipping back into dictatorship under President Kais Saied, a man many of the Gen Zs initially thought they could trust to keep the dream of revolution alive.

Yemen’s bleak education picture

Summary: the damage done to Yemen’s education system by 8 years of protracted war is deep and will be lasting, scarring the country’s youth while denying them the possibility of productive work and meaningful careers. 

The earthquakes: “a gift to Assad”

Arab Digest Editor Willliam Law is joined by Dr Lina Khatib. Her research focuses on the international relations of the Middle East, Islamist groups and security, political transitions and foreign policy, with special attention to the Syrian conflict. Their conversation examines how last week’s devastating earthquakes are playing into the hands of the Syrian dictator.

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Access provided by the Bodleian Libraries of the University of Oxford