2nd Annual International Conference: China in the Middle East: Neoliberalism with Chinese Characteristics and Political Transformations in the Middle East
March 23-24, 2016
The College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) at Qatar University, Ottoman and Modern Turkish Studies and Department of Central Eurasian Studies Indiana University and Sociology of Islam Journal invite interested scholars and advanced graduate students to submit proposals for the conference below. The event will take place at the Qatar University on MARCH 23 AND 24, 2016.
Submission Instructions and Deadline
Dr. Mohammedmoin Sadeq, Qatar University, Qatar
Dr. Jamsheed Choksy, Indiana University, USA
Dr. Kemal Silay, Indiana University, USA
Dr. Zan Tao, Peking University, People’s Republic of China
Dr. Tuğrul Keskin, Portland State University, USA
Description and Objectives
The increasingly neoliberal economy that has developed since the early 1980s has led to an emergence of a vibrant middle class in China. This new demographic, roughly 350-400 million people, began to consume more. This has continued to shape Chinese Foreign Policy towards oil producing countries, particularly in the Middle East after Xi Jinping came to power in 2013. One of the first signs of these changes can be seen in the proposal of a new Silk Road initiative, introduced by Xi Jinping. Over the last two years, we have seen the increase of Chinese political and social activities in the region, fueled by the economic needs for PRC. As a result of this new political strategy, the PRC started to play a more active role within the Middle Eastern political arena. Hence, Xi Jinping visited Pakistan, Egypt, Saudi and Arabia in March 2015. Additionally, Chinese social and cultural activities began to appear more visibly within the universities and educational institutions in the Middle East. Hanban Institutes started to open and finance Confucius Institutes in the region that facilitate Chinese cultural and language classes and promote mutual understanding between China and the Middle East. For example these institutes have arisen in Turkey, Israel, Iran, Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Jordan, UAE, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Morocco. China has also become one of the largest economic and trade partners with Middle Eastern states such as Iran, Turkey, Pakistan, Egypt, Israel. This academic initiative is being developed as a permanent conference meeting, and each year, a China and the Middle East Conference will be organized in different countries in collaboration with other universities.
A very successful first academic conference on this topic was organized in collaboration with Beijing University, on March 17-18, 2015. The conference took place in Beijing University and 24 papers were presented within six different panels. On the second day, the newly opened Indiana University Beijing office hosted two panels. The selected conference proceedings (approximately 6-8) will be published by a peer-reviewed academic journal, the Sociology of Islam, in the Fall of 2015. You will find the first conference program at the following homepage:
As a result of this conference and academic initiative on China and the Middle East, a new academic mailing list was established on China and the Middle East, hosted by Virginia Tech University. In the second upcoming conference, there will be an examination of social, political and economic relations between China and Middle Eastern states and societies in the context of the neoliberal economy. The conference proceedings will also be published in the Sociology of Islam Journal (Brill - http://www.brill.nl/sociology-islam).
The second conference (MARCH 23 AND 24, 2016) will have six different panels and 24 participants.
Participants are responsible for their travel expenses, accommodation and any other expenses.
This is a purely academic conference.
Tentative Program and Panels’ Titles
Keynote Speech - TBA
MARCH 23, 2016
9:00 - 9:30 AM Opening Ceremony
9:00 - 9:15 AM Welcome Speech by Representative of Qatar University
9:15 - 9:30 AM Opening Remarks by Representative of Qatar University
9:45 - 12:00 Panels
1. Panel: NEOLIBERALISM IN CHINA
2. Panel: NEOLIBERALISM IN THE MIDDLE EAST
12:00-13:30 PM Lunch
14:00-16:30 PM Panels
3. Panel: SOCIAL AND POLITICAL CHANGES IN CHINA AND THE MIDDLE EAST IN THE CONTEXT OF NEOLIBERALISM
4. Panel: TBC
MARCH 24, 2016
5. Panel: CHINESE POLITICAL ECONOMY TOWARD MIDDLE EAST
6. Panel: ENERGY AND SECURITY IN CHINA AND MIDDLE EAST
Closing Remarks by Dr. Jamsheed Choksy, Indiana University, USA