Past eventMembers

Contentious Borders: The Middle East and North Africa Post-2011

13 July 2017 - 6:00pm to 7:00pm

Chatham House, London


Louise Fawcett, Professor of International Relations, University of Oxford

Raffaella del Sarto, Associate Professor of Middle East Studies, SAIS Europe, The Johns Hopkins University

Leïla Vignal, Marie Sklodowska-Curie Individual European Fellow, University of Oxford

Chair: Claire Spencer, Senior Research Fellow, Middle East and North Africa Programme, Chatham House



The processes of political transition and turmoil in the aftermath of 2011 have affected many territorial borders in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Many anticipated a fundamental redrawing of the “Sykes-Picot” borders but internationally recognized national boundaries and the regional state system have proved resilient. Despite the maintenance of the border status quo, the region has witnessed changes in the nature, function and management of its borders. These transformations have significant implications for politics at the domestic, regional and international level, while demanding new ways of thinking about borders, statehood and sovereignty.

In conjunction with the launch of the special issue of International Affairs, ‘Contentious borders: the Middle East and North Africa post-2011’, the contributors will discuss resilient and changing territorial borders in the MENA region post-2011 and reflect on their broader political and conceptual implications.

This event will be followed by a reception.