Citizenship and Discontent in the Middle East

The panellists unpack citizenship and its discontents in the Middle East and assess the role of citizen-led efforts to support pluralism and inclusion.

Members event, Panel Recording
15 May 2019 — 6:00PM TO 7:00PM
Chatham House | 10 St James's Square | London | SW1Y 4LE

In the Middle East, pluralism, tolerance and civil rights appear to be under threat from increasing levels of communal violence, authoritarianism and religious identity politics. In response, a number of citizen-led movements have emerged across the region.

From young Kurds seeking to refute the nationalist narratives of their aging rulers to Lebanese initiatives to supplant sectarian warlords, how are grassroots initiatives working to create more inclusive rights and citizenship? And what alternatives have emerged to identity-based politics in the region?

  • Who can, and who should, rewrite core narratives of who belongs and on what basis?

  • How do religious and non-religious minorities envision their future in the region?

  • On what basis can communities enjoy citizenship or seek rights in an era when law increasingly draws on religion and majoritarianism for its legitimacy?

This event is hosted in partnership with The Century Foundation.


Thanassis Cambanis, Senior Fellow, The Century Foundation

Maria Fantappie, Senior Adviser, International Crisis Group

Karl Sharro, Architect and Satirist; Co-Author, Manifesto: Towards a New Humanism in Architecture

Chair: Dr Lina Khatib, Head, Middle East and North Africa Programme, Chatham House


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