April 24, 2015 @ 9:00am - April 25, 2015 @ 6:00pm
George Mason University
Sponsored by the Arab Studies Institute & George Mason University's Middle East Studies Program
The founding workshop of the Political Economy Project (PEP) took place on April 24-25 at the Arab Studies Institute in Virginia (George Mason University). The workshop was attended by over 30 prominent academics from the US, Europe and the Middle East working on political economy issues. Its basic guiding principles were (1) A commitment to developing critical, non-mainstream approaches to political economy (which requires further definition and elaboration in due time); (2) a notion of the project as both intellectual and political, with a focus on linking up with social and political movements in the region; (3) a commitment to expanding the scope of the project beyond the “Middle East” for comparative as well as intellectual/political purposes.
The workshop served as an excellent launching pad for the project, and achieved the following outcomes:
1. A steering committee of ten elected participants was formed and has held regular discussions since the workshop. It is composed of Bassam Haddad, Joel Beinin, Ahmad Shokr, Omar Dahi, Rafeef Ziadah, Shana Marshall, Adam Hanieh, Mandy Turner, Wael Gamal and Sherene Seikaly.
2. A series of focal points were discussed for follow up over the next period. These include: future workshops, conferences, research projects, pedagogy, resource building efforts, and other activities.
3. A discussion of expansion of the network took place and a draft statement of principles was decided upon. The steering committee is taking this forward and will be inviting prospective members over the coming months.
4. All participants in the workshop presented a short, pre-prepared statement on their vision of political economy and the direction they would like the network to take. These statements are currently being finalized and will soon be published online and through Tadween.
5. Audio recordings were made of all presentations and edited version of this will be made available through STATUS.
6. An internal website for the project was launched, which will eventually house both a public and members-only section.
Forum on Muslim and Arab Affairs
FAMA is the research arm of the Arab Studies Institute.