13 March, 2023

Online and at SOAS, Brunei Gallery Theatre, 10 Thornhaugh St, London WC1H 0XG, UK

In this SOAS Politics Seminar, Prof. Gilbert Achcar will discuss his latest book, The New Cold War, in conversation with Dr. Bhavna Dave.

With the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022, warnings about a ‘new Cold War’ proliferated. In fact, argues Gilbert Achcar in this timely new study, the Cold War has been ongoing since the turn of the century, as he himself had already observed by then.

Racing to solidify its position in the 1990s as the sole remaining superpower, the US alienated Russia and China, pushing them closer and rebooting the ‘old’ Cold War with disastrous implications.

Vladimir Putin’s consequent rise and imperialist reinvention, along with Xi Jinping’s own ascendancy and increasingly autocratic tendencies, have culminated, respectively, in the murderous invasion of Ukraine and mounting tensions over Taiwan and trade.

Was all this inevitable? Will these three powers’ permanent readiness to war write the story of the twenty-first century? What comes after Ukraine? What might the contours of a more peaceful world look like?

These questions and many others are addressed in this ‘indispensable guide to the current global disorder and its ominous portent’ (Noam Chomsky), an ‘essential book’ that ‘no one who hopes to move beyond complacent rhetoric and slogans can afford to miss’ (Samuel Moyn, Yale University).

Speaker bio:

Gilbert Achcar is Professor of Development Studies and International Relations at SOAS. He joined SOAS in 2007 after having taught or researched in Beirut, Paris and Berlin. He is the author of several books, including The Clash of Barbarisms: The Making of the New World Disorder (2002, 2006), Perilous Power: The Middle East and US Foreign Policy (with Noam Chomsky, 2007, 2008), The Arabs and the Holocaust: The Arab-Israeli War of Narratives (2010, 2011) and The People Want: A Radical Exploration of the Arab Uprising (2013, 2022).

Discussant bio:

Bhavna Dave is Senior Lecturer in Politics of Central Asia at SOAS. Her research focuses on geopolitics of the Eurasian region, ethnic and language policies, and state-society relations across Central Asia and labour migration in Eurasia. She has published works on labour migration in Kazakhstan and Russia, language and ethnic identities, minorities, elections and patronage in Kazakhstan, EU-Central Asia relations, the role of the Russian Far East in Russia’s ‘pivot to Asia’ policy, social and security implications of China’s Belt and Road initiative in Central Asia, and India-Central Asia relations. Her research has been supported by funding from British Academy, British Council, Open Society Foundation, IDE (Japan), MacArthur Foundation and research grants from SOAS.

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