The strategic landscape of the Middle East is changing rapidly, but not in favour of the United States as the traditional powerful actor in the region. Continued adversarial US–Iranian relations and regional Arab states’ growing concerns about Washington’s reliability as an ally have widened the arena for Russia and China to expand their strategic footprints in the region.
This seminar focuses on the recent regional and global developments whereby the constituent states have found it expedient to normalise their relations in pursuit of their national and interstate interests. It aims to unpack these developments in the context of the growing rivalry that has beset US relations with China and Russia.
About the Speaker
Amin Saikal AM, FASSA is Visiting Distinguished Fellow at RSIS, NTU; Emeritus Professor of Middle Eastern and Central Asian Studies and Founding Director of the Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies (the Middle East and Central Asia) at the Australian National University; and Adjunct Professor of Social Sciences at the University of Western Australia.
He is an awardee of the Order of Australia (AM) ‘for service to the international community and education through the development of the Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies, and as an author and adviser’; an elected Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia (FASSA); and the winner of Peter Baume Award (the Australian National University’s top award) recognizing ‘eminent achievement and merit of the highest order’.
His latest books include: Iran Rising: The Survival and Future of the Islamic Republic (Princeton University Press, 2021); Islam Beyond Borders: Umma in World Politics (Cambridge University Press, 2019) – co-author; The Spectre of Afghanistan: The Security of Central Asia (London: Bloomsbury/I.B. Tauris, 2021) – co-author; Iran at the Crossroads (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2016); Zone of Crisis: Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran and Iraq (London: I.B. Tauris, 2014); Modern Afghanistan: A History of Struggle and Survival (London: I.B. Tauris, 2012); The Rise and Fall of the Shah: Iran from Autocracy to Religious Rule (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2009); and Islam and the West: Conflict or Cooperation? (London: Palgrave/Macmillan, 2003).
He is also the author of numerous articles in refereed international journals and chapters in edited volumes published by highly reputable publishers. In addition, he has published in major international dailies and websites, including The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, The Globe and Mail, The Project Syndicate, and The Strategist. He has been a frequent commentator on national and international TV and radio networks on issues pertinent to his field of specialty.