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Why are there so many dictators in the Middle East?

Mini lecture

Every day, the Middle East makes the news: the ongoing war in Syria, Islamic State in (parts of) Iraq and Syria, tensions between Iran and the United States, elections in Turkey, the struggle for power in Libya, the policies of the King of Saudi Arabia, and so on. This lecture sheds light on an important question that concerns many countries in this part of the world: why are there so many dictators in the Middle East? Focusing on Iraq, and particularly the late dictator Saddam Hussein, we will look into this matter in order to try and find an answer to this question and see how we can connect the situation of Iraq to the rest of the region. Are dictators simply part of the Middle East, or is there more to it and should we, perhaps, look at the region through a different lens?

Why should you not miss out on this lecture?

Everybody has an impression of the Middle East. In this lecture we will investigate whether we can give this impression some more depth and nuance by zooming in on the topic 'dictators'. Afterwards you will hopefully be able to open the newspaper or look at the news with fresh eyes.


Kiki Santing Kiki Santing is Assistant Professor at the Department of Middle Eastern Studies at the UG. She researches Arabic journals, focusing on the self-representation of different Islamic groups.
Last modified:15 August 2019 12.14 p.m.
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