A luncheon with James Dorsey, Senior Fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.

Soccer in the Middle East and North Africa is played as much on as off the pitch. Stadiums are a symbol of the battle for political freedom; economic opportunity; ethnic, religious and national identity; and gender rights. Alongside the mosque, the stadium was until the Arab revolt erupted in late 2010 the only alternative public space for venting pent-up anger and frustration. It was the training ground in countries like Egypt and Tunisia where militant fans prepared for a day in which their organization and street battle experience would serve them in the showdown with autocratic rulers. This talk explores the role of soccer at a time of transition from autocratic rule to a more open society.

Lunch will be provided.

About James Dorsey:

James M. Dorsey is a scholar and award-winning journalist. He is one of the pioneers of the exploration of the political, social and economic aspects of Middle Eastern and North African soccer. James has published widely in scholarly journals, writes a syndicated column, is the author of the acclaimed blog, The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer, and is a frequent speaker at international conferences. His book, The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer, is scheduled to be published in January. James is a senior fellow at S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies of  Nanyang Technological University in Singapore and co-director of the Institute of Fan Culture of the University of Würzburg in Germany.

A two time Pulitzer Prize nominate and a 2013 finalist for the European Press Award, James started covering the Middle East as a foreign correspondent in the 1970s. He served as a foreign correspondent for Dutch newspaper Trouw, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Financial Times, The Christian Science Monitor and Dutch and Belgian radio and television. James was based in Beirut, Jerusalem, Cairo, Teheran, Kuwait, Riyadh, Dubai, Larnaca, Athens, Istanbul, Washington, Lima, London, Paris and Amsterdam.

James focused his career on covering religious and ethnic conflict and uses soccer as a prism for the region’s national, ethnic, religious, social, gender and economic fault lines. Beyond the Middle East and North Africa, James has also reported over the past four decades from most major conflicts zones in Europe, Africa, Latin America and Asia, including Afghanistan, former Yugoslavia, Central Asia, the Caucasus, Ethiopia, Somalia, Rwanda, Congo, Eritrea, Yemen, the Western Sahara, Columbia, Panama, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, Kashmir, Thailand and Bangladesh.