The overarching question imparting urgency to this exploration is: Can U.S.-Russian contention in cyberspace cause the two nuclear superpowers to stumble into war? In considering this question we were constantly reminded of recent comments by a prominent U.S. arms control expert: At least as dangerous as the risk of an actual cyberattack, he observed, is cyber operations’ “blurring of the line between peace and war.” Or, as Nye wrote, “in the cyber realm, the difference between a weapon and a non-weapon may come down to a single line of code, or simply the intent of a computer program’s user.”
The Arab world is struggling to make a transition from post-colonial to post, post-colonial political economies. A review of this challenge in Egypt and how it is being dealt with will serve as a basis for speculation about the broader Arab world. Please join us for this event with Robert Springborg, Professor in the Department of National Security Affairs at Naval Postgraduate School, to discuss these topics as part of the fall 2013 seminar series led by MEI Visiting Scholar Djavad Salehi-Isfahani: "The Politics and Economics of Transition in the Middle East." For more information about this series, click here.
We encourage you to be familiar with the following readings in advance of the seminar:
“The Precarious Economics of Arab Springs,”Survival, 53, 6 (December 2011-January 2012), pp. 85-104.
“Learning from Failure: Egypt,” in Thomas C. Bruneau and Cristiana Matei, eds. Handbook of Civil-Military Relations. London: Routledge, 2012, pp. 93-109.
“Governance in Egypt,” in Abbas Khadim, Handbook of Governance in the Middle East and North Africa. London: Routledge, 2013, pp. 399-416.
“The Hound that Did not Bark: Solving the Mystery of Business without Voice in Egypt,” in Steffen Hertog, Giacomo Luciani and Marc Valeri, eds., Business Politics in the Middle East, London, Hurst, 2013.
About Robert Springborg:
Robert Springborg is professor in the Department of National Security Affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School. Previously he held the MBI Al Jaber Chair in Middle East Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, where he was also the Director of the London Middle East Institute.
From 2000 to 2002 he was Director of the American Research Center in Egypt. He was a University Professor of Middle East Politics at Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia, until 1999. From 1992 to 1996 he was Chief Technical Specialist for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)’s principal democratization program for the Middle East.
From 1997 to 2002 he was Executive Associate and Director for the Middle East of Development Associates, a US based consulting firm. He has worked as a consultant on Middle East governance and politics for USAID, the UNDP, and various United Kingdom government departments, including the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Ministry of Defence and the Department for International Development. He is frequent commentator on the Middle East on various media outlets, including CNN, the BBC, and al Jazeera International. He received his PhD in Political Science from Stanford University in 1974.
His publications include two books on Egypt (Family Power and Politics in Egypt, University of Pennsylvania Press, 1982; and Mubarak’s Egypt: Fragmentation of the Political Order, Westview Press, 1989); several editions of a Comparative Politics textbook on the Middle East (Politics in the Middle East, with James A. Bill); Legislative Politics in the Arab World (with Abdo I. Baaklini and Guilain P. Denoeux, Lynne Rienner, 1999); and, with Clement M. Henry, Globalization and the Politics of Development in the Middle East (Cambridge University Press, 2001). More recently he has published Oil and Democracy in Iraq (Saqi, 2007) and, as editor with Alanoud Alsharekh, Popular Culture and Political Identity in the Arab Gulf States (Saqi, 2008).