I am writing to you today to introduce a new initiative and a project about to be launched in January thanks to a grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York — and see if you would be interested in learning more about it or being associated with it in some capacity as it unfolds.
The grant was awarded to the World Peace Foundation at Tufts University as part of a project called “Revitalizing debate on the global arms trade: new energies and perspectives”. This follows on from the success of our previous grant, “Defense industries, Foreign policy and Armed conflict”.
In this context, the initiative I am directing is called Pathways to Renewed and Inclusive Security in the Middle East (PRISME) — and its first project is called Sustaining Alternative Links beyond Arms and the Military (SALAM).
PRISME is an initiative that aims to redefine the conception of “security” in the Middle East (broadening the definitions of what it looks like, for whom, how it can be achieved, and how outside actors can contribute to it) as the starting point for new strategic relations between MENA countries and their European and North American partners.
SALAM will start off as a series of 4 workshops (3 virtual + 1 in person) that will address the following questions:
- What is the arms trade’s advertised role in cementing bilateral and multilateral ties between North America, Europe and the MENA region?
- What are the opportunity costs of (over- or sole) reliance on weaponry as security?
- What alternative modes of engagement might help redefine a shared strategic agenda?
The 3 virtual workshops (happening in April 2023, September 2023 and January 2024) will each address 1 question, on the basis of short policy-oriented papers written by a balanced number of participants from the MENA region, Europe and North America. These scholars will discuss these with a group of Associate Experts and policymakers invited for each workshop (under Chatham House rule). Their papers will then be published as blogs on the PRISME website — and our discussions synthetized in a Policy Brief.
The in-person workshop (Summer 2024), offering “An Initiative to Decenter Arms in Middle East Security”, will bring together the threads and ideas pulled from the three workshops to build an agenda for future research on these topics but also identify ways to promote other modes of bilateral and multilateral engagement.
If you would like to stay connected about all this, please fill out the contact form here: https://bit.ly/3UeWDob In the form, you will be able to express your interest in participating in this new initiative and project in some capacity. Please note that this does not commit anyone. It will primarily help us identify a network or community of interested parties. Personal and specific invitations to get involved writing-wise, conference-wise, etc. will follow.
I would also be extremely grateful if you could suggest other scholars or researchers I could reach out to about this. Please feel free to forward them this email and/or give me their info in the form above.
Thank you very much in advance for your consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you.
Nice, December 2022