Asset Publisher

Event Reports

Masala: Neorealistic Approach Leads to Pessimism for Peace

“The topic can be relatively shortly dealt with, as there is no window of opportunity for peace in the Middle East: not in the short-run, not in the mid-run and most likely not even in the long-run”. These were the introductory words of Dr. Carlo Masala in his lecture “Transatlantic Relations and the Middle East after the Lebanon War: Is there a Window of Opportunity for Peace?” at the Institute of Law, Birzeit University, on 2nd November 2006, which was supported by the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, Ramallah.

Asset Publisher

Dr. Masala who was born in Italy in 1968 is currently Associate Professor at the Department for Political Science, University of Cologne, Germany. Since March 2004 he is also Research Adviser to the NATO Defense College in Rome. He is a well-known scholar in political science who taught inter alia at the University of Chicago and Georgetown University in the US. As a specialist in international relations theory and international security issues focusing on Europe, the US and the Mediterranean, he published several books dealing with these and other topics. Dr. Masala belongs to the neo-realist school of thought which is well-known for its frank and outspoken stance.

In his lecture, Dr. Masala elaborated on the current state of the transatlantic affairs and explained how and why radicalism reinforces common action between the EU and the USA. In order to clarify his point he referred to the recent Lebanon war which functioned as a bridge over the rift of the EU and the USA as this issue did not divide the two powers but can be characterised by a unification process from a transatlantic-relations-perspective. The same is true regarding Iran and the political position of the EU and USA which moved closer together over the issue of Iran’s nuclear arms program. Mr. Masala continued to shed light on several Middle Eastern countries and their roles in international politics, among them were Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Jordan and Iraq. He went on explaining the Israeli/Palestinian conflict from a neo-realist approach, namely that he expects the Palestinian Autonomous Territories to be at the edge of a civil war due to massive internal problems regarding Fatah and Hamas.

Furthermore, Mr. Masala assumed that the method of asymmetric warfare will be more often applied in future as the past has proven that it is a quite successful military strategy. He concluded that the regional and international situation is not ripe for a sustainable peace process.

A large number of legal experts, journalists, politicians, members of staff of NGO’s, academics and students from Birzeit University were debating with Mr. Carlo Masala at the end of his lecture about the future of the Middle East and the role of the EU, USA and others in contributing to peace processes in the entire region. The lecture took place on 2nd of November within the scope of the lecture series “Legal Encounters” which is organised in cooperation with the KAS Ramallah.

Asset Publisher

Working Paper
December 12, 2006
read now

comment-portlet

Asset Publisher