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GUST Global Studies Center Discusses Lineages of Nationalism, Sectarianism, and Absolutism in Bahrain and the Gulf

Date: 
25 November 2019

Gulf University for Science and Technology’s (GUST) Global Studies Center (GSC) held its second lecture of the semester with one titled “Contested Modernity: Lineages of Nationalism, Sectarianism, and Absolutism in Bahrain and the Gulf”. The event was led by Dr. Omar Alshehabi, GUST Associate Professor in the Humanities & Social Sciences Department. He obtained a BA in PPE and an M.Phil and D.Phil. in Economics at Pembroke College, Oxford. The lecture was part of the GSC’s ongoing effort to bring outstanding speakers and stimulating topics to GUST and the wider community.

  

The lecture began with a discussion on Dr. Al-Shehabi’s newest book, Contested Modernity; Sectarianism, Nationalism, and Colonialism in Bahrain, and then delved into the topic by drawing on a previously unexamined Arabic literature, as well as British archives.  Dr. Al-Shehabi argues that sectarianism emerged as a modern phenomenon in Bahrain during this period. It also heralded the birth of absolutist rule in the Gulf, under the tutelage of the British Raj, to counter nationalist and anti-colonial movements tied to the al-Nahda renaissance in the wider Arab world.

Guest Lecturer, Dr. Omar Al-Shehabi, said, “To the causes of some of today’s problems, it is imperative that we look more closely at our past.  Having published my book, I hope that the truth about specific geopolitical maneuvers finally sees the light of day.”

Dr. Al-Shebabi has previously worked at the IMF, the World Bank, McKinsey, and taught at University College, Oxford. He is the Director of the Gulf Centre for Development Policies.

  

Director of the Global Studies Center, Dr. Shahd Al-Shammari said, “The GSC is an active center and holds public lectures. We welcome everyone to attend. Our lectures are a chance to network with people with similar interests. Our faculty regularly connects with the community.”

The GSC is a leading research center on global studies, and a vehicle for engaging both internal and external communities through stimulating events and lectures on global issues. The center aims to conduct cutting-edge research on cross-national political, economic, social, cultural, and environmental issues of critical importance, and share research output and information regionally and globally.  The GSC seeks to foster public understanding of global issues with local significance.

GUST continues to build on its mission to become a knowledge-hub that benefits and engages students, academics, and the wider Kuwait community as a whole.  For more information on upcoming events, visit https://gsc.gust.edu.kw/.