For the first time in the modern Arab political history, established
authoritarian regimes have been overthrown by popular opposition in Tunisia
and Egypt. Reflecting the significant changes that have taken place in Arab
society, economy and political culture over the past three decades, the
popular expectations created by these revolutions are being felt across the
entire region. The forces driving the demands for change are unstoppable,
and they present new opportunities for the Arab world. But there are also
important risks and challenges in the period ahead.
Adjunct Professor Robert Bowker will review the recent developments, and
examine their implications for the regional outlook and for external
engagement with the region.
Robert Bowker has been Adjunct Professor in the Centre for Arab and Islamic
Studies (the Middle East and Central Asia), ANU, since July 2008. He retired
from the Australian Foreign Service in June 2008 after a 37 year career
specializing in Middle East and Islamic issues. He was Australian ambassador
to Egypt (2005-2008) and Jordan (1989-1992), in addition to postings in
Syria (1979-1981) and Saudi Arabia (1974-1976). He was Visiting Reader at
CAIS in 2004.
Professor Bowker is currently teaching a graduate course at the Centre for
Arab and Islamic Studies on political, economic and social change in the
Arab world. His latest book 'Egypt and the Politics of Change in the Arab
Middle East' was published in 2010. He is also the author of 'Beyond Peace:
the Search for Security in the Middle East', and 'Palestinian Refugees:
Mythology, Identity and the Search for Peace'.