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The Arab Spring and Syria: Why Has it Gone So Wrong?
Friday, May 23, 2014 - 1:00pm
The Arab Spring and Syria: Why Has it Gone So Wrong?

Smith Memorial Student Union, room 236, 1825 SW Broadway, Portland State University
Free & open to the public


Dr. Landis will discuss the rise of ethnic and religious identities in the Levant states following WWI in an effort to explain how Syria fits into a larger model of nation building in post-imperial lands. He will discuss possible outcomes of the Syrian struggle and consider how they may impact the states of the region.


Joshua Landis is Director of the Center for Middle East Studies and Associate Professor at the University of Oklahoma’s College of International Studies.

He writes “Syria Comment,” a daily newsletter on Syrian politics that attracts some 50,000 readers a month. It is widely read by officials in Washington, Europe and Syria. Dr. Landis travels frequently to Washington DC to consult with government agencies and speak at think tanks. Additionally, he is a frequent analyst on TV and radio. Most recently he has appeared on PBS News Hour, the Charlie Rose Show, al-Jazeera, Frontline, NPR and BBC radio. He is a frequently published in such journals as Foreign Policy, Middle East Policy, and Time Magazine. His most recent publications are:

  • Stay Out of Syria | June 5, 2012 , Foreign Policy
  • Why Assad Is Likely to Survive to 2013. Middle East Policy, (19:1 Spring 2012) pp 72-85. 

He was educated at Swarthmore (BA), Harvard (MA), and Princeton (PhD). He has lived over 14 years in the Middle East and speaks Arabic and French fluently. He has lived four years in Syria, most recently spending 2005 in Damascus as a Senior Fulbright Research Fellow and has returned most summers until the revolution began.


Presented as a part of the Undergraduate Student Conference: the Middle East by the Portland State University Middle East Studies Center with funding from the Portland State University Internationalization Minigrant program.

The Middle East Studies Center at Portland State University promotes understanding of the people, cultures, languages and religions of the Middle East. As a National Resource Center for Middle East Studies under the U.S. Department of Education’s Title VI program, the Center serves as a resource on issues pertaining to the Middle East through activities that reach students and scholars, as well as businesses, educators, and the media. The Middle East Studies Center supports academic conferences, workshops, cultural events, lectures, and a resource library. | | 503-725-4074