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Georgetown Faculty Conference Explores Indian Ocean World

Mar 19, 2017

The cultures, beliefs, politics, and citizens of countries bordering the Indian Ocean were on the agenda at a recent event at Georgetown University in Qatar. The University’s annual faculty conference brought together multidisciplinary scholars from around the world to discuss this year’s theme, The Liberal State and its Alternatives in the Indian Ocean.

The conference was held on March 20-21 at GU-Q’s Education City campus, and focused on the dynamics of continuity and change in the region.

“The Indian Ocean world presents a fascinating mix of cultures, religions, states, and political systems. It is the fastest growing and most unpredictable region on the earth. What happens along the oceanic shores will generate wide-ranging impacts on the global economic and political situation in the 21st century,” said Dr. Harry Verhoeven, assistant professor at GU-Q and one of the organizers of the event. “This conference aimed to explore the forms of and challengers to the modern state that exist in the region, in order to increase our understanding of how these differ from standard ideas of liberal governance which have historically been promoted by the west.”

The conference was made possible by a Conference and Workshop Sponsorship Program award (CWSP 11-C-1019-16029) from the Qatar National Research Fund, a member of Qatar Foundation.

Through discussions on issues such as political power, state-building, globalization, migration, urbanization, and ethnicity, the conference aimed to foster a greater understanding of the states, movements, and people of the Indian Ocean world. In addition to GU-Q’s respected faculty, participants involved in the event hailed from a diverse mix of international and local institutions, including Oxford University, University of Cambridge, King’s College London, Stanford University, the University of Singapore, Qatar University, and Hamad Bin Khalifa University.

More information can be found on the website: https://qatar.sfs.georgetown.edu/LiberalState.  

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