Geopolitics with Granieri features a conversation – some might say an interrogation – with guest scholars on subjects in the news. Moderated by FPRI’s RON GRANIERI each session draws upon FPRI’s vast network of scholars and outside experts to elicit a broader understanding of the geographical, political, and historical context of current events. This uniquely interactive program, produced in front of a live audience, offers real substance and emphasizes active audience participation from both the studio and the live YouTube audience.
*Foreign Policy Research Institute
In this session, our guest is Samuel Helfont, a Senior Fellow in the Foreign Policy Research Institute’s Program on the Middle East. Helfont holds a post-doctoral lectureship in the University of Pennsylvania’s interdisciplinary International Relations Program. In May 2015, he completed a PhD in Princeton University’s Near Eastern Studies Department, where he wrote his dissertation on Saddam Hussein’s instrumentalization of religion as well as its legacy beyond 2003. His research is based on newly-available Ba’th Party and Iraqi state records.
In his new book, Compulsion in Religion: Saddam Hussein, Islam, and the Roots of Insurgencies, Samuel Helfont investigates the roots of the religious insurgencies which erupted in Iraq following the American-led invasion in 2003. This book relies on access to the former regime’s internal archives and secret files to challenge many of the underlying assumptions of American plans to occupy and rebuild Iraq. When the American-led invasion destroyed the regime’s authoritarian structures in 2003, it unleashed the forces that these structures were designed to contain, creating an atmosphere infused with religion, but lacking the checks provided by the former regime. Groups such as the Sadrists, al-Qaida in Iraq, and eventually the Islamic State emerged out of that context to tear the country apart.
Registration begins at 6:15 pm, with the program to follow from 6:30 – 7:30 pm.
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Dinner immediately following for Bronze Partners of FPRI.
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