The Middle East and Central Asia, with a population of 465 million and 80 million respectively, experience the ever-accelerating change ranging from politics, economics and security to the social and cultural realms. On one level, this change reflects an international trend of moving away from the certainties of a globalised unipolar world. At the same time, actors within the macro-region themselves create new realities and leverage new possibilities that ripple across the globe.
The conference will explore how states and societies in the Middle East and Central Asia deal with the challenges of governance, social cohesion, geopolitics, sustainable development and decolonisation. It will seek to identify common themes and points of divergence underpinning complex transitions in the common space defined by the predominantly Muslim identity and a long history of great power rivalry and authoritarian rule.