Sponsored by Middle East and Islamic Studies ProgramArab Studies Institute, Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies, Global Affairs, Schar School for Policy and Government, History, Sociology and Anthropology











Wednesday, 17 October - 12:00-2:00 pm

HUB Room 5, George Mason University



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If the Arab uprisings initially seemed to herald the end of tyrannies and a move toward liberal democratic governments, their defeat not only marks a reversal but is of a piece with new forms of authoritarianism worldwide. Scholars have begun wondering, with some urgency, why citizens themselves seem so often to be attracted to autocracy.


This talk, based on Lisa Wedeen’s forthcoming book Authoritarian Apprehensions: Ideology, Judgment, and Mourning in Syria (Chicago 2019), is an effort to contribute to this discussion. Drawing on extensive fieldwork and a variety of Syrian artistic practices, Wedeen considers the ideological investments that sustain subjects’ ambivalent attachments to political power and organize the ongoing challenges of living otherwise.



OPEN TO THE PUBLIC | Pizza & drinks will be provided









Bassam Haddad

Director, Middle East and Islamic Studies Program

Associate Professor, Schar School of Policy and Government

George Mason University

4400 University Drive, MSN 3F4

Fairfax, VA 22030


Office: Research 347; Tel: 703-993-2962

Mobile: 703-887-5257

Email: [log in to unmask]


Author: Business Networks in Syria: The Political Economy of Authoritarian Resilience

Co-Editor: The Dawn of the Arab Uprisings: End of an Old Order?

Executive Director: Arab Studies Institute

Founding Editor: Knowledge Production Project



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