IEE Newsletter No. 22

PhD IDS: 4th PhD Conference on International Development and Kick-Off of the German-Arab Joint PhD Programme

This year it was again time for the IEE to host the PhD Conference on International Development. The conference not only coincided with a conference on "The Middle East and the Islamic World in the Mirror of Humanities and Social Sciences", but also marked the official launch of the German-Arab Joint PhD Programme.

4th PhD-Conference on International Development

On 24th and 25th September 2015, the IEE hosted the 4th annual PhD Conference on International Development. Together with the School of International Development (DEV), the University of East Anglia, UK, the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) at the Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Hague, NL, and our partners in the UA-Ruhr Graduate Centre, the Institute for Development and Peace (INEF) and the Institute of Political Science (IfP) at University Duisburg-Essen, the IEE first organised the annual PhD Conferences in 2012. At this year's conference, which coincided not only with the 50th anniversary of Ruhr-University but also with another conference at the RUB on "The Middle East and the Islamic World in the Mirror of Humanities and Social Sciences", the IEE welcomed more than 100 participants from countries around the world, such as South Africa, Namibia, Sierra Leone, and Canada. Doctoral students and recent graduates delivered more than 35 presentations, split into five workshops, ranging from "Banking and Financing in Developing Countries" and "Education and Development" to "Struggles about Land and Space in Rural and Urban Areas".
PHD Conference GroupGroup picture of conference participants (photo: IEE)

In his opening address, Professor Wilhelm Löwenstein, Managing Director of the IEE and Speaker of the PhD IDS, welcomed the participants of the 2015 PhD Conference and emphasized the highly topical issue of "Responsibility to Protect" as the guiding theme behind our new "extension" of the PhD IDS in the framework of the DAAD-funded "German-Arab Research, Training, and Networking Programme". Later that day, Dr. Jürgen Wiemann, Vice President of the European Association of Development (EADI), delivered a keynote speech on "The New Middle Classes: Advocates for Good Governance, Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Development?".

IEE Members Presenting on their Research Projects

Seven members of the IEE seized the opportunity to present their doctoral research projects and engage in a critical debate about their research design, theory-based approaches, and/or empirical results with a highly interested audience. Marc Hansen, IEE research fellow and PhD student, presented his co-authored paper, "Determining Minimum Compensation of Smallholder Farmers for Lost Agricultural Land Grabs." PhD student Amr Khafagy introduced his research project on "The Adverse Effect of Financial Sector Development on Kenyan Savings and Credit Cooperatives." Farah Asif, a recent graduate of the PhD IDS, spoke about the results of her research on "Linking Foreign Affiliation to the welfare status of low income rural households: A case study of Pakistan"." MADM coordinator, Tobias Thürer, discussed his recently finished doctoral project under the title "Does speculation with agricultural commodity futures cause price bubbles in the event of negative production shocks?" Jasmin Gerau, another PhD IDS candidate, talked about the topic, "From Regional to Global Leader? The perception of the European Union as a leading environmental actor in Jordan and Morocco". Michele Gonnelli, an associate member of the PhD IDS, delivered a presentation on the topic "Somali Development Agents as Development Communicators: A bottom-bottom Approach." Elkhan Sadik-Zada, also a recent graduate of the PhD IDS and IEE research fellow, discussed "Lewis' Dual Economy Model with Political Bargaining - A New Approach for the Explanation of the Resource Curse". Last but not least, Lungile Penxa from the University of the Western Cape, currently a visiting PhD student at the IEE, presented on "The Nature and Extent of Participation in Small Town Housing Projects, South Africa." Beyond these paper presentations, almost every other PhD IDS member, associate member and several student from abroad took advantage of presenting and discussing their doctoral research projects with the audience during a poster session on the second day of the PhD Conference.

PhD Conference MarcPhD IDS student Marc Hansen during his presentation (photo: IEE)

Conference on the Middle East and the Islamic World

As mentioned above, the PhD Conference coincided with another conference on "The Middle East and the Islamic World in the Mirror of Humanities and Social Sciences" jointly organized by the German Middle East Studies Association for Contemporary Research and Documentation (DAVO) and the Islamic Studies Section of the German Oriental Society (DMG) on 24-26 September 2015 at the RUB. The efforts of the IEE and the RUB Department of Oriental and Islamic Studies in hosting the PhD and the Middle Eastern Studies Conferences simultaneously at the same venue paid off: Participants of the DAVO/DMG conference were able to join the keynote session and the workshops of the PhD Conference and vice versa. Moreover, all participants were invited to join the official opening and reception of the conferences on Thursday evening, including a panel discussion about the topic "Syria & Beyond: The Quest for Power and Survival", chaired by Anja Zorob.
PHD ConferencePanel Discussion on "Syria & Beyond" (photo: IEE)

On behalf of the IEE team, Raffael Beier and Anja Zorob delivered a joint presentation at the Middle Eastern Studies Conference on "European Migration Policy after the Arab Spring: Sticking to 'Securitization' or Rising to the Challenges in the Mediterranean?" while Raffael Beier offered another presentation on the topic "Shifting Spatial Policies after the Arab Spring – Urgent Reactions or Real Changes?".

Kick-Off of the German-Arab Joint PhD Programme

After an initial preparatory meeting in June 2015, the 4th PhD Conference marked the official launch of the new German-Arab Joint-PhD Programme "From Responsibility to Protect to Responsibility to Assist: Conflict, Reconstruction, and Sustainable Development in the Middle East". The project is funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), as part of its Programme "Higher Education Dialogue with the Muslim World". From the IEE's new partner universities, Prof. Dr. Mahasen Al-Jaghoub, The University of Jordan (JU), and Prof. Dr. Sami Baroudi, Lebanese American University (LAU), attended the conference and chaired a workshop on "The Challenges of Domestic Politics". In addition, the professors took part in the second organizational meeting of the German-Arab Joint Research, Training and Networking Programme. The meeting was kindly hosted by the managing director of the Institute for International Law of Peace and Armed Conflict (IFHV), Professor Pierre Thielbörger, who is also a member of the German-Arab Programme. The meeting was chaired by Anja Zorob, the directing manager of the German-Arab Programme, and Jasmin Fritzsche, student member and administrative coordinator of the programme.

Projects of PhD Candidates of the German-Arab Programme

The first PhD candidates of the German-Arab Programme arrived at Bochum in September to take part in the 4th PhD Conference. In October and November, they are scheduled to attend a German language course before taking courses within the PhD IDS Programme. Assem Abi Ali from Lebanon will work on the situation of the Druze minority in Syria. Ihsan Madbooh from Palestine will focus on the enforcement of international humanitarian law. Salam Al Haj Hasan, Syria, will assess the impact of mass media on international humanitarian aid for Syria. Loubna Abi Khalil, Lebanon, will write about the linkage of relief and development in urban refugee contexts. Afsin Evren, Turkey, will focus on Syrian refugees living in non-camp situations in Turkey. Laura Hofmann from Germany and based at the IFHV will work on the protection of cultural property and Jasmin Fritzsche will concentrate on the secondary displacement of Palestinian refugees from Syria.

ZorobDr. Anja Zorob
Assistant Dean and Coordinator PhD IDS Programme
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: +49 (0)234 / 32-25149
Fax: +49 (0)234 / 32-14294

BeierRaffael Beier
Research Fellow and PhD IDS student
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: +49 (0)234 / 32-24857
Fax: +49 (0)234 / 32-14294

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