SOAS hosts debates on Africa, China and Middle East

A high level panel debates key issues facing China, Africa, and the Middle East

Members of the public are invited to a series of free high level panel debates at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) which will explore key issues facing China, Africa, and the Middle East.

Prominent figures in government, international business, journalism and the public sector will be among the distinguished guests who will join SOAS academics in a weekend dedicated to current affairs.

Thursday 9 June at 7pm, Beveridge Hall, Senate House, University of London

The panel will discuss the future of China, the world’s second largest economy, from an economic, legal and political perspective. Panellists will debate the issues relating to a bi-polar world (China-USA), considering China’s key role in the G20 and being the biggest buyer of US debt; the influence and role of China in East Asia; the country’s efforts to rebalance its economy after recently reporting its first monthly trade deficit in seven years and the evolution of human rights and governance in China.
Mrs Anson Chan GBM GCMG, former Chief Secretary for Administration of Hong Kong
Mr John Gittings, the Guardian’s former foreign leader-writer and China specialist
Lord Stephen Green, UK Minister for Trade and Finance and former HSBC Chairman
Mr Stephen Perry, Vice-Chair of the China-Britain Business Council
Chaired by Dr Jan Toporowksi, Head of the Economics Department, SOAS
Friday 10 June at 6.30pm, Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre, SOAS

Recent events in the Middle East have demonstrated the changing nature of power in many countries, away from centralised regimes to the ordinary people on the street. However, optimism from this ‘Arab Spring’ may be dissipating as unprecedented people power is repressed. The panel will explore nationalism and reclaiming public space; the history of uprisings, and women’s perspective on protest and resistance.
Dr Hassan Hakimian, Director of the London Middle East Institute
Professor Charles Tripp, Professor of Politics with reference to the Middle East, SOAS
Professor Nadje Al-Ali, Chair of the Centre for Gender Studies, SOAS
Dr Nelida Fuccaro, Reader in the Modern History of the Middle East, SOAS
Chaired by Mr Brian Whitaker, Middle East Editor of The Guardian

Saturday 11 June at 7pm, Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre, SOAS

Experts will discuss the impact of change and governance in Africa. Good governance measures are now a standard pre-requisite for foreign development aid packages. However, some believe that international interference has restricted the room for the development of individual African modes of governing that are transparent and responsible. Themes will include defining governance challenges, the relationship between development and governance, and assessing the role of international donors and actors.
Panellists include:
Professor Stephen Chan OBE, Professor of International Relations, SOAS
Professor Christopher Cramer, Professor of the Political Economy of Development, SOAS
Dr Emilia Onyema, Lecturer in Law, SOAS
Chaired by Dr Knox Chitiyo, Head of Africa programme at the Royal United Services Institute

These panel discussions are part of the first ever SOAS Alumni and Friends Weekend. Panels are subject to change without notice. For a full, current listing of the events please visit
Admission: RSVP is required but all events are free.
Registration: To book:
Or call: +44 (0)20 7898 4041 or Email enquiries to: