Foreign Policy Making in Turbulent Times
On Thursday, April 21, 2022, the School of Politics, Security, and International Affairs (SPSIA) organized its landmark event of Spring 2022 – the American Foreign Policy and Intelligence Conference. The conference attracted a lively audience which featured 10 scholars and experts who provided unique perspectives about American foreign policy and intelligence in the wake of the withdrawal from Afghanistan in August 2021 and the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine. While the U.S. foreign policy and intelligence establishment has been subject of widespread criticisms for the swift fall of Kabul to Taliban forces, they have also been praised for providing accurate predictions of Russian intentions in Ukraine. Read more
Strengthening Global Citizenship of Kurdistan-Iraq Youth
Model United Nations 2021
Model United Nations (MUN) are educational conferences which offer its participants an opportunity to experience the parliamentary procedure and decision-making process employed by the United Nations. As simulations of the world’s largest international organization, MUNs offer a friendly way to expose young people around the world to the international community.
The recent cooperation between UCF’s Kurdish Political Studies Program and Soran University in Iraqi Kurdistan aim to introduce this experience to Iraq by organizing the country’s first National Model United Nations. The conference seeks to bring together one hundred participants from across Iraq. For three days the students will assume the role of country delegates, take part in the parliamentary proceedings, and debate issues of international importance while practicing policy research. Read more
After the Last ‘Firman’
Victimhood, Survival and Societal Transformation among the Yezidis
In 2014, the Yezidi- a religious community with historical roots in the Sinjar area of northern Iraq – had repeatedly been targeted by the Islamic State’s (IS) violence against the Yezidis: thousands of Yezidis were executed and large numbers of women and children were taken hostages and subsequently sold as slaves. While the Yezidis have historically developed a strong sense of existential threat perception as a marginalized minority, the IS assault has pushed the community to the brink of survival.
This project is a collaboration among the University of Central Florida, London School of Economics and Political Science, and the American University of Kurdistan. The project addresses a series of questions about the dimensions of Yezidi religion by empirically focusing on the lived experience of Yezidis. While IS atrocities against the Yezidis have received significant media attention, their lingering effects on Yezidis’ lives and relations between them remain unexplored.