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The Thistle and the Drone

Asia Research Centre and Middle East Centre Public Lecture

Wednesday 26th June 2013, 4pm to 5.30pm, Shaw Library, Old Building, LSE

Speaker: Akbar Ahmed

Chair: Christopher Coker

The United States declared war on terrorism in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. More than ten years later, the results are decidedly mixed. In The Thistle and the Drone|, world-renowned author, diplomat, and scholar Akbar Ahmed, called "the world's leading authority on contemporary Islam" by the BBC, reveals a tremendously important yet largely unrecognized adverse effect of these campaigns: they actually have exacerbated the already-broken relationship between central governments and the tribal societies on their periphery.

In the third volume of his trilogy that includes Journey into Islam| (2007) and Journey into America| (2010), Ambassador Ahmed draws on forty case studies of tribal societies across the Muslim world to analyze how the war on terror is being fuelled by the conflict between central governments and tribal peripheries. Beginning with Waziristan in Pakistan and expanding to similar tribal societies in Central Asia, the Middle East, North Africa, and elsewhere, this groundbreaking study offers an alternative and unprecedented paradigm for winning the war on terror.

Ambassador Akbar Ahmed is the Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies at American University in Washington, D.C. and Non-resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. He is a Visiting Professor and was First Distinguished Chair of Middle East and Islamic Studies at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. He has taught at Princeton, Harvard, and Cambridge Universities.

Professor Christopher Coker is in the Department of International Relations, LSE.

Additional Information

This event is free and open to all but registration is required. Please register on the event webpage|.

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The Thistle and the Drone