Rethinking Borders and Territory in the Middle East

The territorial structure of the state system in much of the Middle East has been based around the Sykes Picot concepts which were imposed upon the region by the Allied powers in the wake of World War I. The superimposition of borders, the creation of “nation states” ensured a territorial legacy which did not conform with the ethnic and religious realities of the region. During the past decade we have witnessed the unravelling of many of these borders, especially with respect to the conflict areas in and between Lebanon, Iraq, Syria and Turkey. At the same time the question of borders in Israel / Palestine, also resulting from historical and superimposed legacies, continue to trouble the region. We invite scholars to submit papers which will reassess the legacy of Middle East borders during the past hundred years, along with a rethinking of the territorial structures of the region as we enter a new phase of territorial restructuring. Questions relating to contemporary power brokers and hegemonies as contrasted to those same stakeholders one hundred years ago, decolonization, and the question of “who” determines the demarcation and management of “lines in the sand” will be welcomed.  Critical, empirical and historical presentations are invited from across the academic disciplines.

Abstracts can be submitted here and separate emails should be sent to

The deadline for abstract submissions is September 30, 2017.

The 2018 Association for Borderlands Studies World Conference will take place from July 14-18, 2018, in Vienna and Budapest. For more information about the conference, please visit the conference website.