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As popular protests spill across the Middle East and North Africa, the Government Department phone is ringing off the hook for Prof. Dirk Vandewalle. Author of the 2006 A History of Modern Libya, Vandewalle has been in high demand from journalists after demonstrations broke out Wednesday against the authoritarian Moammar Gadhafi regime. The Middle East Quarterly has called Prof. Vandewalle “one of the most knowledgeable students of Libya,” and his remarks have been published in sources ranging from Newsweek, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal to Al Jazeera and The Takeaway. In a piece for CNN, Vandewalle notes two decisive sources of authority for the regime—its “intricate system of divide-and-rule that [has] balanced families, tribes, and the country’s provinces” and Gadhafi’s deft anti-Westernism that resonated with the Libyan public. Part of the former strategy, according to Prof. Vandewalle, is Gadhafi’s use of a “social leadership committee” composed of various tribal representatives. Because these representatives also represent tribal groups within the military, Vandewalle told the Times, “the Libyan military lacks the cohesion or professionalism that might enable it to step in to resolve the conflict with the protesters or to stabilize the country.” For more information about Prof. Vandewalle and his research, visit his Department page here—and keep an eye out for his coverage in Dartmouth Now and The D.
Prof. Brian Greenhill has won the 2011 Western Political Science Association Dissertation Award, given to the best doctoral dissertation completed at a university in the region. For more information about Prof. Greenhill and his research, visit his faculty page here.
Prof. James Murphy published a guest column in the Wall Street Journal ("In Defense of Being a Kid," Feb. 9, 2011) examining the recent "dustup" over Amy Chua's Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother (Penguin, 2011) — a book that advocates "extreme parenting" to prepare children for adulthood. Murphy writes:
Children are not merely adults in training. They are also people with distinctive powers and joys. A happy childhood is measured not only by the standards of adult success, but also by the enjoyment of the gifts given to children alone.
For more information about Prof. Murphy and his research, visit his faculty page here.
Last Updated: 4/30/12