Schedule Fall 2019

Tuesday, October 22, 2019
Seminar: 12:50 -1:50 pm
Location: 1D63

A Colonial Muslim History of Chinese Central Asia: Revisiting Sayrāmī's Tārīkh-i Ḥamīdī

Speaker: Eric Schluessel, Assistant Professor of Chinese History and Politics, University of Montana
Moderator: Max Oidtmann, Georgetown University Qatar

The Tārīkh-i Ḥamīdī of Mullah Mūsa Sayrāmī (1836-1917) is celebrated as a monument of Uyghur literature and the preeminent Muslim history of nineteenth-century Xinjiang (East Turkestan). Sayrāmī's work is also a layered, polyvocal text, and one that bears rereading through different analytical approaches. Its central contention is that Sayrāmī's work presents a colonial text, one that is both concerned with a situation of dominance by external forces and a product of the peculiar cultural context that emerges in such situations. However, it is a colonial text not from a Euro-American context, but from a Chinese one. This talk will explore the Tārīkh-i Ḥamīdī both in terms of its interaction with other Muslim and Chinese sources and as a colonial, transcultural text that advances insightful observations of Chinese power and new theories about its workings.

PhD Harvard, 2016; National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow, 2019-2020; Author of a forthcoming book on the history of Uyghur’s in nineteenth-century Qing China. An expert on Turkic Muslim legal and religious culture in Central Asia.

Sunday, October 27, 2019
ECON Talk: 1 - 2:15 pm
Location: 1D64

Electoral Institutions and Intraparty Cohesion

Speaker: Dimitrios Xefteris, Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, University of Cyprus
Moderator: Alexis Antoniades, Georgetown University in Qatar

We study parties' optimal ideological cohesion across electoral rules, when the following trade-off is present: A more heterogeneous set of candidates is electorally appealing (catch-all party), yet, it serves policy-related goals less efficiently. When the rule becomes more disproportional, thus inducing a more favorable seat allocation for the winner, the first effect is amplified, incentivizing parties to be less cohesive. We provide empirical support using a unique data-set that records candidates' ideological positions in Finnish municipal elections. Exploiting an exogenous change of electoral rule disproportionality at different population thresholds, we identify the causal effect of electoral rules on parties' cohesion.

Dimitrios Xefteris is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Cyprus. He received his PhD in political economy from the International Doctorate in Economic Analysis program, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona. His academic interests are in political economics, economic behavior, and game theory. His research has been published in several leading journals in economics and political science, including the American Political Science Review, Journal of Economic Theory, American Journal of Political Science, and the International Economic Review.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019
Seminar: 12:50 - 1:50 pm
Location: 0A13

Re-Learning how Societies Transform and Conflicts End: Investing in Long-Term Social and Political Change in Israel/Palestine

Speaker: John Lyndon, Global Executive Director of the Alliance for Middle East Peace and Research Fellow at King’s College London
Moderator: Rory Miller, Georgetown University in Qatar

For almost thirty years, peace building in Israel/Palestine has been pursued as a top-down, elite-driven strategy. At its outset, it capitalized on various social, economic and political trends—both locally and internationally—that were advantageous to conflict resolution. Over that time, however, many of these trends have slowed or reversed, as more disruptive and extreme actors have done the gradual, bottom-up work that historically shape societies over the long term. Though the goals of such actors are often far-fetched, messianic or irrational, they have largely operated with a cold pragmatic realism, and tactical discipline. Simultaneously, groups whose goals are sensible, rational and practical, have pursued those aims without a clear strategy to incrementally achieve success, with a naivety about social change and human nature that belies their self-perception as the “rational actors” in this paradigm. What can be learnt from the work of groups who have successfully disrupted their vision? How have successful conflict resolution exercises in other regions harnessed the bottom-up theory of change to shape attitudes and events over the long term, and how can Israeli and Palestinian peacemakers as well as the international community change course, so as to provide the next generation with the variables required for an end-of-conflict agreement?

John Lyndon’s expertise lies in conflict resolution and not-for-profit leadership. He became the founding European Director of the Alliance for Middle East Peace in April 2018, opening its office in Paris, before taking the role of Global Executive Director in August 2019. Prior to this, John served as Executive Director of OneVoice Europe (OVE) from 2009-2018, establishing it as one of the leading voices on Israel/Palestine in the UK, mounting events in the Houses of Parliament, the European Parliament and the Northern Ireland Assembly. In this time, John also co-designed several highly effective and visible campaigns in both Israel and Palestine, training hundreds of young volunteers and chairing joint meetings between Israeli and Palestinian civil society activists. Prior to his time at the helm of OneVoice, John ran Ethiopiaid Ireland, and has written and worked extensively on international affairs and conflict resolution for over a decade, appearing in media outlets such as the BBC, CNN, France 24 and Sky News. He has written for The Independent, Newsweek, and TIME Magazine. He holds a BA in English Literature and History from University College Dublin, and an MA in International Relations from the University of Sheffield, where he won the 2007 Bethan Reeves Prize for his research on the Middle East. A former member of the Under 35s Steering Committee at the Royal Institute of International Affairs at Chatham House, John is also a Visiting Fellow at King’s College London.

Sunday, December 1, 2019
ECON Talk:
1 - 2:15 pm
Location: 1D64

Sales and Markup Dispersion: Quantifying Misallocation

Speaker: Dr. Peter Neary, Professor of Economics at the University of Oxford and a Professorial Fellow of Merton College Oxford
Moderator: Alexis Antoniades, Georgetown University in Qatar

We characterize the analytic relationship between the distributions of two variables linked by a structural model. We then highlight four theoretical applications to models of heterogeneous firms in monopolistic competition. First, we ask which demand functions are consistent with productivity and sales distributions having the same form (whether Pareto, lognormal, or Fréchet) in the cross section. The answer is a new “CREMR” demand function (Constant Revenue Elasticity of Marginal Revenue). Second, we show that CREMR is also necessary and sufficient for Gibrat’s Law to hold over time. Third, we use our methodology to quantify misallocation at the microeconomic level (both in general and in the special CREMR case). Fourth, we characterize the distribution of markups implied by any assumptions on demand and productivity. Finally, we show in an empirical application using Indian firm-level data on sales and markups that CREMR-based distributions yield a parsimonious fit superior to many widely-used alternatives.

Peter Neary has held full-time positions at Trinity College Dublin and at University College Dublin where he was Professor of Political Economy from 1980 to 2006. In 2017-18 he was President of the Royal Economic Society. Born in 1950 in Drogheda, Ireland, Peter Neary was educated at University College Dublin and Oxford, where he completed his D.Phil. in 1978. He has been a post-doctoral Visiting Scholar at MIT and a Visiting Professor at Princeton, Berkeley, Queen's University (Kingston, Ontario), the University of Ulster at Jordanstown, and the Ecole Polytechnique, Paris. He was an editor of the European Economic Review from 1986 to 1990 and has served on a number of other editorial boards. He was President of the European Economic Association in 2002, and played a leading role in establishing the Journal of the European Economic Association

Wednesday, December 4, 2019
Seminar: 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Location: 0D09

Employers’ perceptions of the Arabic Language Competencies and Skills of GU-Q Graduates

Speaker: Dr. Eleanore Hargreaves, Reader in Learning and Pedagogy, Department of Curriculum, Pedagogy & Assessment, Institute of Education (IOE), University College of London (UCL)
Moderator: Hany Fazza, Georgetown University Qatar

In this talk, Dr. Hargreaves , as a PI in this project, will share and discuss with the audience the key findings and recommendations of this research study.

This research project aims to identify employers’ perceptions of the Arabic language competencies and skills they would like Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q) graduates to have and their needs as regards the Arabic language competencies and skills they would like these graduates to have. In addition, it will make these perceptions and needs of the employers available to the GU-Q Arabic language department leadership and instructors so that they would benefit from them for the program future improvement. It will aim to contribute to fill the gap in the literature and to recommend further research in this specific area. This research project has adopted a mixed-method approach. It has collected both qualitative and quantitative data using interviews and a questionnaire. It has adopted a thematic analysis for analyzing qualitative data and statistical analysis to analyze the quantitative data. Its findings and recommendations will be disseminated in Qatar and internationally in both professional and academic conferences. The research team are also planning to write and publish journal articles and book chapters using the findings and recommendations. Bio: Eleanore Hargreaves is Reader in Learning and Pedagogy at University College London (UCL), Institute of Education. She leads the MA Effective Learning and Teaching. Her research focuses on the experiences of pupils inside classrooms and how these influence learning and well-being. Her most recent publication is the SAGE book entitled Children’s experiences of classrooms and she was also co-author of The SAGE handbook of learning in 2015. She has worked in Egypt, Hong Kong, Macedonia, Pakistan and Qatar.

Eleanore Hargreaves is Reader in Learning and Pedagogy at University College London (UCL), Institute of Education. She leads the MA Effective Learning and Teaching. Her research focuses on the experiences of pupils inside classrooms and how these influence learning and well-being. Her most recent publication is the SAGE book entitled Children’s experiences of classrooms and she was also co-author of The SAGE handbook of learning in 2015. She has worked in Egypt, Hong Kong, Macedonia, Pakistan and Qatar.