Key speaker: Professor Tim Jacoby (Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute, University of Manchester).

The Sunni uprising and the rise of the “Islamic State” in Iraq and Syria have been (mis)represented by 'Culture Talk'. Culture Talk has

  • Served to obscure the origins of the uprising and the West’s role therein
  • Portrayed the uprising as principally motivated by faith – that held by “bad” Muslims
  • Represented the uprising as theologically evil by focusing on one particular protagonist
  • Overlooked the fundamentally political objectives of the uprising

These four (mis)representations are explained by the Western policy imperatives of reinventing the outcome of its involvement in Iraq, recruiting the support of “good” Muslims, justifying a military response against “bad” Muslims and depicting resistance to this as culturally anti-modern.

Comments: dr. Tine Gade(Department of Cultural Studies and Oriental Languages, University of Oslo)

Chair: Jacob Høigilt, PRIO.

Tim Jacoby joined the Global Development Institute at the University of Manchester in 2003 where he is now Professor. In 2009, he co-founded the Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute at the University of Manchester.
His research covers a wide range of topics and areas in the Middle East, focusing on the themes of political violence, civil society, Islam, nationalism and post-conflict reconstruction He is the author of several books and more than 25 articles in international journals. His two most recent books are Understanding Conflict & Violence: Interdisciplinary and Theoretical Approaches (Routledge, 2007) and Peace in Turkey 2023: The Question of Human Security and Conflict Transformation, (Lexington, 2012).