MEDirections Annual Conferences

Florence, 20-21 May 2021 (hybrid) Where Do We Start? Designing Steps Towards a Regional Security System in the Persian Gulf 

Florence, 24-25 September 2020 (online) Rethinking the “State” in Syria: Violence, Institutional Fragility and Economic Collapse

Florence, 21-22 October 2019 Conflicts and Natural Resources in the MENA Region and Its Immediate Neighbourhood

Florence, 19-20 November 2018 Exiting War Economy Dynamics: What Future for Stabilisation and Reconstruction in the MENA?


For more details and the programme please click here.

Florence, 3-5 July 2017 Beyond Borders and States: New Actors in the Globalised Middle East


The conference provided academic analysis and fieldwork-research findings on the main dynamics and actors that are transforming the region, as well as on the links between local dynamics and broader trans-national trends.

The conference was structured in three thematic panels, dedicated respectively to:

  • the social roots of radicalisation and violence, the transformations in the religious field and sectarianism;
  • the new forms of governance from above and from below that emerged after the Arab Spring as well as their interactions in the new regional order;
  • the conventional and unconventional diplomatic processes and initiatives, the role played by non-state actors, the faith-based diplomacy, the interplay between different levels and actors of mediation.

To conclude the conference, a roundtable with a selected group of international experts from the worlds of academia, practice and mass media discussed the key points highlighted in the three panels. The objective of this debate was to encourage connections, comparisons and further perspectives.

For more details and the programme please click here.

Florence, 10-11 March 2016

Rethinking the Middle East: Transformations, Flows and (Dis)orders


The MEDirections Annual Conference brought together over 40 researchers, policy-makers and activists working on the MENA region. It was the inaugural event of the new Middle East Directions Programme at the RSCAS. The main objective was to stimulate new approaches and policy responses to the many problems which affect the region and have a direct impact on Europe.

For more details and the programme please click here.