Gilles Kepel is a French political scientist and Arabist, specialised in the contemporary Middle East and Muslims in the West. He is Professor at the Université Paris Sciences et Lettres (PSL) and director of the Middle East and Mediterranean Chair at PSL, based at Ecole Normale Supérieure.He is also Professor at the Univeristà della Svizzera italiana and scientific director of the Middle East Mediterranean Freethinking Platform. He has extensively published and is author of several books. His latest book is Sortir du Chaos: Les crises en Méditerranée et au Moyen-Orient, Éditions Gallimard, 2018 (Uscire dal caos: le crisi nel Medio Oriente e nel Mediterraneo, Raffaello Cortina 2019).
In conversation with Armando Barucco, Head, Unit for Analysis, Planning and Historic Diplomatic Documentation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Italy
Ten years ago, the Arab Uprisings raised hopes for increased political participation, greater economic equality, and a new era of freedom for many people in the Mena region. Since then, however, civil wars, the strengthening of authoritarianism, the collapse of state structures, the growing economic discomfort precipitated the region into a vortex of instability and insecurity.Today, the economic and political consequences of the coronavirus pandemic add to the set of challenges the region was already facing, prompting fears for further chaos and instability.
Gilles Kepel, Professor, Paris Sciences et Lettres (PSL), École normale Supérieure and Università della Svizzera Italiana, France
Benedetta Berti, Head, Policy Planning, Office of the Secretary General, NATO
Benedetta Berti is a foreign policy and security researcher, analyst, consultant, author and lecturer. Her work focuses on armed groups and internal wars, analyzing the impact of insecurity on civilians and studying how to build more peaceful and resilient communities. An Eisenhower Global Fellow and a TED Senior Fellow, Benedetta Berti is also Associate Researcher at the Institute for European Studies at Vrije Universiteit Brussels and a Senior Fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute. In 2015 the Italian government awarded her the Order of the Star of Italy (order of Knighthood). Since 2018, she serves as Head of Policy Planning in the Office of the Secretary General at NATO.