May 2, 2012

from UChicagoNews Website



Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Empire: Humanitarian Intervention

and Neo-Orientalism
All wars, even the most unjustifiably aggressive, are wrapped in the same

pretty rhetorical packaging


Duration 2:31:18
Recorded April 14, 2012
Published May 2, 2012
Presented by
Muslim Students Association at the University of Chicago
Produced by Chicago Multimedia Initiatives Group (CMIG)

Panel Discussion Featuring:

The uprisings of the Arab Spring, and the prolonged nature of the internal conflicts in Libya and Syria, have once again sparked debate over the status of international law and the use of military intervention to enforce human rights.


However, the discourse over humanitarian intervention has often overlooked the more unsavory aspects of liberal thought and Western power politics. This panel will explore the fundamental problems concerning Neo-Liberalism and its connections to the development of Neo-Orientalist thought.


The panel will begin with,

  • Professor Pitts providing the historical foundations of liberal thought and its relationship with the colonialist ventures of Western European nations

  • Professor Bassiouni will then discuss the development of international law in the post-World War era and its use as an instrument to advance the strategic goals of great powers of the Cold War Era

  • Mr. Greenwald will then contextualize the use of international law and humanitarian intervention to justify U.S. involvement in foreign countries, especially in the Middle East, as well as advance U.S. geo-political strategy in the post-Cold War Era

  • it will conclude with a discussion by Professor Ramadan on the academic study of Orientalism, the rise of Neo-Orientalism in conjunction with Neo-Liberalism, and influence of Neo-Orientalist thought in the formation of Neo-Liberalism and political policies towards the Middle East and beyond

Sponsored by,

  • Office of International Affairs

  • Deanís Fund for Student Life

  • Department of Political Science

  • Center for International Studies

  • Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture

  • Office of Multicultural Student Affairs

  • Center for Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Chicago

  • Human Rights Program

  • Student Government at the University of Chicago

Hosted by,

  • Muslim Students Association at the University of Chicago