Four research themes
The Middle East in the Contemporary World (MECW)
The Middle East in the Contemporary World (MECW) is a multi- and transdisciplinary strategic research area, hosted and supported by the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, comprising staff from five different faculties at Lund University.
MECW was established through Swedish government funding under the Swedish Government Strategic Research Area initiative, launched in the research and innovation bill of 2008. Middle Eastern Studies in Lund were recognized as one of a small number of research environments in Swedish Higher Education institutions deemed to be “of the highest international quality”, and “to contribute towards dealing with important societal challenges”.
Processes, flows, mobilities, power relationships and debates
MECW brings together national and international expertise on Middle Eastern societies, looking beyond the ”Middle East” as a mere geopolitical region. We explore the ”Middle East” as a fluid and transregional concept, focusing on processes, flows, mobilities, power relationships and debates about it.
Within MECW, we look at the Middle East from several different perspectives. We examine the actual region(s) that have been historically recognized as comprising the Middle East, the politics, cultures, economies of the societies they encompass, the processes of production of knowledge on and representations of the Middle East.
"We also study the ways in which the Middle East is present globally; the communities, ideas and cultural influences that originate in the Middle East and their trajectories, interactions and impacts in other parts of the world."
Strategic Research Area
There are 43 research environments in Swedish Higher Education institutions that have acquired Strategic Research Area Status, most in medicine, technology and the natural sciences.
"Excellent" in 2014 Evaluation by the Swedish Research Council
"MECW … has excellent publication performance, international and cross-disciplinary collaboration and expertise in combining knowledge in politics, industry and community in the Middle East. There is good integration with education at the MSc level with students involved in research, and they provide training courses for ABB that operates in the Middle East. There is a strong media presence concerning Middle Eastern issues and with the current turbulence in the Middle East and their broad scope and excellence, this SRA brings genuine added value. (STRATEGIC RESEARCH AREA INITIATIVE 2010–2014, p. 35"
State of the art critical knowledge
MECW is committed to producing much needed state of the art information and critical knowledge on the Middle East to the academic, as well as the policy, business and advocacy community and the broader public. To this end, run a number of innovative research, outreach and educational projects and programs, organised into broad and partially overlapping themes:
- Democratization and Social Development
- Multicultural Societies and Minorities
- Environment and Sustainable Development
- Processes of Interpretation
- Identity Formation