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Middle East expert Steven Cook discusses Egypt and the future of the "Arab Spring" at Vassar on October 4, 2011.

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY—The Gillespie Forum and the World Affairs Council of the Mid-Hudson Valley will present a lecture by Vassar alumnus Steven Cook '90, the Hasib J. Sabbagh Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies at the Council of Foreign Relations (CFR) on Tuesday, October 4. Cook will discuss "Egypt and the Future of the 'Arab Spring.'" This program is co-sponsored by Vassar's Department of Political Science and the International Studies Program. Free and open to the public, the lecture will begin at 7:30pm in the Villard Room, located on the second floor of Vassar's historic Main Building. 

In an article posted on 20 September 2011 in Foreign Policy ("Egypts Identity Crisis"), Cook noted that: "Beyond the "hopes dashed" narrative . . . Egypt's seemingly tortured present actually reveals something relatively healthy -- the normalization of politics." In his lecture at Vassar he will share his observations of Egypt, the Mid East, and the future of the "Arab Spring." 

Cook is an expert on Arab and Turkish politics as well as U.S.-Middle East policy. Cook's most recent book, The Struggle for Egypt: From Nasser to Tahrir Square (Oxford University Press, Fall 2011), was described by Daniel Kurtzer, a professor at Princeton University and former U.S. Ambassador to Egypt and Israel, as: "A sweeping history of modern Egypt, this timely book will appeal to foreign policy professionals, academics and the general public. It is a reliable single source for understanding the flow and complexities of Egyptian politics, especially since the 1952 revolution." He also is the author of Ruling But Not Governing: The Military and Political Development in Egypt, Algeria, and Turkey (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007). In addition, he has published widely in a variety of foreign policy journals, opinion magazines, and newspapers including Foreign AffairsForeign PolicyWall Street JournalJournal of DemocracyThe Weekly StandardSlate, and The New Republic as well as online for the New York TimesWashington PostFinancial TimesInternational Herald Tribune, and Survival. Cook is also a frequent commentator on radio and television. He currently writes the blog, “From the Potomac to the Euphrates” ( http://blogs.cfr.org/cook/), which includes observations from his current trip to Egypt. 

Prior to joining CFR, Cook was a research fellow at the Brookings Institution (2001–2002) and a Soref research fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (1995–96). He holds a BA degree in international studies from Vassar College, an MA in international relations from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and both an MA and PhD in political science from the University of Pennsylvania. Cook speaks Arabic and Turkish and reads French. 

About the Sponsors:

The Gillespie Forum was founded in 1988 by June Gillespie in memory of her husband Aaron Gillespie. Its mission is to inform and engage the community by presenting viewpoints, programs, and speakers on significant issues. The Forum cooperates with local colleges and organizations to host events, lectures and film screenings on diverse topics ranging from the crisis in contemporary media to the Holocaust, and from Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt to terrorism (http://www.gillespieforum.org/).

The World Affairs Council of the Mid-Hudson Valley offers non-partisan information and educational opportunities to promote citizen understanding and participation in world affairs. The Council is particularly committed to reaching high school and college youth through school outreach, collaborative programming, and internships. They offer a series of lectures in the fall and spring at college campuses in the Mid-Hudson Valley (http://www.hvworldaffairscouncil.org/).

The Department of Political Science offers a major in political science and correlate sequences (minors) in each of the four principal subfields of the discipline: American politics, comparative politics, international politics, and political theory. Vassar graduates with degrees in political science pursue careers in numerous areas, including politics, government, public administration, law, journalism, education, filmmaking, business, and finance. Many work for nongovernmental organizations concerned with particular social, political, and economic issues (http://politicalscience.vassar.edu).

Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodations at Vassar should contact the Office of Campus Activities at (845) 437-5370. Without sufficient notice, appropriate space and/or assistance may not be available. Directions to the Vassar campus are available at www.vassar.edu/directions.

Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential liberal arts college founded in 1861. 

Posted by Office of Communications Tuesday, September 20, 2011