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“Syria: A Responsibility to Protect?” with UN and Middle East experts Robert Riggs and Dave Benjamin at the University of Bridgeport, November 27

Leslie Geary
Monday, November 19, 2012

Syria’s protracted civil conflict has claimed over 35,000 lives to date and efforts to broker peace have failed thus far. What else can be done?

Learn more when the University of Bridgeport International College continues its lectures series with Dave Benjamin, an authority on the UN and the Responsibility to Protect, and Middle East expert Robert Riggs on “Syria: A Right to Protect? The Limits of International Intervention in Domestic Conflicts.”

It will be held November 27 at 6PM at the Shelfhaudt Gallery in the Arnold Bernhard Center, 84 Iranistan Avenue. It is free and open to the public.

In the midst of Syria’s humanitarian crisis, there have been increasing calls for international intervention to stop the bloodshed, but the UN Security Council has been deadlocked and several UN-appointed emissaries have failed to negotiate a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

Additionally, regional powers such as Iran, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey continue to intervene in various ways, increasing the possibility of the Syrian conflict spilling into neighboring states.

In this timely event, Drs. Benjamin and Riggs will discuss the modern history of Syria, the current conflict, and what role the UN can or should play in resolving this humanitarian crisis.

About the speakers:

Dr. Benjamin, an associate professor of global development at UB’s International College and Chairman of the Graduate Program in Global Development and Peace, has published on the challenges of implementing the Responsibility to Protect, and the limitations of sovereignty under the UN Charter.  He has also published on the Responsibility to Prosecute. 

Dr. Riggs is a specialist in the social history of Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq, with a focus on various Shi‘ite communities in these countries. He has published on sectarianism, Shi‘ite religious institutions, and their relationship with political authority. He has spent time researching in Syria, Lebanon and Jordan. He teaches in the International College’s World Religions Program and the Graduate Program in Global Development and Peace.

The lecture is co-sponsored by the International College of the University of Bridgeport, the Global Development and Peace Program, the Global Affairs Society, and the Alpha Gamma Pi chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha (The National Political Science Honor Society).

Media contact: Leslie Geary, (203) 576-4625, lgeary@bridgeport.edu