2012 Levi Della Vida Conference:"Structures of Personalized Power in the Modern Middle East: Presidents, Prime Ministers and Party Bosses" Keynote Address

Keynote lecture by 2012 Levi Della Vida Award recipient Roger Owen, Harvard University

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Duration: 54:12

The Giorgio Levi Della Vida Award is given to outstanding scholars whose work has significantly and lastingly advanced the study of Islamic civilization. This year, the 2012 Levi Della Vida Award honors the scholarship of Roger Owen.

Roger Owen is currently the A.J.Meyer Professor of Middle East History at Harvard University and a former director of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at the same university. He previously taught Middle East political and economic history at Oxford University where he was also many times the Director of the St Antony's College Middle East Centre.

His books include: Cotton and the Egyptian Economy; The Middle East in the World Economy: 1800-1914; State, Power and Politics in the Making of the Modern Middle East (3rd revised edition 2004); and Lord Cromer: Victorian Imperialist, Edwardian Proconsul. He is also the co-author (with Sevket Pamuk) of A History of the Middle East Economies in the Twentieth Century.

His most recent book, published by Harvard University Press in 2012, The Rise and Fall of Arab Presidents for Life, examines the monarchical presidential regimes, exposing the origins and dynamics of a governmental system that largely defined the Arab Middle East in the twentieth century and which came to an end, effectively, with the revolutions of the "Arab Spring".

He has written a regular column for the Arabic newspaper, Al-Hayat, since the late 1980s.