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Expert Sources on the Iraq War

June 15, 2006

The following University of California, Davis, faculty members are available to comment on aspects of the aftermath of the Iraqi war. If you need assistance on similar topics, please call Susanne Rockwell, News Service, (530) 752-9841, sgrockwell@ucdavis.edu, or Julia Ann Easley, News Service, (530) 752-8248, jaeasley@ucdavis.edu.

War and politics

  • Modern Islam, human rights and war
  • Politicians' accountability during occupation
  • Security issues

Governance and economy

  • Dilemmas for democracy
  • Economics in the Middle East
  • Democracy and economics

Legal issues

  • International criminal law, human rights
  • Guantanamo Bay
  • Women's human rights

Media and culture

  • Media coverage
  • Losses to the classics


MODERN ISLAM, HUMAN RIGHTS AND WAR -- Historian Keith Watenpaugh, associate professor of modern Islam, human rights and peace, can speak on a wide variety of topics regarding Iraq, its history and prospects for peace and, more generally, the Middle East, where he has conducted extensive research. Watenpaugh has written and spoken on campuses around the country on issues raised by the U.S.-led invasion and occupation of Iraq, in particular the challenges facing Iraq's intellectuals and college and university professionals, as well as threats to cultural heritage. He is the author of "Being Modern in the Middle East: Revolution, Nationalism, Colonialism and the Arab Middle Class" (2006). He is currently editing the volume "The Arab Intellectual and the Question of Modernity" and finishing a second book, "It Made Orphans of Their Children and Widows of their Wives: Human Rights Abuse and the Formation of the Modern Middle East." Contact: Susanne Rockwell, News Service, (530) 752-9841, sgrockwell@ucdavis.edu.

POLITICIANS' ACCOUNTABILITY DURING OCCUPATION -- Increasing numbers of American deaths in Iraq can be expected to lose political support for the occupation as U.S. public opinion changes, says Scott Sigmund Gartner, associate professor of political science at UC Davis. Gartner can explain how sharp declines in public support for the Bush administration's effort are related to low public expectations of casualties and disinterest in the American occupation. Gartner is an expert in the political relationship of war and casualties, wartime military decision-making, military strategy, and measuring progress in war. He wrote "Strategic Assessment of War," which studies how military progress is evaluated in wartime, and has published many articles on war, strategy, the impact of casualties on public opinion and politics, and U.S. foreign policy. Contact: Scott Gartner, Political Science, (530) 752-3065, ssgartner[at]ucdavis.edu. (Gartner will not be available July 15-Aug. 15.)

SECURITY ISSUES -- Zeev Maoz, political science professor at UC Davis, is an expert on Middle East security, including politics, economics and strategic military issues. He can talk about domestic instability in the Middle East, including Iraq and Israel, as a result of the war, as well as about more general Middle East political problems. The former director of Tel Aviv University's Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies, Maoz has a new book, "Defending the Holy Land?" Contact: Zeev Maoz, Political Science, (530) 752-1989, zmaoz@ucdavis.edu.


DILEMMAS FOR DEMOCRACY -- Because the new Iraqi government has been constructed along ethnic and sectarian lines, with power-sharing practices, it is already creating problems for governance as the factions struggle for power, says UC Davis political science professor Donald Rothchild. An expert on ethnic conflict and governance in Africa, Rothchild was until recently part of a scholarly team researching power-sharing and peace-making through a grant from the Carnegie Foundation of New York. He is co-editor of "Sustainable Peace: Democracy and Power-Dividing Institutions After Civil Wars" (2006) and a new book, "Africa-U.S. Relations: Strategic Encounters" (2006). Contact: Donald Rothchild, Political Science, (530) 752-2636, dsrothchild@ucdavis.edu.

ECONOMICS IN THE MIDDLE EAST -- Elias Tuma, UC Davis professor emeritus of economics, can talk about the challenges of rebuilding Iraq, economic development and political stability in the Middle East. A specialist in Middle East political economies, Tuma has written about food and population; economics and political change; the economics of Middle East peace; and poverty, unemployment and inequity in the Arab world. Tuma has served as consultant for the United Nations and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. He teaches a class on political economy in the Middle East. Contact: Elias Tuma, Economics, (530) 889-1991 home, tuma@vfr.net.

DEMOCRACY AND ECONOMICS -- Iraq will need sustainable democratic political and economic institutions as well as a well-coordinated international aid program to restructure its economy, says Hossein Farzin, a UC Davis professor of agricultural and resource economics who specializes in the Middle East. A former economist and consultant for the World Bank, Farzin has advised Kuwait, Iran and the United Arab Emirates on their economies. He can talk about how Iraq's recovery will be dependent on a stable democratic government in tandem with economic planning, with a heavy dose of patience. "It is, however, important to note that building democratic institutions does not take place overnight; it requires patient and steady work at the very grass root of a society," he says. "Nor can it be imposed from outside in a straight-jacket model, without careful attention to the each society's historical, geographical, social, and economic background." Contact: Hossein Farzin, Agricultural and Resource Economics, (530) 752-7610, farzin@primal.ucdavis.edu.


INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL LAW, HUMAN RIGHTS -- Professor Diane Marie Amann of the UC Davis School of Law is an expert in international criminal law, human rights and constitutional law. A member of the board of advisers of the National Institute of Military Justice, she can offer comment on military justice, the Haditha affair, the Saddam Hussein trial and the detention of alleged terrorists. She is author of "Military and Civilian Justice in the United States and the Post-September 11 Military Commissions" as part of "The Changing Faces of Military Justice and Special Tribunals as They Confront International Law," a 16-country research project of the Mixed Comparative Law Research Unit of Paris. This month, she writes about the U.N. Committee Against Torture urging an end to Guantanamo detention for the American Society of International Law. Her other writings, including "Abu Ghraib," in the University of Pennsylvania Law Review in 2005, and "Guantanamo," published in 2004 in the Columbia Journal of Transnational Law, have examined legal issues related to the United States' post-Sept. 11 campaign against terror. Contact: Diane Marie Amann, School of Law, (310) 873-8552, dmamann@ucdavis.edu.

GUANTANAMO BAY -- Professor Anupam Chander of the UC Davis School of Law says "the legal black hole of Guantanamo Bay" must be closed decisively by transferring the land to a trusteeship for the Cuban people and yielding control over the harbor to an international body. The professor, who studies international law, says a legal trick -- in which the United States exercises absolute control and concedes that another nation has sovereignty -- has allowed the U.S. government to detain people in Guantanamo without giving them access to lawyers or courts. Quitting Guantanamo, he says, will help demonstrate the United States' commitment to not be an imperial power. Among the courses Chander teaches is one on public international law. Contact: Anupam Chander, School of Law, (530) 754-5304, achander@ucdaivs.edu.

WOMEN'S HUMAN RIGHTS -- Professor Madhavi Sunder of the UC Davis School of Law is an expert on women's human rights in Muslim countries and communities. With law and culture as the focus of her scholarship, Sunder says international human rights law often fails to address women's rights under even the most oppressive regimes because such law is reticent to interfere with religion and culture. A 2006 Carnegie scholar, she is researching and writing a book about activists working for the reform of women's rights in Muslim countries. Sunder published a leading article on women's rights activism in the Muslim world, titled "Piercing the Veil," in the Yale Law Journal in 2003. Her related article on dissent within cultural groups was published in the Stanford Law Review in 2001. Contact: Madhavi Sunder, School of Law, (530) 752-2896, msunder@ucdavis.edu.


MEDIA COVERAGE -- Because it has been more than three years since the U.S. overcame Saddam Hussein's regime, the media is increasingly being challenged by how to cover an ongoing insurgency, says John Theobald, a lecturer in the UC Davis Department of Communication. He can comment on how the public is affected by media coverage of the war as well as the politics that print and broadcast media encounter in attempting to communicate war news to the public. Television reporters, in particular, are having a difficult time covering Iraq, Theobald says, because wars are generalized and have spread-out activities. "TV lends itself to covering localized events: 9/11 lent itself to TV, as Pearl Harbor would have, but the Iraq War doesn't, as WW II wouldn't have," he explains. Theobald teaches "The Media Industry," "Media Analysis" and "News Policies and Practices." Theobald is a former television news producer. Contact: John Theobald, Communication, (530) 752-4916 MTW office, (707) 942-1132 home, (707) 322-6340 cell, theobald@att.net.

LOSSES TO THE CLASSICS -- Lynn Roller, professor of classics and art history, can speak about the impact of the looting in Iraq's museums and its consequences for scholarship. She is knowledgeable about historic monuments and urban centers in what was once Mesopotamia and is now Iraq and southeastern Turkey. Roller also can talk about the art and archaeological monuments of the ancient Near East, Egypt, Greece and Rome. An archaeologist with many years of research experience in Turkey, Roller recently won the Wiseman Prize, given by the Archaeological Institute of America, for the outstanding book of the year in classical archaeology for her book "In Search of God the Mother: The Cult of Anatolian Cybele" (1999). Contact: Lynn Roller, Classics, (530) 752-1062, leroller@ucdavis.edu.

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