Robb Lectures on empires’ decline and rise

21 February 2011

The prominent political commentator and activist Tariq Ali will lecture on “Empire and its futures” at The University of Auckland next month.

As speaker at the 2011 Sir Douglas Robb Lectures he will deal in turn with three issues: “Islam and its discontents”, “US power today: The global hegemon”, “The rise of China”.

His lectures are on 17, 21 and 23 March (7pm) in the Fisher & Paykel Appliances Auditorium, Owen G Glenn Building, 12 Grafton Road.

Tariq Ali will discuss the likely outcomes of a changing world with American military power transcending US economic weaknesses, the amazing rise of China, and the continuing occupations in the Arab world and South Asia.

“Is it the case, as many argue, that the US empire is now in irretrievable decline? Will China flex its military muscles one day?”

His opening lecture is particularly topical, looking at the impact on the region and elsewhere as US-backed dictators crumble and fall in the Middle East, heralding a new Arab reawakening. He will also ask how these changes will affect the jihadi groups that have been active in the region.

London-based and published on every continent, Tariq Ali has been a leading figure of the international left since the 1960s. He is an editor of New Left Review and has written more than 20 books on world history and politics as well as seven novels.

Born in Pakistan he attended Oxford University where he became involved in student politics and the movement against the Vietnam war. He is a critic of neoliberal economics and his book The Clash of Fundamentalisms: Crusades, Jihads and Modernity was a response to 9/11. His latest book is The Obama Syndrome: War Abroad.

All are welcome at the Robb Lectures and admission is free. Full details are at