Paul Wood

Kelman Seminar: Understanding ISIS

Monday, October 19, 2015, 4:30-6:00pm
Allison Dining Room, Taubman Building, 5th Floor, Harvard Kennedy School

Herbert C. Kelman Seminar on International Conflict Analysis and Resolution featuring speakers:

  • Paul Wood, BBC foreign correspondent and Fall 2015 Shorenstein Center fellow
  • Michael Hudson, Seif Ghobash Professor of International Relations and Arab Studies, Emeritus at Georgetown University; former Visiting Scholar at the Middle East Initiative, Harvard Kennedy School

This series is sponsored by the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs; the Nieman Foundation for Journalism; Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School; and Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy. This seminar is also cosponsored by the Middle East Initiative at Harvard Kennedy School. 

The theme of the 2015–2016 Herbert C. Kelman Seminar on International Conflict Analysis and Resolution is negotiation, conflict, and the news media. It explores the relationship between the news media and conflict-resolution efforts worldwide and examines how the framing and reporting of conflict influences the public understanding of events. The seminar considers ways to strengthen the capacity to prevent, resolve, and transform ethno-national conflicts. The topics this year include the rise of political Islam, domestic conflicts related to race, the impact of reporting techniques on conflict, the neuroscience of conflict, new threats to national security, and more. Speakers include experts from academia and the media, as well as political actors from conflict regions. For more information, contact Donna Hicks at

About the Speakers:

Paul Wood is a BBC world affairs correspondent, most recently based in Beirut. He is a Fall 2015 Joan Shorenstein Fellow at the Shorenstein Center. For the past four years he has covered the Syrian uprising, making a number of trips across the border from Lebanon and Turkey, often covert. He has reported first-hand on the growth of the insurgency, the siege in Homs, and the emergence of al-Qaeda and the Islamic State in Syria. Over the course of his career he has received numerous awards and was named Journalist of the Year by the UK Foreign Press Association. While at the Shorenstein Center, he will explore the moral dilemmas facing journalists and policymakers in Syria, especially in relation to the Islamic State.

Michael Hudson is the Seif Ghobash Professor of International Relations and Arab Studies, Emeritus, at Georgetown University, where he began as Professor of International Relations in 1979. He directed the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies in the Georgetown School of Foreign Service intermittently from 1979 to 2010. From 2010 to 2014, he was the first director of the Middle East Institute and Professor of Political Science at the National University of Singapore. He holds a B.A. from Swarthmore College and the M.A. and Ph.D. in political science from Yale University. He has held Guggenheim, Ford, and Fulbright fellowships and is a past president of the Middle East Studies Association. Among Hudson’s publications are The Precarious Republic: Political Modernization in Lebanon (1968, 1985); The World Handbook of Political and Social Indicators (1972, co-author); Arab Politics: The Search for Legitimacy (1977); The Palestinians: New Directions (1990, editor and contributor); and Middle East Dilemma: The Politics and Economics of Arab Integration (1999, editor and contributor). His most recent book is Gulf Politics and Economics in a Changing World (2014, co-editor and contributor). He has contributed to the BBC, PBS, National Public Radio, Al Jazeera, Channel News Asia, CNBC, Bloomberg TV, Thomson Reuters TV, CCTV, Jadaliyya, and major newspapers.