War with ISIS, Alliances with Iran: Examining US foreign policy in Middle East
Tell a Friend About This EventTell a Friend

When: 9/24/2015
Where: Country Club Christian Church
6101 Ward Pkwy
Kansas City, Missouri  64113
United States
Contact: Dayna Marinan

Online registration is closed.
« Go to Upcoming Event List  




The United States, along with other world powers, negotiated this year an historic nuclear deal with Iran. In another huge foreign policy shift, Iran has shown interest in joining the international coalition's war against ISIS. An Iranian diplomat has said, "The time has come to put aside past differences and face the common enemy."

With these historic shifts, we have also seen strong resistance within and outside the United States to the nuclear deal with Iran. Whether or not the deal passes, we must continue to examine US relations with Iran, the war with ISIS, and US policy priorities in the Middle East.

Join us September 24 for what should be an interesting panel discussion.

Raj Bhala

Associate Dean
Rice Distinguished Professor

University of Kansas

School of Law

Michael Makara

Professor of Political Science

University of Central Missouri

Goran Ghafour

Doctoral student

 William Allen White School of Journalism

University of Kansas


Thursday, September 24

5:30-7:15 PM

Program will begin promptly at 5:45 PM.

Country Club Christian Church

6101 Ward Pkwy, Kansas City, MO

Located on Ward Parkway about 3 miles from the Country Club Plaza.

Free for IRC members.

Regular tickets:$10

Having problems registering for this event?

If you are a student at or employed by an IRC organizational member, or are otherwise unable to log in, contact us to register.

Email your name, organization name, and names of your guests to dmarinan@irckc.org.

You may also register by phone at 816-221-4204.

Unsure if your company or university is an IRC member?

Click here for a current list or ask us at irc@irckc.org. 

 Read more about our panelists:

Raj Bhala is an Indian-American lawyer and professor, prominent in the fields of International Trade Law and Islamic Law (Sharia). He is the Rice Distinguished Professor at the University of Kansas School of Law, and the Associate Dean for International and Comparative Law. Bhala is the author of 68 articles and 14 books.

Bhala’s articles appear in general and international law reviews, and five are in The International Lawyer, the award-winning, peer-reviewed journal of the American Bar Association (ABA) Section of International Law, which circulates worldwide to over 15,000 readers.

In Islamic Law, Bhala became the first non-Muslim American law professor to produce a textbook on the subject designed for English-speaking law students, teachers, and practitioners (Understanding Islamic Law (Shari’a)).

Michael Makara is an Assistant Professor of Comparative Politics and International Relations at the University of Central Missouri. Professor Makara's research focuses on politics in authoritarian regimes and civil-military relations, with a regional focus on the Middle East. 

He is currently working on two projects. The first studies the relationship between political instability and legislative development in Jordan. In doing so, it explores the role that seemingly democrative political institutions play in non-democratic contexts. The second explains why militaries across the Middle East reacted so differently to the Arab Spring protests, focusing specifically on Egypt, Syria, and Yemen. Professor Makara lived in Jordan for two years as a research fellow with both Fulbright and the American Center of Oriental Research (ACOR).

Goran Ghafour, a doctoral student at the William Allen White School of Journalism at the University of Kansas, is a native of Iraqi Kurdistan and worked as a journalist there for 10 years as a reporter in the field, editor-in-chief of the Kurdistan News Agency and as a novelist, having published three books on the Middle East. Ghafour came to KU in 2011 as a Fulbright Scholar and returned to get his Ph.D.

Ghafour's area of research is social media and democratization and social media's impact on global democracy- Middle East and North Africa focused.  His scholarly articles appear in peer-reviewed journals in the field of journalism and strategic communication such as Global Media Journal and International Communication Research Journal. Ghafour's doctoral dissertation tests the spiral of silence theory looking into journalist murder cases and impunity in Iraq.