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About Fred Halliday

Fred Halliday (1946-2010) was most recently Institució Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avançats / Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies (ICREA) research professor at the Institut Barcelona d'Estudis Internacionals (Barcelona Institute for International Studies / IBEI). He was from 1985-2008 professor of international relations at the London School of Economics (LSE), and subsequently professor emeritus there

Fred Halliday's many books include Political Journeys: The openDemocracy Essays (Saqi, 2011); Caamaño in London: the Exile of a Latin American Revolutionary (Institute for the Study of the Americas, 2010); Shocked and Awed: How the War on Terror and Jihad Have Changed the English Language (IB Tauris, 2010); 100 Myths about the Middle East (Saqi, 2005); The Middle East in International Relations: Power, Politics and Ideology (Cambridge University Press, 2005); Two Hours That Shook the World: September 11, 2001 - Causes and Consequences (Saqi, 2001); Nation and Religion in the Middle East (Saqi, 2000); and Revolutions and World Politics: The Rise and Fall of the Sixth Great Power (Palgrave Macmillan, 1999)

Fred Halliday died in Barcelona on 26 April 2010; read the online tributes here

Articles by Fred Halliday

This week’s front page editor


Sunny Hundal is openDemocracy’s social media editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Yemen: murder in Arabia Felix

Yemen tends to be propelled into the media spotlight only with such incidents as the bombing of the USS Cole in October 2000 or the killing of seven Spanish tourists in July 2007. But its modern political history deserves to be more widely known on its own account, says Fred Halliday.

Lebanon, Gaza, Iraq: three crises

The explosion of violence in Lebanon and Palestine is the culmination of long-term shifts in the balance of power between states and armed groups in the middle east. It is ever more clear that the outcome in Iraq will be decisive for the region's future, says Fred Halliday.

Crises of the middle east: 1914, 1967, 2003

The reverberations of the Iraq war will be as profound for the future of the middle east as were two epic dates in its 20th-century past, says Fred Halliday.

Palestinians and Israelis: a political impasse

Forty years after the six-day war of June 1967, the prospects for a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict seem as remote as ever. It doesn't have to be this way, says Fred Halliday.

The Malvinas and Afghanistan: unburied ghosts

The unnecessary conflict in the south Atlantic in 1982 between Britain and Argentina helped sow the seeds of more momentous and destructive wars, says Fred Halliday.

Ireland: ends and beginnings

The historic deal between the hardline representatives of Northern Ireland's two political blocs is an occasion to banish global sentimentalism about Ireland, says Fred Halliday.

Al-Jazeera: the matchbox that roared

Al-Jazeera's achievement is to have become at once global brand, Arab window on the world, and challenge to western perspectives on the "war on terror". Fred Halliday, in his fiftieth openDemocracy column, visits the Qatar-based broadcaster.

The matter with Iran

The key to understanding Iran's contemporary role in the middle east is less its millennia of statehood or its Shi'a identity than its political dynamic as a revolutionary state, says Fred Halliday.

Sunni, Shi'a and the 'Trotskyists of Islam'

The tensions between Islam's two major traditions are rooted more in current geopolitics than in differences of faith, says Fred Halliday.

Auschwitz's 21st-century legacy

The Nazi destruction of Europe's Jews must be the object of vital, engaged historical reflection as well as commemoration if humanity is to gain its entry-ticket into the 21st century, says Fred Halliday.

The Left and the Jihad: a 'liberal' riposte

Is the modern left collusive with radical Islamism? Fred Halliday defends his argument against Fouzi Slisli & Jacqueline Kaye's critique.

A 2007 warning: the world's twelve worst ideas

The world is full of conformism masquerading as profundity, says Fred Halliday, who explodes twelve global falsehoods.

Expecting rain: a letter from Jerusalem

In the city at the centre of the Israel-Palestine dispute, worried Israelis and defiant Arabs wait, worry, argue, and plan, finds Fred Halliday.

The end of the Vatican

The religious and political agenda of Pope Benedict XVI's visit to Turkey confirms the bad faith that lies at the heart of the papacy, argues Fred Halliday.

Robert M Gates: from cold war to long war

How will Donald Rumsfeld's successor as United States defence secretary cope with war in Iraq, crisis over Iran, and repositioning the US's global profile? Fred Halliday draws some clues from an interview with the veteran cold warrior.

Paths of history: letter from Nottingham

Robin Hood or DH Lawrence, brigandage or libido? A modern English city's choice is for Fred Halliday a lesson in radicalism.

España: memory for the future

Spain's public life has long stifled discussion of the 1936-39 civil war in a "pact of silence". With the end of oblivion comes a slow, painful opening of minds, writes Fred Halliday in Barcelona.

Lula 'de novo': a letter from Brazil

Brazil's government, led by President Lula, has presided over a wave of corruption scandals and proved unable to bridge immense social divisions. But voters still seem prepared to give Lula another chance, reports Fred Halliday in Rio de Janeiro.

Warsaw's populist twins

The political ascendancy of the Kaczynski twins is a regressive break with the country's post-1989 political development, says Fred Halliday.

Lebanon, Israel, and the 'greater west Asian crisis'

The Lebanon war is one component of the crisis of a new geopolitical region - "greater west Asia" - whose dangers are comparable to those of Europe in 1914, says Fred Halliday.

In time of war: reason amid rockets

The violent conflict in the middle east makes it ever more urgent to listen to voices of universalism and human solidarity in the spirit of Isaac Deutscher and Hannah Arendt, says Fred Halliday.

A Lebanese fragment: two days with Hizbollah

An in-depth encounter with Hizbollah in the group's Lebanese heartlands gives Fred Halliday an unmatched insight into the "party of God's" long-term thinking and strategy.

Finland's moment in the sun

Finland's presidency of the European Union will find the experience of its unique cold-war history valuable in the effort to improve relations with Russia and the Muslim world, says Fred Halliday in Helsinki.

Letter from Ground Zero

The momentous changes in world politics provoked by the 9/11 attacks have still not been recognised in the United States itself, reports Fred Halliday in New York.

The forward march of women halted?

To what extent have the movements for women's emancipation that emerged in the 1960s and 1970s achieved their ambitions? Fred Halliday draws up a balance-sheet.


Terrorism and delusion

The experts and the statistics say that the terrorist threat is diminishing. Fred Halliday takes a deeper look.

The attorney-general comes to town

Alberto Gonzales's evasions and apologetics about torture expose the United States administration’s wider moral blindness, says Fred Halliday.

Iran vs the United States - again

Washington's confrontational rhetoric and wishful thinking about "regime change" is fuelling the power of Tehran's own hardline rulers, says Fred Halliday.

Blasphemy and power

The theological and historical rhetoric of the cartoon dispute conceals its central message: the creation of a modern, unified field of world politics, says Fred Halliday.

The United Nations vs the United States

The United Nations enters its seventh decade seeking to recapture the vigour and influence of its early years. Fred Halliday examines a troubled institution.

Panic on the Potomac

A beleaguered White House and its Republican cohorts can no longer evade the political damage that the Iraq war is inflicting on American perceptions, reports Fred Halliday in Washington.

The 'Barcelona process': ten years on

The Euro-Mediterranean Partnership marks its tenth anniversary with a major conference in Barcelona. Fred Halliday assesses the record of a diplomatic initiative that seeks to make the Mediterranean a region of dialogue between Europe, the Arab world, and beyond.

The contest for the Caspian

The energy sources, trade routes and political faultlines of the Caspian region make it a key arena of competition between Russia, China, Iran and various ex-Soviet states. Fred Halliday reports from a conference in Cambridge, England.

A transnational umma: reality or myth?

The notion of a global jihad animating a universal, boundary-dissolving Islamic community is compelling to many. Fred Halliday assesses its truth.

Maxime Rodinson: in praise of a 'marginal man'

Fred Halliday, attending a European-Arab studies seminar in Aix-en-Provence, reaffirms an ancient solidarity with Maxime Rodinson, the great French-Jewish scholar of the Arab and Muslim world.
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