On 11 April, 2017, Dr. Isa Blumi, Associate Professor at SUITS, was invited to speak at conference held jointly by the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) and the John Hopkins University SAIS Europe, Bologna. The theme of the New-Med conference was Regional (Dis)order in the Middle East: Historical Legacies and Current Shifts.

The panel that Dr. Blumi participated in discussed "Terms and Concepts in Historical Perspective." The goal of the panel was to trace terms commonly used in discussions about the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) to their historical origins, illuminating how historical discourse informs the perceptions and events of the present. Other panelists included Beth Baron (CUNY), Lorenzo Kamel (IAI and University of Freiburg), and Nora Lafi (Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient, Germany). The chair was Marwan Bishara from the Al Jazeera Media Network.

Two additional panels discussed the historical roots of MENA's conflicts. "Regional Order, Borders, and the Frailty of Authority" looked at the historical roots of weak states, failing and failed states, and weak and dysfunctional governance through a historical lens. "The Role of International and Regional Actors" examined the highly mixed historical legacy that extra-regional actors have had and what might happen in the future.