Marianne Laanatza holds a MA degree in Economic as well as in History and Political Science from Lund University in Sweden and did her Doctoral Research both in Empirical Conflict Research at Lund University and in Economics with focus on International Trade Politics at Stockholm University. Laanatza has from the beginning partly focused on the Middle East and North Africa in all her studies and research, and partly on International Trade Policies, particularly on Free Trade Agreements and Custom Unions. Her research area has widened to include Central Asia and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization etc. as well as Sub Saharan perspectives, in particular related to Trade Policy.
She has since 1981 been part-time and regularly working as senior lecturer at the universities of Lund, Stockholm and Uppsala on developing countries, particularly on Turkey, the Middle East including the Arab Gulf States and North Africa and Central Asia in history, politics, economics and international trade policies. Gender perspectives have always been included.
Laanatza has been teaching on and has had responsibility for courses in:
- History of the Islamic societies in the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia,
- Nation-building in Turkey, Middle East and North Africa,
- Economy and international trade policies in Turkey, the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia, including Islamic finance,
- Democratisation and current development in Turkey, the Middle East and North Africa, and in Central Asia, special courses with
- Focus on Iraq; economic and socio-political development,
- Focus on Maghreb; economic and socio-political development,
- Focus on the Arabian Peninsula; economic and socio-political development,
- Focus on Central Asia, economics and trade policy, including the Shanghai Cooperation Organization,
- Central Asia today; the socio-economic and political development of the societies
Furthermore Laanatza has also given lectures for the Master Program at the Centre for Middle Eastern Studies at Lund and for the Master Program on Central Asia at Stockholm Universities
She has, since 1994, been frequently lecturing, supervising and examining in the framework of international advanced training programmes for experts (especially within the governmental sector) related to international trade policies, in particular in the Middle East and North Africa, but also in other parts of Africa as well as in Asia. The training programmes for the Middle East and North Africa also include socio-economic and conflict preventing issues and, of course, gender perspectives.
Laanatza has during the years shared her time between the Academic work and work for Sweden’s National Board of Trade and Sweden’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs, as an expert on International Trade Policy in these Governmental Institutions. In the last mentioned capacity she has taken the responsibility for the preparations and investigations of trade negations and meetings in mixed committees between Sweden and different States, in particular Turkey, countries in the Middle East and North Africa as well as other developing countries, participated in such mixed committees’ meetings as an expert on trade policies and trade related issues. She has prepared the drafts for Free Trade negotiations between the EFTA countries visa vi Turkey and Israel. She has as an expert been involved in the processes related to the Free Trade Agreements between the EU and the countries in the MENA region, and in the development of the Customs Union between the EU and Turkey, Free Trade negotiations with the Arab Gulf Countries, as well as in the preparation of the Economic Partnership Agreements with the Sub Saharan countries etc.
Laanatza has also been consultant to different institutions/organisations such as the World Bank on trade policy regarding the Middle East and North Africa, to the EU Commission in issues related to the Middle East and North Africa and trade policy.
She has for years been a consultant to the Swedish International Development Co-operation Agency, Sida, involved in several projects related to the Middle East and North Africa, where some project were focusing on the West Bank and Gaza, and other on Sub Saharan African countries.
Laanatza has been a visiting lecturer at several universities in the US, including the University of Southern California in LA and George Washington University in Washington DC, University of Tsukuba in Japan, and in England, at SOAS in London and Exeter, in France at Toulouse and Aix-en-Province, in the Nordic Countries, at Bergen, Oslo and Odense, in the Middle East and North Africa, at Amman, Rabat, Al-Ain University in the UAE and Kuwait, and at the Birzeit University on the West Bank. She has also been a visiting researcher at the Gulf Organisation for Industrial Consulting (GOIC) in Doha, and invited as Speaker at MENA II Summit in Amman in 1996, lecturer at the Mediterranean Development Forum in Marrakech in 1997 etc. She also frequently lectures for international companies on the Middle East and North Africa concerning crises and conflicts and their impact on economic and strategic development, and she has often been used as an expert on Swedish TV channels, radio and newspapers, as well as lectures for several organizations and bodies in Sweden.
Marianne Laanatza is also one of the founders of MENA.SE, a Think Tank. The activities of MENA.SE cover academic and commercial analyses, seminars and conferences with the purpose to deepen the understanding and respect between people. MENA.SE has initiated several activities as seminars on political risk analyses regarding Turkey, the Middle East and North Africa, Analyses of the outcomes of the Free Trade Agreements in the MENA region, seminars on the women in the Arab Gulf Countries in cooperation with women from the Gulf region, Women and Entrepreneurship in Maghreb, conference on Islamic Finance together with the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) in Jeddah, held in Stockholm, and several MENA events at the Mediterranean museum including the Amazigh (Berber) Culture.
Laanatza has contributed to a number of academic publications and also written numerous reports for Swedish Governmental bodies. Some of them are listed below. They are either related to Empirical Conflict Research or to International Trade Policy.
- Co-operation between Arab States within the GCC, published by the National Board of Trade, Stockholm, 1983 (in Swedish),
- A comparative studies on minorities in Arab Countries, the cases of the Berbers in Algeria and Morocco and the Kurds in Iraq, in Regions in Upheaval, edited by S. Tägil, Lund, 1983
- Arab countries in economic co-operation, Institute for International Affairs, Stockholm, 1984 (in Swedish)
- Inter-Arab and Inter-Islamic economic co-operation in Swedish in; published by the Swedish Trade Council, Stockholm 1986 (in Swedish),
- Economic Aspects of the latest Gulf War, in Co-operation and Conflicts in the Persian Gulf area, published by the University of Lund, 1993 (in Swedish)
- Expected impact of the EU-Moroccan association agreement on Morocco’s trade possibilities, the World Bank 1995
- The Alevies in Turkey and the Alewites in Syria, a Comparative study, in Alevi Identity, edited by Olsson, Özdalga and Raudvere, Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul, 1998
- The impact of the external trade regulations on Palestinian economy, The World Bank, 1998
- Developing Countries and the outcome of the Uruguay Round, Sida, Stockholm, 1998 (in Swedish) (with focus on Sub-Saharan Africa)
- Developing Countries and their position in the WTO, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, 1999 (in Swedish) (with focus on Sub-Saharan Africa)
- The Berber question and Maghreb; Lund and Uppsala Universities, 2000
- The Barcelona process; the EURO-MED trade policy, Sida, Stockholm, 2001(in Swedish),
- The Least Developed Countries and World Trade, Sida, Stockholm, 2001 (together with Stefan de Vylder and Gunnel Axelsson Nycander) (with focus on Sub-Saharan Africa)
- Possibilities and Problems Related to Free Trade and Economic Co-operation with the EU: A Maghreb Perspective, in the Euro- Mediterranean Security and the Barcelona Process, edited by Huldt, Engman and Davidson, Strategic Yearbook 2003, Swedish National Defence College, Stockholm, 2003
- Sunni and Shia in Iraq – A politicization with uncertain ending (in Swedish) in Dragomanen No 7 – 2003, Stockholm
- The future of OPEC - three scenarios, (in Swedish) in Quo Vadis, Världen? – ‘Alternative Future Structures In International Politics’ edited by the Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI) Stockholm 2004
- The future of the WTO – three scenarios, (in Swedish) in Quo Vadis, Världen? – ‘Alternative Future Structures In International Politics’ edited by the Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI) Stockholm 2004
- Legitimacy and National Identification; Berbers’ Reactions to their Socio-Economic Conditions in Maghreb, published in About the Berbers – History, Language, Culture and Socio-Economic Conditions, edited by Isaksson, Bo and Laanatza, Marianne, Reports on Asian and African Studies, RAAS 2, Department of Linguistics and Philology, Uppsala University, Uppsala 2004
- Africa in the global trading system. International trade relations and agreements, published as a integrated part in Development of trade in Africa – Promoting exports through quality and product safety, by Ivar Foss with his project team (including Laanatza), Norad and Sida, Sida 2004
- The Prognosis for Saudi Arabia – Stability or Crises? A wider Middle East, edited by Huldt, Bo, Ries, Tomas, Mörtberg, Jan, Ohlsson, Kristina and Sandefelt, Johanna, Strategic Yearbook 2005, Swedish National Defence College, Stockholm, 2005
- Investigation of possibilities to promote regional economic development and growth in the MENA region - With focus on development of institutional capacity aiming to promote and strengthen competence related to implementation of trade policies and supply capacity in a regional perspective - a mapping related to Egypt, Jordan and Morocco and some aspects particularly concerning Lebanon and other parts of the MENA region – for Sida, published 2007
- Empowerment of oppressed identities in Morocco, Conference paper presented at the 7th NMS Conference in Helsinki, 2007
- The Complicated Relationship Between the EU and the Arab Gulf States Members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) - Broken negotiations and disappointments, paper presented at the 8th NMS Conference in Bergen, September 2010
- Strategies of Economic Development in Saudi Arabia, paper presented at the DAVO conference in Berlin in October 2011 (to be published)
- Turkey’s foreign policy strategy and foreign trade policy under the rule of the AKP, conference paper presented in 2011 and in a program in the Swedish Radio, P1 OBS.
- Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO); Trends and Tendencies, published in Central Eurasian Studies: Past, Present and Future, edited by Komatsu, H., Karasar, Ş., Dadabaev, T., Kurmangaliyeva Ercñlasun, G. Maltepe University, 2011
- Morocco and the Arab Spring, paper presented at the Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul, at a PhD course, September, 2012
- The growing influence of Saudi Women - a silent and remarkable innovation? A paper presented at BRISMES Conference in Dublin, 2013 (to be published)
- Islamic Finance in the Arab Gulf States - of Rapid Growing Importance , Conference Paper presented at the 9th NMS Conference, in Lund, September 2013 (to be published)
- Berber/Amazigh identity and mobilization in Maghreb, Conference Paper presented at the 9th NMS Conference, in Lund, September 2013 (to be published)
- Central Asia, Energy, and Trade Policies from the SCO’s Pespective. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization and Eurasian Geopolitics, New Directions, Perspectives, and Challenges, edited by Michael Fredholm, Stockholm International Program for Central Asian Studies (SIPCAS), NIAS Press, Copenhagen in the series of Asia Insights, 2013.
- Ibadi in Maghreb, Its roots, development and The Ibadis policies during the last decades, and participation in the Arab Spring , first presented at EARS conference, Södertörn University, 2012, and developed for a workshop at Södertörn University 2013, to be published in 2014
- Turkey and its economic policy towards Asia and its new formal relationship with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, presented at a conference in July 2013 organized by the Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s Research Centre in Shanghai, to be published in the autumn 2014
- Relations between majority and minorities – from the Berbers perspectives
in Algeria, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia, Conference paper presented at a Conference organized by the Swedish Institute in Alexandria and SRII, Stockholm and Lund Universities, in Istanbul in February 2014 (to be published)