The Program on Arab Reform and Democracy News
In a webinar dated June 2, 2021, Georgetown University Historian Abdullah Al-Arian analyzed how the Arab Uprisings have impacted Islamist movements throughout the region. By the eve of the uprisings, he argues, the posture of Islamist movements reflected a set of political commitments that had emerged largely at the expense of their ideological program and social mission.
In a webinar dated June 8, 2020, American University in Cairo Scholar Amr Adly presented findings from his new book Cleft Capitalism: The Social Origins of Failed Market Making in Egypt (Stanford University Press, 2020). Egypt has undergone significant economic liberalization under the auspices of the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, USAID, and the European Commission. Yet after more than four decades of economic reform, the Egyptian economy still fails to meet popular expectations for inclusive growth, better standards of living, and high-quality employment.
In a webinar dated, May 27, 2020, Ohio University Historian Ziad Abu-Rish analyzed the trajectory of Lebanon's Uprising and the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on the contemporary political scene. Abu-Rish examined the multiple crises manifesting in Lebanon today and their impact on the fate of the uprising that began in October 2019. While the currency, fiscal, and infrastructural crises were central to the making of Lebanon’s uprising, he argued, the novel strategic innovations that the protesters made were key to shaping its trajectory relative to past protests.
In a webinar dated May 12, 2020, Villanova University Scholar Samer Abboud examined the emergent "illiberal peace" in Syria. The absence of an internationally mandated or internally negotiated peace process, he argued, has allowed the Syrian regime to craft an illiberal peace as an outcome to the nearly decade-long conflict. This illiberal peace is shaped through a politics of exclusion in which Syrian society is bifurcated into the loyal and disloyal through processes of reconciliation, settlement, and new legal regimes of citizenship. Click below to watch the recording of the talk.
[The following article originally appeared in French in Le Soir]
Over the past 20 years of exile, I returned to Morocco sporadically to visit family and friends. Now, I am here indefinitely until the coronavirus pandemic passes. I have observed its effects upon my homeland as not just a proud Moroccan, but also a trained social scientist assessing how the Moroccan state has responded – and how new social dynamics can emerge from it.
ARD Conference Examines Authoritarian Upgrading, Popular Uprisings and Foreign Interventions in the Middle East
CDDRL’s Program on Arab Reform and Democracy held its annual conference at Stanford University on October 11 and 12, titled “The Struggle for Political Change in the Arab World.” The conference is an outgrowth of ARD’s efforts to support new research on the dynamics of political change in the countries of the Arab world.
In a talk dated October 7, 2019, Georgetown University Associate Professor of Government Daniel Brumberg analyzed the outcome of Tunisia’s legislative election and its implications for democratic consolidation in the country. Brumberg argued that the election provides a vital although not an easy opportunity to move beyond the power sharing, consensus-based political pact negotiated in 2014, to a more consolidated democracy.
In a talk dated May 31, 2019, UC Santa Cruz scholars Muriam Haleh Davis and Thomas Serres examined Algeria’s recent uprising, which led to the resignation of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika. The talk shed light on the protests, analyzing them both in a historical lens while also addressing the future prospects for democratic change and their implications for regional geopolitics.
Islamism has imitated, or colluded with, the state autocracies it claims to oppose. It has failed to suggest its own answers to economic problems, social justice, education or corruption, writes Hicham Alaoui in Le Monde diplomatique.
ARD 2018 Annual Conference Examines Dynamics of Governance and Political Participation in the MENA Region
Under the title “Political Contestation and New Social Forces in the Middle East and North Africa,” the Program on Arab Reform and Democracy convened its 2018 annual conference on April 27 and 28 at Stanford University.
How can we make sense of the tragedy in Syria? Northwestern University political scientist Wendy Pearlman has conducted open-ended interviews with more than 300 displaced Syrians across the Middle East and Europe from 2012 to 2017. She has brought together these personal stories in the acclaimed new book, We Crossed a Bridge and It Trembled: Voices from Syria (HarperCollins 2017).
In a talk dated October 24, 2017, CDDRL Senior Research Scholar Amr Hamzawy shared his ongoing research on the challenges that labor activists confront in Egypt’s post-2013 authoritarian environment. Titled “Labor Activism under Egypt’s New Authoritarianism,” the talk examined the various administrative, security, legislative, and judicial tools that the regime of Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi has employed to undermine labor activism. The event featured Stanford Professor of History Joel Beinin, who served as discussant.
The Program on Arab Reform and Democracy (ARD) at Stanford’s Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law (CDDRL) is pleased to welcome international media figure and Egyptian political satirist Bassem Youssef as a visiting scholar during the Fall of 2016. Dubbed the Jon Stewart of the Arab World, Youssef was the host of the popular TV political satire show Al-Bernameg, which was the first of its kind in the Middle East region.
As part of the Program on Arab and Reform and Democracy speaker series, Georgetown Scholar Joseph Sassoon discussed his recently released book in a talk on April 13, 2016. Titled Anatomy of Authoritarianism in the Arab Republics, the book examines the system of authoritarianism in eight Arab republics. It portrays life under these regimes and explores the mechanisms underpinning their resilience.
In a talk dated April 20, 2016, American University of Kuwait Scholar Farah Al-Nakib discussed her recently released book Kuwait Transformed: A History of Oil and Urban Life (Stanford University Press, 2016). The book traces the relationships between the urban landscape, patterns and practices of everyday life, and social behaviors and relations in Kuwait, from its settlement in 1716 through the bridge of oil discovery to the twenty-first century.
The Program on Arab Reform and Democracy (ARD) at Stanford’s Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law (CDDRL) is pleased to welcome Egyptian economist Samer Atallah as a visiting scholar for the 2015-16 academic year. Atallah has taught economics at the American University in Cairo (AUC) since 2011, and his work focuses on development economics and political economy of democratization.
As part of a talk titled "Tunisia's Pathway to Democracy," former Tunisian Ministry of Industry, Energy, and Mines Kamel Ben Naceur spoke at the Program on Arab Reform and Democracy on March 2, 2016 about his experience in the 2014 technocratic government, which was tasked with helping bring the country's democratic transition back on track after a period of political turbulence. Mr.