Arab Reform and Democracy Program

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"The Lost Springs" installation by Mounir Fatmi (Morocco), Venice Biennale 2011.
Photo credit: 
Lina Khatib

The Program on Arab Reform and Democracy at the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law at Stanford University examines the different social and political dynamics within Arab countries and the evolution of their political systems, focusing on the prospects, conditions, and possible pathways for political reform in the region.

This multidisciplinary program brings together both scholars and practitioners--from the policy making, civil society, NGO (non-government organization), media, and political communities--as well as other actors of diverse backgrounds from the Arab world, to consider how democratization and more responsive and accountable governance might be achieved, as a general challenge for the region and within specific Arab countries.

The program aims to be a hub for intellectual capital about issues related to good governance and political reform in the Arab world, producing sound, rigorous, and thoughtful academic research grounded in hands-on work in the Arab world and allowing diverse opinions and voices to be heard. It benefits from the rich input of the academic community at Stanford, from faculty to researchers to graduate students, as well as our partners in the Arab world and Europe.  

Following the mandate of the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule in which it is housed, the Program on Arab Reform and Democracy produces in-depth policy-relevant research.

Specific program activities include:

  • Multidisciplinary research: The program engages in policy-relevant, multidisciplinary research on several aspects of reform and democracy in the Arab world. This is achieved through both short- and long-term research projects on individual themes, as well as holistic research focusing on specific countries in the Arab world. Program research is carried out by members of the program team as well as by international partners.
  • Visiting Scholar program: The Program on Arab Reform and Democracy hosts internationally recognized scholars from diverse backgrounds at CDDRL to conduct and complete original research.
  • Internships: The program aims to create new internship opportunities for Stanford undergraduates to spend time in the Arab world and for Stanford graduate students to work with the Program at CDDRL.
  • Workshops and seminars: The program hosts a series of seminars and workshops, often in collaboration with partners at Stanford and elsewhere, as well as events in the Arab world.
  • Publications: The program is involved in the publication of the Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication, a multidisciplinary journal published by Brill, and publishes working papers, journal articles, and edited books.