New Brookings-Stanford scholarly collaboration provides recommendations for Arab transitions

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The Program on Arab Reform and Democracy at Stanford University's Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law is pleased to announce a joint venture with the Brookings Doha Center (BDC) to examine democratic transitions underway in the Arab world. The BDC-Stanford “Project on Arab Transitions” will engage both Arab and Western scholars and practitioners from diverse backgrounds to generate comprehensive analysis and offer recommendations to help inform policymaking and development assistance in both the Arab world and the broader international community. The collaboration was born out of the need to generate cross-regional scholarship and address the ongoing transitions in a more systematic manner.

“This partnership brings together the complementary strengths of two great institutions to generate original scholarship that unites the scholarly and policy worlds during a critical period of transition underway in the Arab world," said CDDRL Director Larry Diamond. "We are hopeful that it will provide guidance to the international community and Arab governments as they work to build democratic institutions in post-revolutionary societies."

The BDC-Stanford scholarly collaboration seeks to provide concrete and practical recommendations to Arab governments and the international policy community. The series of policy papers produced will analyze and illuminate the key issues facing the transition period, including electoral design, constitution-drafting, political party development, and national dialogue processes.

“We are excited to be working with a top university like Stanford University to produce cutting-edge research on the critical issues facing transitional countries like Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya,” said Salman Shaikh, the director of the Brookings Doha Center. “This will be a vital addition to the literature surrounding these transitions and policymakers’ understanding of them.”

The first paper in the BDC-Stanford Project on Arab Transitions series released today is authored Dr. Tamir Moustafa of Simon Fraser University in Canada and author of The Struggle for Constitutional Power: Law, Politics, and Economic Development in Egypt. Using Egypt as a case study, Moustafa highlights the deficiencies of the constitution-writing process to serve as an example to other Arab countries as they embark on their own national projects. In addition, Moustafa offers key recommendations to the international community, as well as to Egypt’s Constituent Assembly on the various statutes, provisions, and conditions that should be included in the document to ensure that human rights protections, judicial independence, and institutions of governance are enforced.

A forthcoming paper in the series will be authored by Ellen Lust from Yale University on the topic of electoral processes during democratic transition, drawing on recent experiences in Egypt and Tunisia.

For more information on The Project on Arab Transitions and the BDC-Stanford collaboration, please click here.