The third ARD annual conference examineي the challenges, key issues, and ways forward for social and economic development in the Arab world during this period of democratic transition.
Turkey redefined its geographical security environment over the last decade by deepening its engagement with neighboring regions, especially with the Middle East. The Arab spring, however, challenged not only the authoritarian regimes in the region but also Turkish foreign policy strategy. This strategy was based on cooperation with the existing regimes and did not prioritize the democracy promotion dimension of the issue. The upheavals in the Arab world, therefore, created a dilemma between ethics and self-interest in Turkish foreign policy.
The roots of the revolts known as the Arab Spring lie in many sources but one of the leading causes was the high rates of unemployment, low skill levels, and the growth of the youth populations. Now Arab governments are faced with the dual challenges of creating new political and economic systems that can meet the needs and demands of the peoples of their countries. This presentation will focus on the role of the private sector and the need to build an entrepreneurial eco-system that can foster rapid economic growth.
The fourth annual conference of the Program on Arab Reform and Democracy (ARD) organized in collaboration with the University of Tunis, El Manar and the Centre d'études maghrébines à Tunis (CEMAT), took place in Tunis on March 28 and 29, 2013. The conference theme 'Building Bridges: Towards Viable Democracies in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya' examines the cornerstones of democratic transition in those countries.