Uprisings in the Middle East: A Social Movement & Comparative Perspective
On Friday, March 25th, 2011, Middle East Studies@AU, in collaboration with Comparative and Regional Studies (SIS) and the Department of Government (SPA) hosted a public panel linking social movement theory to the recent uprisings and rebellions in the Middle East. The event, "Uprisings in the Middle East: A Social Movement & Comparative Perspective," offered scholars a chance to reflect on recent events in the Middle East from the perspective of their own fields, providing a rich analysis of the challenges and opportunities facing Tunisia, Egypt, and the broader region in the wake of large-scale collective protests.
The public panel, featuring insight and analysis from Jack Goldstone (School of Public Policy - George Mason University), Marc M. Howard (Department of Government - Georgetown University), Adrienne LeBas (Department of Government, School of Public Affairs - American University), Cathy Schneider (Comparative and Regional Studies, School of International Service - American University), and Diane Singerman (Department of Government, School of Public Affairs - American University), was filmed and is presented in clips below as part of the "Islam in Focus" series.
Comparing the spring 2011 uprisings in the Middle East to the 1989 revolutions in Eastern Europe, Professor Marc Howard identifies both similarities and differences between the movements but remains pessimistic about the ability of the "Arab Spring" to bring about consolidated democracy.
Comparing a wave of protests in Sub-Saharan Africa between 1990-1994 and the recent uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa, Adrienne LeBas identifies how large-scale collective protests in both regions preceded political reform.
Cathy Schneider compares Latin American movements for political reform to the uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa, examining the role of emotion and past precedent in helping protesters find the courage to take to the streets.