The Arab Spring in Comparative Perspective Conference
On June 4th and 5th, American University’s School of International Service, the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs, and the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, will see the launch of an innovative multinational research project:
The Arab Spring in Comparative Perspective: Dramatic Transitions in Recent Decades
The aim of this project is to consider the relevance of other dramatic transitions to an understanding of current developments in the Middle East and North Africa.
The “Arab Spring in Comparative Perspective” program will begin with a keynote address by Eric Berglof (Chief Economist and Special Adviser to the President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development). A series of panels will then explore specific facets of volatile transitional experiences: constitutional developments (including democratic reforms); justice and human rights issues; the evolving experiences of women and youth; and external pressures and interventions.
In each case, participants will present brief papers to suggest key patterns and dynamics that would warrant further consideration in an ongoing research and publication project emphasizing a comparative analysis approach. A concluding Round Table discussion will see commentators with expertise on the Middle East and North Africa reflecting on the possible relevance of multiple “transitional” experiences to understanding the dynamics and prospects of the “Arab Spring.”
This initial June 4-5 workshop will focus on experiences in Brazil, Mexico, Turkey, and Eastern Europe. (A follow-on workshop will take place in Toronto, which will consider South Africa, China, and India.