Sponsored by the American University of Beirut Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs, the Princeton University Bobst Center for Peace and Justice in collaboration with the Project on Middle East Political Science (POMEPS), the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies Workshop on Arab Political Development, and the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.
New realities and challenges confront the Middle East. State fragmentation and occasional collapse, sectarian conflicts, authoritarian resilience, stifled civil societies, economic devastation, soaring unemployment, massive refugee flows, the emergence of new non‐state actors and the “Islamic State”, recalibrated big power interventions in the region, and the affirmation of long‐standing regional powers are some of the new trends and developments facing the region.
Alongside these challenges, there are new opportunities as well. Societies are far more committed to principles of social justice. And civil societies and organizational life are at the forefront of many debates. This conference will bring together academics, policy‐makers, civil society activists and intellectuals from the Middle East, Europe, and the US to discuss these pressing issues.
Forty speakers will be divided into ten panels, focusing on the following three related dimensions of the regional situation:
- How have socio‐economic and political conditions changed since the uprisings started five years ago, and how has such change been perceived by ordinary citizens?
- Has the demand for social justice been expressed in the activities and policies of governments, political groups and civil society as a whole, and have any moves towards democratization promoted this demand?
- How are regional and international political relations evolving, and is any change a consequence of continuing injustices perceived by groups of citizens on the ground?