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Nine years after Bouazizi set himself on fire, there is a lot riding on Tunisia’s new government

Nine years ago, Tunisian street seller Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire in the rural town of Sidi Bouzid, setting off the Arab uprisings. This year, as Tunisians commemorate the events that ushered in a democratic transition, the country is embarking on the next phase of that transition with a newly elected government that is determined to finally deliver on…

Young Moroccans love their country. Here’s why they’re leaving.

Hassine grins as he lists Morocco’s many positives: a tolerant society, diverse ethnicities and religions living together in harmony, state-of-the-art infrastructure, a modern constitution, and a monarchy once hailed as an exception for pushing through political reforms. So why are so many young Moroccans like Hassine desperate to emigrate abroad? As many in the kingdom are finding, limited democracy and political openness alone do not…

Algeria’s presidential elections to be held amid disagreements between army and protesters over roadmap

The Algerian people can guarantee that, for the first time in two decades, the president will not be Abdelaziz Bouteflika. They will vote for a new head of state on Thursday. But this is no indication that the country will have a smooth transition by any means amid a 10-month, post-Bouteflika protests. Following the country’s Hirak movement — or the…

Can the Middle East afford to care about the climate emergency?

…. In truth, education on climate change or the lack thereof seems to be another obstacle to climate activism in the region, according to a study from Princeton University in the US. The study found education to be the biggest factor in dictating the public’s concern with climate change in the Middle East and North Africa. “Concerns with environmental issues…

Anti-corruption Strategies: What Can MENA Activists Learn from Experiences in Other Countries?

Lessons from Brazil, India, Indonesia, and Singapore Paris, 9 December 2019 – On the occasion of International Anti-Corruption Day, the Arab Reform Initiative (ARI) issued a new comparative study presenting examples of how four countries from the global south have fought systemic corruption and what strategies civil society organizations used to raise public awareness, change attitudes and hold public and…

Arabs are losing faith in religious parties and leaders

“No to religion or sect,” cry the protesters in Iraq. “No to Islam, no to Christianity, revolt for the nation,” echo those in Lebanon. Across the Arab world people are turning against religious political parties and the clerics who helped bring them to power. Many appear to be giving up on Islam, too. These trends are reflected in new data from…

An Expiry Date for Despots?

A new wave of Arab uprisings suggests that the authoritarian bargain of the past may be collapsing. While thousands of Algerian citizens have continued to protest peacefully for the 40th consecutive week, demanding an accountable government and an end to corruption, streets in Iraq and Lebanon have turned into places of mass protests and ongoing confrontations between angry citizens and…

Across the Middle East, they are done with false prophets ​

When do demonstrations become a revolution? We romanticise the failures of the Arab Spring. But success has its costs, too. In the modern Middle East, only the Iranian Revolution has succeeded in bringing a new ruling class to power. But the 1979 revolution failed to bring about what the philosopher Michel Foucault predicted would be a new political dawn –…

We Are Hiring | Senior Research Specialist

The Department of Politics seeks a Senior Research Specialist to assist with data collection, management, and analysis for the Arab Barometer. The Arab Barometer is a nonpartisan research network that provides insight into the social, political, and economic attitudes and values of ordinary citizens across the Arab World. Its objective is to disseminate and apply survey findings in order to contribute to…

Five Lessons From the New Arab Uprisings

…The fifth and final lesson is that the call for change in the region goes beyond electoral democracy and extends to deep socioeconomic reforms. Iraq and Lebanon show this clearly: relatively free and fair elections have already been held but have served only to reinforce corrupt sectarian regimes. According to the fifth wave of the Arab Barometer, the economic situation…

A Way Forward for U.K.-Jordan Security Cooperation

Jordan and the U.K. are set to renew security cooperation with a new three-year phase of U.K. support to the Public Security Directorate (PSD) and the Gendarmerie. The support is likely to exceed £10 million. Based on prior programming and the U.K.’s priorities for the region, support areas will likely include counterterrorism, public order management, and core policing. When the…

Lebanese protesters don’t trust their government to reform. Here’s why.

In Lebanon, mass anti-government protests that started last Thursday are now a multiday general strike. These demonstrations appear to be the largest and widest-reaching in the country’s history. On Monday, Prime Minister Saad Hariri responded with proposed concessions, saying that protesters have shaken the political parties and challenged blind loyalties to sect. But protesters aren’t buying it. And while Hariri…