Occasional Paper Series

Issues in this Series

MENA Women in the Reformist Process: A Retrospective (Spring 2014)

Various Authors
The Middle East Program and the Global Women’s Leadership Initiative at the Wilson Center hosted a two-panel discussion on “MENA Women in the Reformist Process: A Retrospective,” the first of which focused on women’s political participation and the second focusing on economic reforms and social change.

Democratic Transitions and the Problem of Power (Spring 2014)

Marina Ottaway
Ottaway writes that three years after the beginning of the Arab uprisings, Tunisia and Egypt are moving in different directions. Tunisia is moving in a democratic direction because well-established political and civil society organizations counterbalance each other, forcing compromise. In Egypt, politics pitted the Muslim Brotherhood against the military and other state institution, inevitably leading to the triumph of the state. A new process of democratization is unlikely to start without other uprisings.

Iran, the Next Five Years: Change or More of the Same? (Spring 2014)

Various Authors
On March 26, 2014, the Middle East Program convened the second of three meetings on Iran under President Hassan Rouhani, this time exploring possible trends and developments in the next five years under the Rouhani presidency. This publication brings together the papers presented at our second meeting in the current series.

Can International Human Rights Norms Secure Women’s Rights in the MENA Region? (Fall 2013)

Various Authors
This publication is the outcome of the July 10, 2013 conference of the same name co-sponsored by the Middle East Program, Global Women’s Leadership Initiative, Environmental Change and Security Program, and Global Health Initiative. Women leaders and activists from the Middle East write about the current women’s rights situation on the ground in the region and what strategies can be employed to use international human rights norms to secure their rights going forward.

Iraq Ten Years Later: A Different Country in a Different Region (Spring 2013)

Marina Ottaway
Senior Scholar Marina Ottaway writes that ten years after the U.S. invasion to overthrow Saddam Hussein, Iraq remains a deeply troubled country, rent by internal dissensions and caught in the maelstrom of the increasingly sectarian politics of the region.

Women after the Arab Awakening (Winter 2012)

Various Authors
In this publication, based on papers presented at a conference on October 2, 2012 at the Wilson Center, the younger, up-and-coming generation in the MENA region describe the current situation on the ground for women and the strategies they can use to organize themselves and move forward in the post-revolutionary phase.
Saudi Arabia’s Race Against Time

Saudi Arabia's Race Against Time (Summer 2012)

David Ottaway
"The overwhelming impression from a two-week visit to the kingdom is that the House of Saud finds itself in a tight race against time to head off a social explosion, made more likely by the current Arab Awakening, that could undermine its legitimacy and stability."
Is the Arab Awakening Marginalizing Women?

Is the Arab Awakening Marginalizing Women? (Summer 2012)

In this publication, based on papers presented at a conference on May 14, 2012 at the Wilson Center, leading women scholars and activists analyze the strategies by which opponents of women’s rights seek to marginalize women and the strategies by which women have sought to protect and expand these rights.

Economic Lessons from Iraq for Countries of the Arab Spring (Spring 2 2012)

Joseph Sassoon
Given that Iraqis have experienced relatively democratic elections, Sassoon analyzes the economic lessons of an Arab country emerging from an authoritarian regime and assesses the pitfalls that other Arab countries might encounter with their nascent democracies.

Experts & Staff