The Arab Spring in Comparative Perspective

June 05, 2013 // 10:00am5:30pm
Event Co-sponsors: 
Mexico Institute
Middle East Program

“The Arab Spring in Comparative Perspective: Dramatic Transitions in Recent Decades” conference took place on June 4th and 5th in Washington, D.C., co-organized by 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’ Brazil Institute, Global Europe Program, Mexico Institute, and Middle East Studies Program.  The aim of this initial workshop was to consider dramatic transitional experiences in Brazil, Mexico, Turkey, and Eastern Europe and included a series of panels examining specific facets of transitional experiences: constitutional developments (including democratic reforms); economic and social affairs; justice and human rights issues; the evolving experiences of women; external pressures and interventions.  In each case, a commentator with expertise on the Middle East and North Africa was asked to reflect on the possible relevance of other “transitional” experiences to understanding the dynamics and prospects of the “Arab Spring.”  These reflections also served as the primary task of the workshop’s concluding Round Table discussion.

5th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center
Event Sessions: 

10:00 AM  Welcoming Remarks Christian Ostermann, Wilson Center, and Ron Pruessen, University of Toronto

10:00 AM – 12:00 AM  Panel III: External Pressures and Interventions

Moderator: Michael Geary, Wilson Center

Europe: Mieczyslaw Boduszynski, Department of State / Piotr Kosicki, University of Maryland and Woodrow Wilson Center

Mexico: Victor Alarcon, Autonomous University, Mexico City

Turkey: Stephen Larabee, RAND

Historical Cases: Brandon King/Ron Pruessen, University of Toronto, Canada

Comments: Marina Ottaway, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

12:00 – 1:00 PM Lunch

1:00 – 3:00 PM Panel IV: The Role of Women and Youth

Moderator: Haleh Esfandiari, Woodrow Wilson Center              

Brazil: Luciana Serrão Sampaio, Embassy of Brazil in Washington, DC

Eastern Europe: Sharon Wolchik, The George Washington, University, Washington, DC

Turkey: Susan Pearce, East Carolina University, Title VIII-supported scholar, Wilson Center

Commentator: Loubna Hanna, American University, Washington, DC

3:00 – 3:30 PM Coffee Break

3:30 – 5:30 PM Roundtable Discussion

Paul Cadario, University of Toronto

Abraham Lowenthal, Brookings

Loubna Hanna, American University, Washington, DC

Shadi Mokhtari, American University, Washington, DC


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Experts & Staff

  • Christian F. Ostermann // Director, History and Public Policy Program; Global Europe; Cold War International History Project; North Korea Documentation Project; Nuclear Proliferation International History Project
  • Emily R. Buss // Program Assistant

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