Conference Covering Democracy in the Middle East After the Arab Spring

Adapted from a CSID report on the Conference by TMO

Under the framework of further shedding light on the transformations the  Arab World is witnessing, while taking into great consideration the international experiences of other nations in democratic transitions, the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy (CSID) organized its Second Annual Conference on 29¬30 March 2013 under the title “Democratic Transformations in the Arab World: Tunisia as a Model”.

The conference covered a wide array of subjects from many different viewpoints including those from academia, first-hand actors in the Arab Spring countries, especially Tunisia, and others.

The conference considered the process of transitioning from authoritarian models of statecraft to democratic institutions, and considered the process by which the apparatus of state controls can transition to freedom-based societies, by reducing the hypervigilant security apparatus. The conference considered the examples of “model” states such as Korea and Turkey, and the kind of constitutional reforms best suited to building post-authoritarian democracies in Arab Spring countries.

The overall focus was on Tunisia, which may be the most successful of the Arab Spring countries, so far.  Another important measure of the new government in Tunisia is religion—how does religion fit into or affect the nascent governments in the post-Arab spring world? As Egypt demonstrates religious differences—or religious vs. secular beliefs—can lead to instability and seismic shifts in government.


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