Tuesday 22 May 2012, 12:30
Civil Society and the Arab Spring
What’s next after the revolutions?
The Arab Spring has brought together several societal actors who have ushered in a significant socioeconomic and political transformation of the Middle East and North Africa. Amongst these, civil society movements have arguably been in the driver’s seat. Research has demonstrated, however, that civil society often loses its decisive role in the phase after immediate transition.
Thania Paffenholz is Senior Researcher at the Centre on Conflict, Peacebuilding and Development at the Graduate Institute. In addition to her academic work, she was peacebuilding officer within the Delegation of the European Commission in Kenya (1996-2000) and became Director of the Center for Peacebuilding (KOFF) at Swisspeace in 2003. She also works as an advisor to the UN, the OECD/DAC as well as governmental and non-governmental organizations. Her latest book is Civil Society and Peacebuilding: A Critical Assessment (2010).
Mohammad-Mahmoud Ould Mohamedou is Visiting Lecturer of Development Studies, Visiting Professor of International History at the Graduate Institute and Head of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy. He was previously the Associate Director of the Harvard University Programme on Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research, former Foreign Minister of Mauritania and Director of Research of the International Council on Human Rights Policy.
Riccardo Bocco is Professor of Anthropology and Sociology of Development at the Graduate Institute. His main research interest is on the role of international organisations and the impact of their humanitarian and development programmes. From 2000 to 2007, he headed several research projects on Palestinian refugees in the Near East. In 2008, he co-founded the Centre on Conflict, Development and Peacebuilding (CCDP) at the Graduate Institute and his current research focuses on peacebuilding policies in the Middle East.