“Democratic Transition in the Arab World”

April 26, 2017 @ 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm

EUI, April 26, 2017

Cappella, Villa Schifanoia

In December 2016, Cambridge University Press published a new book on “Democratic Transitions in the Arab World”, edited by Ibrahim Elbadawi and Samir Makdisi with contributions by several scholars residing in and outside the region.

On the occasion of this publication, the authors will visit the Middle East Directions Programme at the EUI to present the book. The factors underlying the Arab region’s long resistance to democracy, those underlying the uprisings of 2011 and the subsequent mounting resistance to democratic change will be analysed. Of course, the Arab region’s resistance to democracy is not unique or specific, and can be ascribed to the same elements that – to varying degrees – have helped maintain different forms of autocracy in the Arab world, e.g. conflicts, abundant oil resources, neighbourhood effects and external interventions by both regional and international powers.

Everyone is welcome to attend. Please kindly register.

Samir Makdisi 

Professor Emeritus of Economics, and Founding Director of the Institute of Financial Economics, the American University of Beirut (AUB). He has served as Minister of Economy and Trade, Republic of Lebanon, 1992; Deputy President of AUB, 1992-1998; chair of the Board of Trustees, Economic Research Forum for the Arab Countries, Iran and Turkey, 1993-2001 ( headquarters in Cairo)-as of March 2012 reelected to the Board; member of the Board of the Global Development Network, 2000-2008 (headquarters in Delhi); and since 1999, he has been an elected member of the Board of Directors of the Euro-Mediterranean Economic Research Institutes (headquarters in Marseilles); Professor Makdisi has also served as advisor to national governments and to various regional and international economic and financial organizations; he is the recipient of numerous research grants and a number of awards including the AUB medal (1998). Widely published, he is the author of several books including The Lessons of Lebanon, the Economics of War and Development (2004, 2016), and co-editor ( with Ibrahim Elbadawi) of Democracy in the Arab World: Explaining the Deficit (2011), and Democratic Transitions in the Arab World (2017). He received his Ph.D in Economics from Columbia University ( New York).

Ibrahim Elbadawi (Through Skype)

Managing Director, The Economic Research Forum for the Arab World, Iran & Turkey since January 2017; before that he was Director at the Economic Policy & Research Center, the Dubai Economic Council (2009-2016); Lead Economist at the Development Research Group of the World Bank, which he joined in 1989; and Associate Professor of economics at the University of Gezira in Sudan. He holds a PhD in economics and statistics from North Carolina State and Northwestern universities in the USA.

During his work at the World Bank he also served as Research Director of the African Economic Research Consortium (Nairobi, 1993-1998), on external leave from the Bank. He has published widely on macroeconomic and development policy and the economics of civil wars and post-conflict transitions. His regional specialization covers Africa and the Middle East. He is also a (non-resident) research fellow with the Center for Global Development.

Dr. Elbadawi is the editor (with Hoda Selim) of: Understanding and Avoiding the Oil Curse in Resource-rich Arab Economies (forthcoming, Cambridge University Press, 2016) and with (Samir Makdisi) of Democracy in the Arab World: Explaining the Deficit (2011), and Democratic Transitions in the Arab World (2017).

Noha El-Mikawy 

Noha El-Mikawy is regional director of the Ford Foundation’s Middle East and North Africa office in Egypt. Before joining the Ford Foundation, Noha served as regional team leader for democratic governance at UNDP’s Regional Center for the Arab States and global policy adviser at UNDP Oslo Governance Center in Norway. She helped produce a number of UNDP knowledge products, including a guide for gender-sensitive measurement of social services and a regional UNDP report on development challenges in the Arab region after 2011. Noha began her career lecturing at various universities in Egypt and Germany and writing on politics of the Middle East. She is the author of “Building of Consensus in Egypt’s Transition Process” and “Institutional Reform and Economic Development in Egypt” published by American University in Cairo Press in 1999 and in 2002 respectively, and Governance of Economic Reform: Legislation, Participation and Information in Egypt, Jordan and Morocco, a comparative on-line book published by the Economic Research Forum ERF in 2005. Noha holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).