June 19, 2012
Islam and Democratization: Lessons Learned from the Arab Spring
Since September 11, 2001, interest in the compatibility of Islam and secular democracies has become an object of political concern and military strategy. A decade later, with the death of Osama bin Laden and the unfolding of the Arab Spring, this question is more relevant than ever as the number of Middle Eastern countries of strategic concern expands beyond just Afghanistan and Iraq. Over the last 18 months of research for the Minerva Initiative, Dr Cesari has addressed the strategic impacts of social and cultural changes in the Muslim world, focusing particularly on the state-society interactions and how they influence the politicization of Islam in Iraq, Egypt, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. This conference presented the main findings of this research and discussed it with scholars of Middle Eastern politics as well as with policymakers working on countries and topics related to the Arab Spring.
Panel One: State-Society Relations and Consequences of Regime Change
Strategic Impacts of Social and Cultural Changes in Muslim-Majority Countries: Egypt, Tunisia, Turkey (Dr. Jocelyne Cesari)
Morocco and Algeria: Opposite State Management of Religion? (Dr. William Lawrence, ICG/North Africa Project)
Risk of Sectarian Divides: Iraq (Dr. Eric Davis, Rutgers University)
Panel Two: Why and How Do Authoritarian Regimes Persist?
Syria (Dr. Stephen King, Georgetown University
Saudi Arabia (Dr. F. Gregory Gause, University of Vermont)
Civil-Military Relations in a Comparative Perspective (Dr. Robert Springborg, Naval Postgraduate School)
Assessing the Economic Variable (Dr. Melani Cammett, Brown University)
Panel Three: Islamic Political Parties and the Transition to Democracy – Is it an Oxymoron? Part I
The Muslim Brotherhood (Dr. Carrie Wickham, Emory University)
Libya (Dr. Omar Ashour, Brookings Institution)
Morocco (Dr. Mokhtar Benabdallaoui, National Endowment for Democracy)
Panel Four: Islamic Political Parties and the Transition to Democracy – Is it an Oxymoron? Part II
Tunisia (Dr. Michele Angrist, Union College)
Hamas and Palestine (Mr. Haim Malka, Center for Strategic and International Studies)
Turkey (Dr. Kilic Kanat, SETA)
Panel Five: Reshuffling the Cards – Regional Actors and the Arab Spring
Israel (Mr. Michael Eisenstadt, Washington Institute)
Iran (Dr. Suzanne Maloney, Brookings)
Turkey (Mr. Kadir Ustun, SETA)
Saudi Arabia (Mr. Thomas W. Lippman, Council on Foreign Relations)
Panel Six: The Arab Spring and the West
Europe (Dr. Daniel Brumberg, Georgetown University)
Russia (Dr. Donald Jensen, Center for Transatlantic Relations)
USA (Dr. Michael Doran, Brookings Institution)
Jocelyne Cesari is a renowned scholar of Islam and Middle Eastern politics. She is a Senior Fellow at the Berkley Center, where she directs the Islam in World Politics program, and will be joining the Department of Government as a Visiting Associate Professor in January 2013. She has published works in a broad range of subjects, including Islam and globalization, Islam and secularism, immigration, and religious pluralism. She directs the international program “Islam in the West"
affiliated with CRNRS in Paris and Harvard University. Her book When Islam and Democracy Meet: Muslims in Europe and in the United States
(2006) is a reference in the study of European Islam and integration of Muslim minorities in secular democracies.