A Mixed Picture: The Political and Economic Future of the Arab Transitions

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March 11, 2014 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

1030 15th Street, NW, 12th Floor
Washington, DC



Yasser El Shimy
Teaching Fellow
Boston University

Ellen Laipson
President and CEO
Stimson Center

Mohsin Khan
Senior Fellow, Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East
Atlantic Council


Mirette F. Mabrouk
Deputy Director for Regional Programs, Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East
Atlantic Council

The last few tumultuous years in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, and Yemen present a complex picture of progress and setbacks. Three years after Egyptians successfully toppled a thirty-year old dictatorship, there are fears of a return to military-backed rule. In contrast to the bleaker picture from Cairo, Tunisians have successfully navigated political deadlock and approved a new constitution. Yemenis have concluded an inclusive National Dialogue process, and Libyans are gearing up to draft a constitution and initiate their own national dialogue. While there are significant challenges ahead and security issues are paramount, citizens of all four countries are unlikely to continue to tolerate the corruption, mismanagement, and exclusion that characterized the pre-revolution era. Given this dynamic, what are we likely to see in the next few years?

Yasser El Shimy will describe key political trends that will shape the next phase of these transitions and Mohsin Khan will discuss the economic state of affairs and how these economies will fare moving forward. Placing the Arab awakening within the global context, Ellen Laipson will compare the Arab transitions to other previous cases of political and social upheaval. This event also marks the release of two major Hariri Center publications: Mohsin Khan’s Issue Brief, “The Economic Consequences of the Arab Spring,” and a report on “The State of the Arab Transitions” by Mirette F. Mabrouk and Stefanie Hausheer.

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