IPI HomePublicationsMeeting NotesManaging Transitions in the Arab World

 

print print  |  share share back back

Meeting Notes - June 22, 2012

Managing Transitions in the Arab World

Nur Laiq, rapporteur

 

 

Despite their many differences, transitions taking place across the Arab world are united by demands for “bread and freedom.” They also share the common denominator of uncertainty. As turmoil and conflict continues in many places, what role can external actors play to facilitate democratic transitions in the region?

This meeting note presents a synthesis of discussions from IPI’s seventeenth annual New York Seminar in April 2012. Giving special attention to Egypt, Libya, Syria, Tunisia, and Yemen, the report examines the changes taking place across the region. It draws lessons from democratic transitions in other parts of the world and suggests ways that mediators and negotiators can address the challenges that these transitions raise.

Against the backdrop of an ever-changing political landscape, the report offers a number of insights and recommendations:

  • In Egypt, even if a new president is successfully elected, his power remains undefined and will have to be fought for within the constitution.
  • Lessons from transitions to democracy in other parts of the world do not bode well for Libya and Yemen—states struggling with territorial integrity have traditionally found it difficult to democratize.
  • Overall, countries that have strong, independent institutions have a much better chance of doing well than those with eviscerated or broken institutions.
  • Even in countries with weak institutions and strong personalities at the center of power, there is a space for politics that did not exist before; but new ways will have to be found to bridge the gap between citizen and state.

The Global Observatory

As Russia and the West Joust, Ukraine Risks Deeper Divisions and More Violence
The longer this stand-off continues, the greater the risk that divisions will harden into permanent fault-lines and doom Ukraine to a bitter and potentially violent disintegration.

Key Global Events to Watch in April
A list of key upcoming meetings and events with implications for global affairs.

2014 Top 10 Issues to Watch in Peace & Security: The Global Arena
A list of ten key issues to watch that are likely to impact international peace and security in 2014, compiled by IPI's Francesco Mancini.

The Global Observatory, produced by IPI, provides timely analysis on peace and security issues, interviews with leading policymakers, interactive maps, and more.

Recent Events

April 05, 2014
IPI Opens Middle East Regional Office
International Peace Institute President Terje Rød-Larsen inaugurated IPI’s new Middle East Regional Office with a recognition of the area’s critical importance to the world and the rapid political changes underway in the countries of the region, and he asserted that IPI has an “important role” to play there.

April 03, 2014
In Horn of Africa, Links Between Disaster, Conflict, and Displacement
What are the links between climate change, conflict, and the displacement of people? A panel of experts discussed this nexus and its implications in the Horn of Africa at the International Peace Institute on April 3rd in an event cosponsored by the Nansen Initiative.

March 26, 2014
Derek Plumbly on Lebanese Resilience Amid Rising Challenges
Lebanon has exceeded expectations in dealing with the continuing fallout from the crisis in neighboring Syria, said Derek Plumbly, United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon, on March 26th. Speaking at the International Peace Institute, Mr. Plumbly praised the Lebanese people for “actually sustaining a measure of stability in their country.”

View More