On May 20 and 21, 2011, POMEPS hosted its second annual conference “The Arab Uprisings in Comparative Perspective.” The two-day event drew 40 political scientists to discuss the regional uprisings that began in December 2010. Lisa Anderson of American University in Cairo opened the conference with a plenary talk focused on state institutions in the Middle East.  The opening plenary was followed by a lunch keynote from the Senior Director of Strategic Planning at the National Security Council, Derek Chollet. Later in the afternoon, Nathan Brown of George Washington University led a plenary focused on the role of special forces in the region. On day two, POMEPS Director Marc Lynch led a morning plenary that examined international factors in the uprisings. Etel Solingen of the University of California, Irvine and Valeria Bunce of Cornell University led a final afternoon plenary that considered the viewpoints of the uprisings from other regions.

Between plenary talks, participants broke into smaller groups for breakout sessions. Prior to the conference, 15 of the participants prepared memos which were discussed in great detail in the three breakout sessions. Some of the topics covered were:

  • The political economy of transitions
  • constitutions and courts
  • The media, old and new
  • Public opinion
  • Civil society
  • Labor and trade unions
  • Islamist parties and movements
  • Protests and policing
  • Urban networks and family politics
POMEPS 2011 2nd Annual Conference: The Arab Uprising in Comparative Perspective

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