Arab Transitions in Comparative Perspective

17 November 2014- 19 November 2014 | Conference | English | Barcelona

This conference discusses the conditions that lay behind the success of regime change and democratization processes. It brings together past experiences in countries that have overcome authoritarianism and compare them to the challenges that Arab are countries experiencing today. The seminar engages in comparative analysis in order to capitalize on lessons learned, particularly focusing on the political changes that have occurred since the mid- 1970s. As a starting point, the conference takes into account that there is no clear “transition paradigm” and that what was pertinent in one case might prove a failure in another, even in countries from the same region and with similar background conditions.

The aim of the conference is also to explore how factors and actors regarded as important in the democratization literature help to explain the outcomes of particular transition processes, not by looking at all factors but focusing instead on the ones that are relevant for the Arab world. A close inspection of previous transitions enables the participants to draw conclusions on the effects of such factors on democratization and how to meet the challenges posed by current events in Arab countries. The conclusions of this conference are also useful for external actors whose foreign policies and aid programmes intend to encourage and assist the current democratization processes.