The Arab World and the Revolutions of 2011

17 November 2011- 18 November 2011 | Workshop | CCCB, Barcelona

Until the beginning of 2011, the Arab countries were characterized by a stagnation that made concepts such as change, reform or democratization appear as rhetorical. Political regimes remained anchored in authoritarianism and seemed to be perpetuated in impossible hereditary successions. The so-called civil society seemed to have exhausted its potential for change, and political forces had long since lost all legitimacy as a result of the stagnation of elites and their connivance with regimes. The economic crisis only exacerbated the daily difficulties, the effects of blatant corruption and the feeling that growth had been stolen from the population. However, some voices still stood up, claiming that the Arab peoples were no exception, were not immune to the notion of freedom, nor was religion an obstacle to democracy. The year 2011 has shown that these voices were not wrong: a new Arab world has resurfaced strongly, a nahda that raises growing uncertainties and high expectations.

This course aims to take stock of the changes that have taken place in a Mediterranean shaken by insurrections, revolts and revolutions in the Maghreb and Mashreq and that have profoundly changed the region, shaping a new geopolitic that forces the international community, and particularly Europe, to redefine their relations with the Arab neighbors of the South Shore. In this way, the different processes of change underway are analyzed, both those that represent a break with the previous regime, those that represent a consensual transition and those that start from a reform driven by the same political actors in response to social mobilizations. It also explores those instruments that have helped drive change and the strength of the media, and the possible scenarios that are emerging in the new regional landscape, particularly with regard to the future of the conflict in the Middle East.