Over seven years have now passed since the initial eruption of the Arab uprisings. The civil wars they generated in their wake in Iraq, Syria, Libya and Yemen have brought untold destruction and sufferings, including massive internal and external displacements of population, and reversed years of economic development and social attainments.
The civil conflicts in these countries are yet to reach a final national settlement that will prepare the grounds for initiating a peaceful post conflict transition and permit the addressing of a number of major daunting economic and political challenges.
A proper determination of these challenges would require an understanding of the political, economic and other causes of the uprisings against prevailing autocratic governance in these countries, as well as the reasons for the long lasting duration of the conflicts that followed. Put differently, it is crucial to comprehend how political factors and economic policies have interacted in the past laying the grounds over time for the overthrow of the regimes.
Whatever the underlying causes of the uprisings might have been, a return to the old social contract, or variations thereof would not serve the objective of peace building and sustained development in the post conflict transition phase. Rather a new social contract is called for, one that would embody the establishment of new accountable political institutions that are capable of delivering the required public goods and implementing socio-economic policies which would promote and sustain a broad based and equitable development.
Looking forward, we not only need to understand the ongoing politic/economic dynamics of the above four countries and reflect on how the ongoing political changes can affect what can be done on the economic front, but there is also a need for a well thought out plan to for the reconstruction of the economy. This would include, inter alia, the formulation of an economic agenda that supports the reconstruction effort by identifying priorities and constraints, challenges and required resources
Against this background, ERF is launching a new research program on “Conflict, peace-building and post-conflict reconstruction in conflict affected Arab countries”.
In this context, ERF is pleased to announce the opportunity for 12 participants from the Arab countries, to participate in a training workshop on cutting edge research techniques in preparation for case studies of the aforementioned four countries that the project will research using various data on armed conflicts (links available on ERF website: http://erf.org.eg/useful-links-to-micro-data/).
The project will focus on three main areas:
(1) Understanding the underlying causes of conflicts in the countries where uprisings have erupted. These include the role of grievance from horizontal inequality to the exclusion of groups from political power, the interplay between oil rents, ethnic fractionalization and political institutions as well as external interventions or neighborhood effects.
(2) Peace-building and political transitions in the post conflict phase. Some of the major questions to be addressed include: does power-sharing help reduce the risk of post-conflict war recurrence? ; are the conflict-resolving effects of power-sharing different for “inclusive” versus “dispersive” forms of power-sharing? Are failures of autonomy agreements post-civil war due to efforts by the central government to re-centralize power?
(3) The economic agenda for post-conflict reconstruction. This area of research will tackle question relating to the causes and assessment of the damages of the civil war (e.g. physical destruction, population displaced, sectorial damage); building and rebuilding institutions (e.g, re-establish de-jure and de-facto property rights, identifying legitimate profits and controlling abuses against working population; macroeconomic policies for balanced growth (e.g., evaluating fiscal deficits, inflation, foreign debt, exchange rate distortions, identifying policies that foster economic recovery, setting up a modern macroeconomic management policy); and microeconomic policies designed to ensure a population-wide distribution of the benefits of peace and recovery.
Three thematic papers pertaining to the above areas respectively will serve as general guiding frameworks for the four case studies, each of which will be carried out by a team of three researchers who will cooperate in preparing the case studies for each of the four conflict affected countries. Each case study will cover the above mentioned three research areas.
The workshop is part of the capacity building activities carried out by ERF under its Arab Spring Development Initiative – phase II (ASDI II). ERF will cover the cost of travel and accommodation of successful applicants. The workshop will be held in Morocco in October 2018.
Applicants should be:
Interested applicants will submit:
To apply, please fill in the following form Here
Deadline for submissions: June 30, 2018.
For further queries, please contact Ramage Nada: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note that applications that do not satisfy the stated requirements will not be acknowledged.