Three years into the transition following the political upheavals in the Arab world, the new rulers in several countries are facing daunting challenges. These include a difficult democratization process and deteriorating social and economic conditions. In most cases, there is little understanding about the ongoing transformations taking place in society, which complicate policy-making further.
The Economic Research Forum (ERF), as an impartial regional network, is well positioned to help address the above challenges and has embarked on a research project on “The pulse of the Arab Street: Understanding the Political Economy of the Arab Uprisings Using Public Opinion Data.” This innovative research program proposes to study the various dimensions of the ongoing social, economic, and political transformations in Arab societies through its use of nationally-representative opinion surveys to examine developments and transformations on the “Arab street” through the eyes and voices of the most relevant yet most under-researched actors – ordinary Arab citizens.
This project, carried out in collaboration with Silatech, is led by Ishac Diwan in the context of ERF’s thematic research agenda on the political economy of transformation in the Arab region. A team of researchers with a deep understanding of the region and its specificities will seek to fill an existing gap in rigorous, quantitative, evidence-based research on the political economy of contemporary Arab societies.
The objective of the workshop is to provide a platform for discussing the research papers and their findings among authors and experts in political economy in order to improve the final output. The papers are organized into four groups: Grievances and Aspirations, religion and politics, gender, and mass movement. There will also be an exploratory panel on emerging research themes of interest given the current dynamics of the region.
Speakers, moderators and discussants included Ahmad Galal (Economic Research Forum) El Mouhoub Mouhoud (PSL, Univ. Paris Dauphine and CNRS DREEM EUROMED), Ishac Diwan (Paris Sciences et Lettres and ERF), Elyes Jouini Raj Desai, Anders Olofsguard, Tarik Youssef, Mohamed Al Ississ, Laurence Louer, Steffen Hertog, Samer Atallah, Stephen Kosack, Evan Smith, Ashley Fabrizio, Hela Yousfi, JF Platteau, Mark Tessler, Jeff Nugent, Fares Braizat, Adeel Malik, Najat El Mekkaoui, Rania Salem, Jeni Klugman, Réjane Hugounenq, Bi Puraren, Melani Cammett, Nisreen Salti, Anya Vodopyanov, Hafez Ghanem, Abubakr Jamai, Christian Haerpfer, Mansoor Moaddes, Ahmet Insel, Michael Ayari, and Nader Kabbani.
Chair Arab World, Paris Sciences et Lettres, visiting researcher at the Paris School of Economics
Senior Fellow, Global Economy & Development, and Director, Brookings Doha Center
Assistant Professor, Economics Department, The American University in Cairo
Associate Professor, Department of Economics, American University of Beirut
Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Toronto Scarborough