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 further complicate policy-making.
The Economic Research Forum (ERF), as an impartial regional network, is well positioned to help address the above challenges and has embarked upon carrying out a research project on “The pulse of the Arab Street: Understanding the Political Economy of the Arab Uprisings Using Novel 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.
Speakers at the workshop included Ahmed Galal (Economic Research Forum), Melani Cammett (Brown University), Nisreen Salti, Anya Vodopyanov, Filipe Campante (Harvard University), Raj Desai (Georgetown University), Magued Osman (Baseera Center), Tarek Masoud, Mahmoud El Gamal (Rice University), Jeffrey Nugent (University of Southern California and ERF), Mark Tessler (University of Michigan), Malika Zeghal (Harvard University), Sami Atallah, Jad Chaaban, Lant Pritchett (Harvard University), Rania Salem, Jeni Klugman, Ishac Diwan, Nader Kabbani (Silatech and ERF), Sanam Anderlini (ICAN), Mohamed Al-Ississ, Samer Atallah, Stephen Kosack, Evan Smith, Ashley Fabrizio, Raj Desai, Anders Olofsguard, Tarik Youssef, Roger Owen (Harvard University), and Zafiris Tzannatos (Silatech).
Associate Professor, Department of Economics, American University of Beirut
Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Toronto Scarborough
Chair Arab World, Paris Sciences et Lettres, visiting researcher at the Paris School of Economics
Assistant Professor, Economics Department, The American University in Cairo
Senior Fellow, Global Economy & Development, and Director, Brookings Doha Center