The Arab Spring and Globalization

The Arab Spring and Globalization: Diffusion of Ideas and Models. Friday, November 7, 2014, 9:30am . Founders Hall 111

Principal investigators: Thomas E. Flores, Terrence Lyons, and Agnieszka Paczynska



Workshop Summary

The Arab Uprisings in Comparative Perspective is a full day research workshop which will take place from 9:30am to 5:00pm on Friday 7th November, 2014 in Founders Hall 111.

The workshop will bring a group of preeminent scholars together to present short papers on the dynamics of social mobilizations in the societies of the Arab Spring and beyond. The morning and afternoon sessions will be divided by a Lebanese style lunch, during which Dr. Marina Ottaway will deliver a keynote speech on the state of research on globalization and contentious politics.

This event builds upon ongoing work undertaken by a group of faculty and graduate students organized in the Project on Contentious Politics (PCP), based in the School of Conflict Analysis and Resolution (SCAR). Drs. Thomas Flores, Terrence Lyons, and Agnieszka Paczynska lead the group, which includes a year-long graduate seminar and a speakers’ series. The workshop will contribute to important debates regarding social movements, political diffusion, and comparative democratization. It will fulfill the Center for Global Studies’ mission by convening top scholars from the East Coast at Mason for a multi-disciplinary discussion of this complex set of events. The resulting set of scholarly papers will follow up as a special workshop at the International Studies Association (ISA) conference in February 2015 with an eye towards publication as a special edition of a journal or an edited volume.


Participant Profiles: The Arab Uprisings in Comparative Perspective

Agnieszka Paczynska (Associate Professor, SCAR) has been a Franklin Fellow/Foreign Affairs Officer in the Office of the Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization (S/CRS) at the United States Department of State. She is the author of State, Labor, and the Transition to a Market Economy: Egypt, Poland, Mexico, and the Czech Republic (2009, Pennsylvania State University Press).

Desmond Arias (Associate Professor, SPGIA) an Associate Professor of Public Policy at George Mason University, and the author of Drugs and Democracy in Rio de Janeiro: Trafficking, Networks, and Public Security (University of North Carolina Press, 2006). He co-edited Violent Democracies in Latin America (Duke University Press, 2010).

Fatima Hadji (PhD Candidate, SCAR) is a Ph.D. candidate at the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University. Fatima’s work focus is on the Middle East and North Africa issues. Fatima earned her B.A in Intercultural Communication and a Master degree in interdisciplinary studies.

Jillian Schwedler (Professor, Hunter College CUNY) is a Professor of Political Science. She is interested in social movements and contentious politics, protest and policing, political geography, the Middle-East, political Islam, and ethnography and interpretive methods.

Jo-Marie Burt (Associate Professor, CHSS) is the Director of Latin America Studies and Co-Director of the Center for Global Studies. She is also a Senior Fellow at the Washington Office on Latin America. Dr. Burt’s research focuses on state violence, human rights, and transitional justice, social movements and revolutions, and state-society relations in Latin America.

Khalid Medani (Associate Professor, McGill) is an assistant professor of political science and Islamic studies. Dr. Medani has published on ethnic conflict, urban politics and the Islamist movement in Sudan, the question of informal finance and terrorism in Somalia, and the obstacles to state building in Iraq

Marina Ottaway (Senior Scholar, Woodrow Wilson Center) is a long-time analyst of political transformations in Africa, the Balkans, and the Middle East. She is currently working on the Arab Spring and Iraq. Ottaway previously worked for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and taught at Georgetown University, the Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies, the American University in Cairo, the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa, the University of Zambia, and Addis Ababa University.

Peter Mandaville (Associate Professor, PIA) is the Director of the Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies. He is also a Nonresident Senior Fellow in Foreign Policy Studies at the Brookings Institution.

Terrence Lyons (Associate Professor, SCAR) served as a Fellow associated with the Conflict Resolution in Africa project at the Brookings Institution and as Senior Research and Program Leader for Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding at the International Peace Research Institute, Oslo.

Thomas Flores (Assistant Professor, SCAR) holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Michigan and has been a Fulbright Scholar in Colombia.  His research centers on elections as a vehicle of democratic change, particularly in fragile societies.

Marc Howard (Professor, Georgetown University) is a Professor of Government and Law, his research and teaching interests address a variety of topics, including democracy and democratization, civil society, immigration and citizenship, criminal justice and prisons.

Meir R. Walters (Ph.D. Candidate, Georgetown University) is doctoral candidate in the Department of Government. From 2012-13, he was  Fulbright fellow in Egypt and a fellow at the Center for Arabic Study Abroad (CASA) at the American University in Cairo.