Webcast Recap

“The Arab Spring in Comparative Perspective: Dramatic Transitions in Recent Decades” conference took place on June 4th and 5th in Washington, D.C., co-organized by American University’s School of International Service, the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs, and the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars’ Brazil Institute, Global Europe Program, Mexico Institute, and Middle East Studies Program.  The aim of this initial workshop was to consider dramatic transitional experiences in Brazil, Mexico, Turkey, and Eastern Europe and included a series of panels examining specific facets of transitional experiences: constitutional developments (including democratic reforms); economic and social affairs; justice and human rights issues; the evolving experiences of women; external pressures and interventions.  In each case, a commentator with expertise on the Middle East and North Africa was asked to reflect on the possible relevance of other “transitional” experiences to understanding the dynamics and prospects of the “Arab Spring.”  These reflections also served as the primary task of the workshop’s concluding Round Table discussion.