Democracy | Wilson Center


Iran: From Civil Society Protest to Political Alternative?

Roberto Toscano, Wilson Center Public Policy Scholar and former Italian Ambassador to Iran and India, gave his insights on the role of civil society in the Iranian opposition. Toscano also discussed the similarities and differences between the Iranian opposition movement and those that have arisen in the Middle East in recent months.

On April 4, the Middle East Program hosted a meeting on "Iran: From Civil Society Protest to Political Alternative?" with Toscano. Haleh Esfandiari, Director of the Middle East Program, moderated the event.

New Media and Political Change in Egypt: Causes, Implications and Communication Strategies

As part of the series on recent developments in Egypt, Sahar Mohamed Khamis, Assistant Professor of Communication and Affiliate Professor of Women's Studies at the University of Maryland, discussed the causes, implications, and role of new communication strategies in the 2011 Egyptian revolution.

On March 30, the Middle East Program hosted a meeting on "New Media and Political Change in Egypt: Causes, Implications and Communication Strategies" with Khamis. Haleh Esfandiari, Director of the Middle East Program at the Woodrow Wilson Center, moderated the event.

The Mideast on Fire: What Happens Next?

Dalia Ziada, Egypt Office Director for the American Islamic Congress and an award-winning blogger, provided a first hand report of the historic uprising in Egypt and offered insight into the challenges and opportunities now facing the Egyptian people.

Tunisia's Democratic Transition: Challenges & Perspectives

Addressing the recent events that have unfolded in Tunisia, a panel of Tunisian American Chamber of Commerce members discussed the issues of economy and democracy in Tunisia.

From 1910 to 2010: Understanding the Causes and Consequences of Youth and Adult Grievances that Drive the Second Arab Revolt

In addressing the recent events that have unfolded in the Middle East, Rami Khouri discussed the various factors that motivated these recent uprisings throughout the Arab world, in what he considered the "second Arab revolt."

Tunisia and the Arab Malaise

Recent events in Tunisia have given rise to speculation about whether or not the country's popular uprising will serve as an example to other Arab nations. Alan Goulty, former British Ambassador to the Republic of Tunisia, and David Ottaway, former Bureau Chief for the Washington Post in Cairo, shed light on the complex situation in Tunisia and spoke to the effects it may have on the region.

The Crisis in the Arab World's Aging Leadership

With eight Arab kings and presidents over 65 years of age, the Arab world faces pressing questions about upcoming transitions and issues of succession. David Ottaway, a former Washington Post correspondent and investigative reporter with over 40 years of experience reporting on the Middle East, addressed these issues and challenged some fundamental assumptions regarding the transition of power.

Iran Primer I: Domestic Politics

In the first in a series of meetings following the recent release of the book The Iran Primer, three of its contributing authors offered their insights on Iran's domestic politics in the year following the contested elections of June 2009 which saw Mahmoud Ahmadinejad reelected to a second, thus far contentious, term. The topics analyzed included internal politics, the opposition movement, and the current state of diplomacy with Iran.

Ahmadinejad's Confrontation with the Iranian Parliament

Recent developments within Iran's political institutions suggest that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad faces growing domestic opposition from an unlikely source: the ruling conservative movement. Professor Bahman Baktiari discussed how Ahmadinejad appears to be losing influence within Iran, particularly in the country's parliament.

Egypt at the Tipping Point?

With the Hosni Mubarak era nearing its close, the political future of Egypt is one of the most topical issues in Middle East politics today. Despite all the social and economic changes Egypt has experienced in the last decade under Mubarak, the country has not, according to journalist David Ottaway, undergone the sort of political change that would make easily predictable greater democracy or major change in the existing authoritarian style of rule as a result of forthcoming parliamentary and presidential elections.