Is There Still a Political Reform Agenda in the Middle East? with discussants: Ghanim Al Najjar, Kuwait University; Khalid El-Hariry, Member of Parliament, Morocco; Amr Hamzawy, Senior Associate, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; and Paul Salem, Director, Carnegie Middle East Center. Thomas Carothers, Carnegie Vice President for Studies-International Politics and Governance, moderates the discussion.
In recent years the issue of political reform in the Arab world has been much discussed both in the region and the United States and a number of countries have taken at least some reform steps. Yet the rising conflicts in Iraq, Lebanon, and Palestine, as well as tensions between the United States and Iran, have recently overshadowed political reform debates. Given these developments, what is the state of the Arab political reform agenda and what can be expected in terms of political change in the region in the near future? What are the implications for U.S. efforts to promote regional reform? Four top political analysts from the region with expertise spanning all different parts of the Arab world participated in a lively, wide-ranging discussion on these questions, with active audience participation- Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Ghanim al-Najjar is professor of political science at Kuwait University.
Thomas Carothers is the vice president for studies-international politics and governance at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. In this capacity, he oversees the Democracy and Rule of Law Project, which he founded, and the Middle East Program.
Carothers is a leading authority on democracy promotion and democratization worldwide, as well as an expert on U.S. foreign policy generally. He is the founder and director of the Democracy and Rule of Law Project, which analyzes the state of democracy in the world and the efforts by the United States and other countries to promote democracy.
In addition, he has broad experience in matters dealing with human rights, international law, foreign aid, rule of law, and civil society development.
Khalid El Hariry
Khalid El Hariry is a Member of Parliament in Morocco, representing the Socialist Union of Popular Forces (USFP) in the Chamber of Representatives.
Amr Hamzawy is a noted Egyptian political scientist who previously taught at Cairo University and the Free University of Berlin. Hamzawy has a deep knowledge of Middle East politics and specific expertise on the reform process in the region. His research interests include the changing dynamics of political participation in the Arab world, the role of Islamist opposition groups in Arab politics, with special attention both to Egypt and the Gulf countries.
Hamzawy's studies at Cairo University focused on civil society and democratization in the Arab world, Islamism, and the cultural impacts of globalization in Muslim majority societies. He received his Ph.D. from the Free University of Berlin, where he worked as an assistant professor at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies.
Paul Salem is the Director Designate of the Carnegie Middle East Center. Prior to this appointment, Salem was the General Director at The Fares Foundation and from 1989 to 1999 he founded and directed the Lebanese Center for Policy Studies, Lebanonâ€™s leading public policy think tank. Recently, Salem was a member of the Lebanese National Commission for Electoral Law Reform, a blue ribbon commission tasked with revising Lebanon's electoral laws and proposing a new system.
In 2002, Salem was a member of the Senior Review Committee for the UNDP Arab Human Development Report. He also has held various positions at the American University in Beirut. He is regularly seen in television appearances, radio interviews, and newspaper articles on political issues relating to the Arab world.