UACES Arena: Facing EU policy failures in the Middle East - the new Arab Awakening

Brussels, Belgium

30 June 2011


Dr Francesco Cavatorta (Dublin City University) & Dr Michelle Pace (University of Birmingham)

This event is part of the UACES Arena, which is organised by UACES and Edelman | The Centre in cooperation with the University of Kent at Brussels. UACES Arena invites leading scholars to challenge conventional wisdom in the policy-making world and to present new ideas for a changing Europe.

The significance of contemporary events in the Middle East and North Africa cannot be underestimated. With the removal of President Ben Ali of Tunisia, President Mubarak of Egypt, and the onset of a civil war against Colonel Gaddafi in Libya, it is clear that the regional kaleidoscope has been shaken and the Middle Eastern mosaic is in flux. As such, with popular protests in Algeria, Jordan, Lebanon, Yemen, Bahrain, Mauritania, Morocco, the Palestinian Occupied Territory and Syria, the region has come to be seen as undergoing a period of deep profound changes. The onset of such uncertainty has not only challenged the long term policies pursued by the European Union but profoundly demonstrated the ongoing failures of Western “democracy promotion” policies towards the region.

The speakers will debate how contemporary events have helped construct a crisis that fundamentally calls for a paradigm shift in EU policy, which thus far has eluded policymakers. The seminar is aimed at investigating how crises are moments of decisive intervention that help shape and form political time. Such understandings, will hopefully lead to democracy ‘support’ when called for from within societies, rather than ill-conceived notions of democracy ‘promotion’ from outside the region.

Practical information

This event is free to attend. Places are limited so please reserve a place in advance by sending an email with the subject ‘middle east’ to by 24 June, stating your name, institution/organization and title. Lecture from 13:00 to 14:00 (with a sandwich lunch from 12:30)

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