Arab Public Policy Roundtable
The Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs (IFI) will conduct research on the perceptions and present discourse of the “civil state”. This research will be done as part of the Arab Public Policy Roundtable, as a contribution to the American University of Beirut (AUB) wide research initiative on the Arab uprisings and part of the research being done at IFI on public policy in the Arab world.
The first roundtable session brought together Arab scholars and academics to identify some key elements of a “civil state”. A summary of their findings will be published soon. In the present context, the notion of “civil state” is not free from ambiguity. Yet, and in spite of disagreements among political actors and intellectuals, of different persuasions, there is convergence in recognizing the popular demand for a national, constitutional, democratic and modern state.
A second session on the civil state was organized on February 21st after the first round table that was held in September 2012. A number of academics and researchers participated in this session which discussed the nature of the desired 'civil state' in light of current developments in the Arab World. Participants expressed their views of this newly emerging concept and analyzed its implications on three levels: the political process (elections, constitution drafting,), freedom and human rights, and social equity.
The Arab Public Policy Roundtable will strive to be a space for discussion and forward looking reflection on the civil state. Starting from its attempt to clarify the terms of the public debate in the Arab world regarding the process of state reform and state building, the forum will examine different practices in various Arab countries and their evolutions. It will conduct research and facilitate dialogue on the specific issues pertaining to the making of a “civil state” and, if possible, the formulation of policy orientations and/or proposals.
Read the summary of the first roundtable discussion which was organized on the 4th of September.
Read the summary of the second roundtable discussion which was organized on the 21th of February 2013. English
Read the full publication of the Civil State آفاق الدولة المدنية بعد الانتفاضات العربية"