Hivos International

Publications Search

Unity in diversity: Promoting pluralism and intercultural citizenship in Iraq

This paper, entitled "Unity in Diversity", provides an academic background on the protection of diversity in both the international (UN experience) and regional (European, US and African) frameworks, and then assesses national, religious and linguistic diversity in Iraq, offering an overview of the national framework for diversity in Iraq.

The paper aims to provide an academic approach...

Electoral system in future Syria

Syrian authorities responded to widespread  anti-government protests  with overwhelming military force. The internal  conditions in Syria will  continue to deteriorate, but what is now  certain is that the Assad  regime would eventually collapse. These  developments mean that Syrian  opposition groups must begin negotiating  clear state-building  strategies in preparation for Assad's fall. A  ...

Resilient Authoritarianism and the Future of Democracy Promotion in the Middle East: Lessons from Syria and Iran

The Stimson Center hosted a discussion–organized by Knowledge Programme Civil Society of the Dutch organization Hivos that aims to gain insights on civic activism in authoritarian settings in Syria and Iran–on the future of non-democratic regimes in the Middle East and the policy implications of the unprecedented, and unexpected, recent popular uprisings in the region. Ellen Laipson...

Syrian civil society scene prior to Syrian revolution

The current revolution in Syria took most of the country’s civil society actors and organizations by surprise. Few were prepared to lead or give direction to the mass grievances against authoritarian rule, and even fewer appear to have been instrumental to the onset of the uprising in March 2011. However, whatever the outcome of the current Syrian crisis will be –a reform process, a...

The green movement: Seizing the state or democratizing society?

The Green Movement is a massive and unprecedented social movement that brought together different segments of the society and courageously challenged the regime. However, despite its importance, social mobilization alone is not sufficient to bring about a regime change, let alone a sustainable democracy. In addition to mobilization, the movement needs a strategic reflection on its vision,...

Transition debates in a transforming Middle East

In this Special Bulletin, Mariwan Kanie maps out the main debates in the Middle East on Middle Eastern transitions. Making sense of the new Middle East is not an easy endeavor. Since the start of the Tunisian uprising on December 17, 2010, the region has been the scene of complex, revolutionary and rapid transitions that defy conventional knowledge and wisdom.

The scope of these shifts...

Syrian voices from pre-revolution Syria: civil society against all odds

With mass protests in Syria in full swing, and violence reaching unprecedented levels, it may at first seem peculiar to release a volume of papers that document and analyse the inner workings and fate of Syria’s civil society as it manifested itself on the eve of the uprising in early 2011. The current clashes between armed groups and the regime, their sad trail of human casualties and...

Iranian Shia clergy and democratic transition: Insiders' perspectives

Hivos is proud and pleased to present this special bulletin on the role of Shia clergy in the transition to democracy in Iran. The contributions in this special bulletin present  unique insider perspectives on the potential and limitations of Shia clergy to foster the development of a democratic Iran.

Five Iranian experts - four of whom are clerics – provide informed and in-depth...

Dignity revolutions and western donors: Redefining relevance

The dignity revolutions in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) are ‘political Big Bangs’ that have shocked and awed almost everyone in the world, including the revolutionaries themselves. The Knowledge Programme Civil Society in West Asia (CSWA) is certainly no exception. Until the fall of the Tunisian dictator Ben Ali on 14 January 2011, conventional wisdom – both in the region and beyond...

Iran and the West: Beyond the nuclear deal

There are hopes that the interim deal on Iran’s nuclear programme could pave the way towards broader improvements in Iran’s relations both with the West and with other powers in the Middle East and Asia. But expectations must be pitched at a realistic level. While the accord will not immediately unlock progress on other regional or domestic challenges, there are at least some genuine...

Pages