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Civic driven change: Citizen's Imagination in action

This essay introduces important concepts and provides the reader with information about the motivations, methods and substantive content of this volume. It concludes with an overview of what civic driven change mean from the perspective of the authors and details areas where important differences of view were identified.

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  ...

Stories of freedom

Read this interesting personal account of Amjad Baiazy, the Syrian human rights and civil society activist, who was imprisoned by the Syrian authorities on May 12, 2011 and released on June 30, 2011. While in prison, Amajd Baiazy engaged in discussions with inmates on the myths and realities surrounding the Syrian revolution. In this personal account and analysis, Amjad Baiazy addresses the...

Publication on women's rights in Syria

When we look at the group of protesters that sparked the revolutionary upheaval in the MENA region, we learn that many of them were women. Their participation in the squares, in online fora and behind the war front is impressive. However, their role in the outcome of these political transitions does not reflect their involvement and contribution in any way. How did this happen, and what to do...

Syria's local coordination committees: The dynamo of a hijacked revolution

Since the outbreak of the Syrian revolution in March 2011, there have been abundant articles and studies on Syrian political factions and figures; but, to date, there has been no systematic study and critical appraisal of the engine of the revolution ˗ the local coordination committees (LCCs). For this reason, Hivos, in collaboration with Syrian stakeholders and regional knowledge initiatives...

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...

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...

Tunisian women in politics: From constitution makers to electoral contenders

The outstanding result women achieved in the Tunisian legislative elections held on 26 October 2014 (31 per cent of seats in the Assembly), marks a new milestone in Tunisia’s modernist tradition and confirms its pioneering position in the Arab region with regard to women’s rights and their participation in public life.

Having managed to overcome and reconcile their various cultural and...

Fighting the last war? Civil-military relations in Egypt

Abdelfattah El-Sisi, the former chief of Egypt's Armed Forces, is expected to easily win the Egyptian presidential elections at the end of May. The military dominates Egyptian politics, which is hindering Egypt’s transition to democracy, and has two operating modes: a ‘stability mode’ to defend its own institutional interests, and a ‘crisis mode’ in which defending the state is the priority....

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