This IAPSS Winter School examines the variety in social, political and economic conditions of countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and its implications on the Arab uprisings and vice versa. The Winter School will focus on case studies from our host country Tunisia but will also look beyond its borders. The Winter School allows students to gain in-depth knowledge of the region through lectures from academics as well as local and international NGO’s. We will also apply the newest the methods such as design thinking in policy-making.
The head topic “The MENA region in International Relations: Power, Politics and Ideology“ features the following four subtopics:
(1) Democratization and Regime Changes in the Aftermath of the Arab Spring
This topic is important to understand the domestic and regional factors that have led to the perceived failures and successes of the Arab uprisings of 2011. It also serves to understand why some countries did not witness an uprising at all despite initial protests and are still resilient to potential uprisings.
(2) Political Economy and Economic reform in the MENA-Region: Labor, Rents and Capital
This subtopic deals with the political economy in different sectors and policy fields. It explores the major developmental challenges in the region, such as long-term growth trends, demographic change, education, labor markets, urbanization, water and agriculture.
(3) Security and Power Politics: New Perspectives on Regional Hegemony
Geopolitics play a large role in the domestic situation of countries that are going through a political and social transition. This subtopic offers a macro perspective on the MENA region and aims to set the Arab uprisings in an international context. The question of how far regional issues influence domestic politics is important to understand why countries do what they do and how alliances in the Middle East are formed.
(4) Technology and Telecommunication: Creation and Decay of Revolutions
This topic focuses on the history of technology in resistances in the Middle East and North Africa; how it has developed itself and influenced the political participation. Topics such as telecommunication policy, intelligence and domestic security or digitization may be covered by this subtopic based on the interest of participants.
Programme and Venue
This year’s IAPSS Winter School will be held in cooperation with the Centre International de Formation Européenne (CIFE) in Tunis enabling all participants to dive into a week-long programme with various components: lectures, seminars, research and policy labs. In the evenings we have planned a documentary screening related to the theme of the Winter School as well as social activities to let off steam after the academic programme.
Tunisia lends itself as a perfect destination to explore the changing political reality in the Middle East and North Africa and its underlying causes. Furthermore, it is interesting to examine the process of democratization in Tunisia, which is considered to be the only true democracy in North Africa after the downfall of its authoritarian regime. If you are eager to learn more about the subtopics that this year’s Winter School is going to present, make sure you submit your application within the deadline to enjoy the stimulating academic programme prepared in cooperation with the leading experts in the theme. What is more, you will have a chance to meet fellow students from all over the world and experience Tunisia’s rich and hospitable culture.