The shifting balance of power in the Middle East and North Africa--recently demonstrated by a popular revolution in Tunisia, the pending division of Sudan, and popular uprising in Egypt--has left Arab leaders shaken and keen to improve relations with their publics. High unemployment, abusive government institutions, and repressed rights have incensed thousands of demonstrators in Jordan, Egypt, Sudan, Libya, and Yemen, many of whom have been inspired by the events in Tunisia and are eager for a change in their own leadership. What role do internal and external actors play as states are challenged to increase civil liberties and government transparency? How does the recent social upheaval position countries, especially Egypt, to contend with an increasingly organized and dissenting public? To help approach these questions, this lecture features Saad Eddin Ibrahim, Wallerstein Distinguished Visiting Professor, Center on Religion, Culture and Conflict, Drew University.
Recorded Tuesday, March 8, 2011 at the Chicago Club.