Social and Political Changes in Africa and the Middle East: New Approaches and Perspectives for the Long-Term Peace and Prosperity

Panel Code

After the collapse of Soviet Union in 1991, Arab Spring initiated the decline of the last “island” of non-democratic rule, resembling to the fall of the Iron Curtain in Eastern Europe after 1989. However, the controversial nature of such a liberalization progress in the Middle East in the last 7 years leaves enough room for political scientists, policymakers and survey researchers to speculate about the future vectors of this process.
Apart from the political and geopolitical consequences of the Arab Spring, a great amount of social and humanitarian problems emerged. Military actions and civil armed conflicts in Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen produced losses to the population and created significant damage for the social infrastructure in those countries.
The Arab Spring, its social and political consequences, economic crisis, migration and activization of terrorism in the Middle East, effects essentially the system of norms, values and beliefs, which constitute the backbone of Arab societies. Change in the way how people think, how they see their future life and the vectors of development which their country should follow, becomes itself an important factor of transformation of Middle Eastern societies. Discrepancies and contradictions between the old traditional and the new emerging value system create new social challenges for the development of the Arab World.
This panel invites papers which address issues of social, political, economic or humanitarian development of the societies in the Middle East, Northern Africa and the Gulf aiming to provide a deeper look into the determinants and vectors of ongoing transitional processes, case studies of good practices offering solutions for the long-term peace and prosperity in the Middle East. Papers analysing the question of a convergence or divergence of values systems in this region are particularly welcome. We invite papers which employ World Values Survey data, Arab Barometer data as well as other survey findings and qualitative studies.