Arne Strand

Research Director, U4 Director

Are John Knudsen

Research Professor (on leave, Fridays at CMI)

Liv Tønnessen

Senior Researcher and Director of Center on Law and Social Transformation

The Arab revolts are at different stages and take place in their particular setting. Yet there are common threads that run across the region. People have taken to the streets to protest social, economic and political conditions in their countries. Men and women of all ages and religion are demanding dignity, lower food prices, job opportunities, better healthcare, an end to corruption and the application of the rule of law.

CMI's Transformations in the Arab World consolidates CMI’s work in the region. The first aim of the program is to understand the nature of the Arab uprisings, which has very quickly become known as the Arab Spring. Researchers examine the root causes of social processes that contributed to the mobilization of the people, enabled realization of shared aspirations, facilitated dialogues between generations, and across gender and existing perceived class divides, and created the mechanisms used in the transitional processes for democratization in the region. The aim is to increase our understanding of avenues for popular mobilizations, civilian abilities to reshape their everyday conditions, and challenges confronting them in their endeavor to transform prevailing institutions of governance to civilian democratic institutions. The program also investigates how the upheavels impact the relationship between the Arab world and other non-Arab regional powers, such as Iran and Turkey. Furthermore, it will consolidate studies in the fields of peace and reconciliation, gender, transitional justice, politics of religion and cultural heritage, where CMI has strong expertise.

See also Agents or Guardians

Muslim Devotional Practices

Politics of Faith

Read Nefissa Naguib's blog from Tahir in February

Reference group:

John Esposito is Professor of Religion and International Affairs and of Islamic Studies at Georgetown University

Hoda Elsadda is Professor and Chair of in study of the Contemporary Arab World at the University of Manchester

Dr. Seteney Shami, Social Science Research Council in New York

Dr. Hoda Handoussa, Economic Research Forum in Cairo

Professor Annika Rabo, University of Stockholm

Professor Salwa Ismael, SOAS

Professor Hamit Bozarslan, L’École des Hautes Etudes

Professor Leif O. Manger, University of Bergen

Dr. Astri Surke, CMI

Dr. Elin Skaar, CMI