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Arab Politics: Still Searching for Legitimacy

Michael C. Hudson
Wednesday, January 22, 2014 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM

The popular uprisings across the Arab world that began in 2011 have not yet produced either democracy or stability.  The fundamental problem is the lack of legitimacy of the existing order, which until recently has been managed by regimes largely relying on oversized security-military apparatuses and, in the case of the smaller oil-rich kingdoms, generous welfare programs.  But in the more populous countries the quality of life for ordinary people has declined and government has been seen as inefficient and corrupt.  Lacking traditions of rule of law, most countries in the region have not yet been able to establish stable democratic procedures.  The results so far have been quite negative: overthrow of a democratically elected government in Egypt, an uneasy struggle for more pluralistic politics in Tunisia and Yemen, political fragmentation and chaos in Libya, ongoing low-level protest in Bahrain, and a bloody civil war in Syria.  Complicating matters further is the regional rivalry between Iran and its allies on the one hand,  and Saudi Arabia and its allies on the other.  And the outside big powers, especially the United States, seem more confused than competent to affect the regional malaise.

Professor Michael C. Hudson was appointed Director of the Middle East Institute and Professor of Political Science at National University of Singapore in 2010.  Before being appointed Professor Emeritus at Georgetown University he was Director of Georgetown’s Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, Professor of International Relations, and Seif Ghobash Professor of Arab Studies.  He did his undergraduate studies at Swarthmore College and holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in political science from Yale University.  He has held Guggenheim, Ford, and Fulbright fellowships, is a past president of The Middle East Studies Association and has lectured in universities and research institutes in the Middle East, Europe and Asia.  He is regularly interviewed about Middle East issues in the global news media and has written numerous publications including books, newspaper and journal articles.


Wednesday, January 22, 2014, 2013 at 6:00 PM

Admission: $25, Members $15, Full-time students $5

Registration: Online registration has closed. Please register at the door.

Location: The Union Club of Cleveland, 1211 Euclid Avenue

Schedule:     6:00 PM Reception with cash bar
                      6:30 PM Program Begins
                      7:30 PM Q&A Session
                      8:00 PM Program Adjourns