On November 4, Freedom House and the Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East hosted the release of the 2011 edition of Countries at the Crossroads, a new report from Freedom House, with an expert discussion that, among other things, examined what reform success should look like in these countries a year after the onset of the Arab Spring.
The uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Syria, and elsewhere in the region have shattered any illusions about the desirability of the prevailing governance systems in North Africa and the Middle East. With striking suddenness, long-entrenched authoritarian leaders are giving way to popular pressure for change, indelibly altering the political landscape. The breakthroughs achieved so far do not mean, however, that democratically accountable systems will inexorably emerge in their wake. The challenges these societies face raise serious questions about the prospects for fostering development, deepening democratic roots, and expanding effective governance.
12:00 p.m. Registration and light lunch available
12:15 p.m. Discussion begins
- William B. Taylor, Special Coordinator, Office of Middle East Transitions, US Department of State
- David J. Kramer, President, Freedom House
- David Yang, Director, Office of Diplomacy and Governance, USAID
- Hisham Melham, Washington Bureau Chief, Al Arabiya Television
- Vanessa Tucker, Project Director, Countries at the Crossroads, Freedom House
- Michele Dunne, Director, Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East, Atlantic Council