What Went Wrong, What Could Still Go Right, and What Have We Learned?

The Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East at the Atlantic Council and the European Union Institute for Security Studies are pleased to invite you for a special private roundtable on Thursday, November 21 from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm on “The Arab Awakening:  What Went Wrong, What Could Still Go Right, and What Have We Learned?”

The roundtable will bring together a select group of EU and US officials and European and American experts closely involved in the Arab transition countries and the U.S. and EU response.

Nearly three years after popular uprisings pushed out the long-serving autocratic rulers of Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and Yemen, democratic gains in these countries remain fragile, and in some cases early progress is being reversed and prospects for democratization appear to be diminishing.  Beyond common explanations such as the failure of the youth activists to move from protests to more formal politics or mistrust between secular and Islamist forces, what are the deeper, more systemic reasons why more progress has not been achieved?  How do we measure success or failure at this stage, especially as compared to transitions in other parts of the world?

The roundtable will feature two sessions.  The first session will explore some of the deeper reasons for challenges of democratization in these four countries and what factors remain favorable for democratic progress.  The second session will examine our initial assumptions about how change would unfold, and what lessons the EU and the United States have learned about our support for these transitions.  In each session, a European and U.S. official or expert will make brief opening remarks, and a moderated roundtable discussion will follow.

The event will be off the record.


When you arrive please use the West Tower elevators.

If you have any questions please contact Matt Hall.