2016 Workshops


May Workshop: Beirut, Lebanon

“Civil Society Revisited: Researching Associational Life in Comparative Perspective”

APSA’s 4th annual MENA Workshop series began with a one-week program hosted by the American University of Beirut’s Asfari Institute for Civil Society and Citizenship from May 16-20, 2016. The workshop was co-led by Fateh Azzam (AUB Asfari Institute, Lebanon), Sandrine Gamblin (American University in Cairo, Egypt), Noora Lori (Boston University, USA), Augustus Richard Norton (Boston University, USA), and Denis Sullivan (Northeastern University, USA). Twenty-five PhD students and early career scholars attended as participants. Together, attendees sought to revisit the concept of civil society in the wake of the Arab Uprisings. While there is broad agreement that civil society matters, the precise causal mechanisms by which it is believed to exert an influence remain understudied. As the region experiences upheavals and regime-change, a wide range of actors with sometimes competing ideologies struggle to define and operationalize the mechanisms for securing durable political reform, social stability, and lasting peace. These changing state-society dynamics offer a unique opportunity to reexamine, and potentially re-conceptualize, traditional understandings of civil-society. More broadly, the workshop also focused on issues of research design, approaches to political science inquiry, and issues associated with manuscript preparation and publication. See the Reading List.pdf and Schedule.pdf for more information. Following the May workshop, participants had three months to revise their research for presentation and further feedback at a follow-up workshop in September.

2016 Fellows

• Ms. Rania AbdelNaeem – University of Oxford, UK
• Ms. Yasmina Abouzzohour – University of Oxford, UK
• Mr. Ahmed Alowfi – University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA
• Ms. Zeynep Balcioglu – Northeastern University, USA
• Olga Blázquez Sánchez – Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain
• Ms. Stephanie Chaban – University of Ulster, UK
• Mr. Youssef Chouhoud – University of Southern California, USA
• Mr. Hamdi Echkaou – Mohamed V University-Rabat, Morocco
• Ms. Dana El Kurd – University of Texas at Austin, USA
• Mr. Matt Gordner – University of Toronto, Canada
• Mr. Johannes Gunesch – Central European University, Hungary
• Ms. Shimaa Hatab – Cairo University, Egypt
• Mr. Gertjan Hoetjes – University of Exeter, UK
• Ms. Zuzana Hudakova – Graduate Institute of International and Developmental Studies, Switzerland
• Ms. Oula Kadhum – University of Warwick, UK
• Ms. Natasa Kubikova – University of London-SOAS, UK
• Ms. Yasmeen Mekawy – University of Chicago, USA
• Ms. Mariam Waheed – Cairo University, Egypt
• Ms. Sarra Moneir – Future University in Egypt, Egypt
• Mr. Abdelhamid Rhaiem – High Institute of Languages-Gabes, Tunisia
• Ms. Reham Rizk – Helwan University, Egypt
• Mr. Benjamin Schuetze – University of London-SOAS, UK
• Ms. Laura Wickström – Åbo Akademi University, Finland
• Mr. Mohammed Yachoulti – Mohammed Ben Abdellah University, Morocco


Participants and leaders pose on the steps of the AUB front gate

September Workshop: Amman, Jordan

As a follow-up to the May workshop in Beirut, participants were invited to a workshop in Amman from September 18-22, 2016. Daily sessions were structured around participant presentations and research discussions, providing significant opportunities for feedback from peer discussants and leaders. See the Schedule.pdf for more information on the Amman program. Concluding their participation in the 5-month MENA Workshops Fellowship, alumni were given three years’ complimentary membership to APSA and are eligible to apply for small grants to support their further research.

Participants and leaders pose during an excursion to Ajloun Castle