In early June, a workshop organized jointly by the GIGA and POMEPS brings together scholars from North America and Europe to discuss their research on diffusion, demonstration, learning, cooperation and direct intervention during and after the Arab uprisings.
The Arab uprisings and their aftermath were deeply shaped by transnational and international forces. Many accounts of the protest mobilization during and after the uprisings highlight transnational diffusion and demonstration effects. Explanations of regime responses similarly feature accounts of authoritarian adaptation and learning. In addition to these indirect mechanisms, there have also been significant direct interventions by states and transnational movements to either support or suppress protests. This GIGA-POMEPS workshop invites scholars to focus in a systematic way on the mechanisms of diffusion, demonstration, learning, cooperation and direct intervention during and after the Arab uprisings. What precisely has diffused during and after the uprisings: ideas, identities, modular forms of protest or control, expectations, fear? What are the carriers and mechanisms of diffusion, demonstration, or cooperation? How do we assess the relative significance of transnational diffusion and local political factors? What evidence do we have by now for the actual operation of the hypothesized mechanisms? Is there anything distinctive about either the Middle East and North Africa or about the historical moment of the uprisings?