ARI projects

    

Current Projects

The first round of the Arab Research Support Program (ARSP) aimed to promote through financial grants quality research by researchers in Arab countries that would a) guide policy debates and paths during the transition and b) empower individuals or groups to strengthen existing research and civil society institutions or initiate new institutional settings. It gave priority to innovative, evidence-based research related to the Arab democratic transitions, particularly in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen and Syria.

The Arab Barometer is a multi-partner collaborative project housed at the Arab Reform Initiative (ARI) established to produce reliable data on the politically-relevant attitudes of ordinary citizens, to disseminate and apply survey findings in order to contribute to political reform, and to strengthen institutional capacity for public opinion research.

Egypt has awoken. Egyptians continue to confirm every day that they are awake, engaged and, from many different viewpoints, ready to debate the future of their country. While the rest of the world reacts, hesitates, condemns or shows understanding of what is happening in Egypt, Egyptians themselves are determining their future. The Debating Egypt project publishes articles by leading researchers presenting challenging views of ongoing events in Egypt.

The construction of stable, accountable civil-military relations is essential for the transition to democracy, but this re-balancing of power relations can be very difficult to achieve while also guaranteeing public security. This project on ‘Security in Times of Transition’ analyzes the challenges and options for protecting public security and handling security sector reform during transition.

One of the key challenges for the democratic transformation of Arab societies is the issue of equal citizenship. As a result, the rights of minorities have emerged as a top priority for the transition period. The Governance of Diversity project proposes concrete models of national contracts, constitutional arrangements, public policies and other measures to ensure genuine equality, recognizing that management of the rights and status of minorities and women is primarily the government's responsibility.

ARI seeks to promote the principle of constitutionalism as a dynamic and ongoing process that needs to be sustained after the constitution is adopted to help relate the text to the day-to-day practice of citizenship. Realizing that this is a foundational process of the transition period in which the actual framing of the state is in the making, ARI will serve as a resource for information on constitutional provisions concerning critical issues like the social role of the state, the role of the military and regulation of diversity. The transition situation does not apply to all Arab countries but ARI's scope in this project will include constitutional reforms that are not necessarily related to uprisings.

Previous Projects

Building on a two-year dialogue between leading thinkers of different political opposition groups in Egypt and Tunisia (2008-2009), ARI helped newly formed political groups work toward agreement on the founding principles of the political system and democratic mechanisms for managing their differences. Topics included the place of religion in the constitution, sources of legislation, minority rights, freedom of thought and expression, social demands and economic policy. Discussions addressed the development of political platforms for campaigning and the identification of possible alliance options.