Breakfast Study Group — Challenges and Prospects of Democracy in the Arab World (Session 4)


Thursday, September 29, 2022, 8:45am to 10:15am


WexG02 Seminar Room, Harvard Kennedy School

Session four of the Democratization in the Arab World: Challenges and Prospects for the Future Study Group with former Tunisian president Dr. Moncef Marzouki will focus on the most specific obstacle to Arab democratization: Islamism. Discussion will include how has political Islam in its armed version as well as in its civil version been a gift from heaven to dictatorships. Students will also explore why democratic elections have favored Islamist parties, and why they have failed the test of power (the case of Tunisia and Morocco). Participants will then debate the question: “Now that political Islam has failed, what will the people cling to in their demand for a moral policy?” 

This student group is now at capacity. 

About the Study Group  

With the process of democratization in the Arab world at a standstill, former Tunisian president Moncef Marzouki is offering an 8-session fall semester study group for Harvard graduate and undergraduate students examining the challenges and future prospects for democracy in the region. As a political actor, policymaker, and practitioner with more than fifty years of experience working on issues related to human rights and democracy, President Marzouki’s study group is an opportunity for students to delve deep into the discussions on the ongoing democratization process in the region and what it reveals about the strengths and weaknesses of the Arab world and democracy itself.

In order to help foster a stronger sense of community amongst study group attendees, we ask that students commit to participating in most if not all of the 8 fall semester sessions.

Please note that this-in person study group is open to Harvard ID holders only.

Breakfast will be provided.

About the Study Group Convenor 

Dr Moncef Marzouki is a senior fellow with the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation’s Democracy in Hard Places Initiative. He is a former professor of public health at the University of Sousse (Tunisia) and Paris (France) as well as the former president of Tunisia.

Register for Future Sessions