From Squares to Chairs? The Impact of COVID-19: On Social Mobilization in the MENA Region

From Squares to Chairs? The Impact of COVID-19: On Social Mobilization in the MENA Region

09.07.2020 15:00 - 09.07.2020 18:00
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Categorie: Webinar e Corsi
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Since March 2019, a new phase of protests has progressively hit several countries across the MENA region, from Algeria to Sudan, from Lebanon to Iraq, leading some observers to envisage the second wave of the “Arab Springs”. Thousands of protesters have taken to the streets, challenging security forces and blaming the ruling élite for corruption, poor governance, and social injustice. One year later, several governments found themselves in an increasingly precarious condition but the sudden spread of the COVID-19 pandemic forced protesters to stop, overshadowing the very reasons behind the popular demonstrations and offering exposed state authorities an unhoped opportunity to impose harsh social control measures and buy time. However, as soon as regional states began to ease lock-down regulations protests restarted, indicating that the very grievances that prompted social unrest in the first place have plainly re-emerged and are further compounded by the pandemic’s massive economic impact. As the social pact underpinning most of the region’s societies seems more untenable than ever, governments have now to choose between a serious commitment to socio-economic reforms or a new, and likely more violent, season of social unrest.

Panel Discussion


Chiara Lovotti, Associate Research Fellow, Middle East and North Africa Program, ISPI

Lina Khatib, Director, Middle East and North Africa Programme, Chatham House

Ranj Alaaldin, Visiting Fellow, Brookings Doha Center

Please, register here to join the webinar and take part in the Q&A session.

The live stream of the event will be also available on Facebook, on July 9 at 3pm CEST.

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