Continuing an annual tradition, and born of a concern rooted in contemporary political developments in the Arab world, the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies (ACRPS) will host the Fifth Annual Conference on Democratic Transition, with this year’s theme addressing “The Army and Politics in Times of Democratic Transition in the Arab World” from October 1-3, 2016.

Held at the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies, Qatar, the conference will include two keynote lectures: the first delivered by Arab intellectual and General Director of the ACRPS, Azmi Bishara on the first day of the meeting, and the second, delivered on the last day of the conference, by Zoltan Barani, Professor of Political Science at the University of Texas, Austin. The conference includes nine sessions, and will be attended by more than 60 researchers from  academic institutions across the Arab World and beyond.

The conference will cover the following themes:

  • Theoretical Issues and Problematics;
  • Different Coup Patterns: A Comparative Analysis
  • The Emergence of the Modern Arab Military and the Evolution of its Political Roles;
  • The Army and Irregular Forces;
  • The Army and Power: The Case of Algeria, Syria and Sudan;
  • The Troubled Relationship between the Army and Democratic Transition in the Maghreb;
  • The Army’s Position on the Arab Spring and Reform Issues: Comparative Cases;
  • The Iraqi Military Establishment and its Political Role: Past and Present;
  • Coups d’état in Sudan;
  • The Egyptian Military Establishment: From Revolution to Coup;
  • Resistance to Coups in Young Democracies in light of the July 15 Turkish coup.

To read the abstracts of papers set to be presented at the conference, please click here.

For a full agenda of the sessions together with speakers' biographies, please click here.


Previous ACRPS conferences within the same series include “Islamists and their approach to democratic governance” held on October 6-7, 2012; “Islamist Movements and Questions of Citizenship” held on September 28-30, 2013; “sectarianism and the formation of religious minorities in the Arab Levant” held on September 13-15; and “violence and politics in contemporary Arab society” held on September 12-14, 2015.