Challenges of Nation-Building in Arab Countries that have Recently Witnessed Change

  • 5 October 2015

The Arab region has been facing major changes in political, security, economic, social and cultural structures since the end of 2010, as a result of the so-called Arab Spring, which took place in some Arab countries. This has resulted in several challenges that have had negative influences on these countries, especially their ability to ensure security and stability, and their reconstruction and development process. This is why the conference – Nation-Building: The Challenge Post the End of Internal Conflicts in the Arab Counties That Have Witnessed Change – organized by the ECSSR in collaboration with the University of Maine, US, is important.

The conference, to be held from 6-7 October, will reflect on the need to follow-up on the developments taking place in Arab countries that have witnessed change and the need to study their different dimensions and impact, especially as these changes still continue and their ramifications go beyond the region. Besides the vital theme of the conference, what is significant is the participation of an elite group of scholars, academics and Arab and foreign experts specialized in nation-building.

They will present papers addressing the various dimensions of this issue and will try to arrive at conclusions to help decision-makers. Nation-building has become the main challenge for many countries and sessions at the conference will address many aspects related to this. It will highlight the prerequisites of nation-building process and the role of citizenship, social justice, rule of law, national identity, as well as future challenges facing the reconstruction process in these countries.

The conference will discuss political and developmental dimensions of nation-building and reconstruction following internal conflict, and how to build a nation state in the Arab world. It will also study mechanisms for achieving political and economic stability, the necessary political prerequisites for stability in post-conflict period. It will also highlight new trends in nation-building through topics related to this process, such as how to reshape social and economic systems in societies following the conflict, and national reconciliation and its importance in stability. A panel discussion on the role of GCC in Arab countries’ reform and relief is also on the agenda.

The conference comes at the right time given the size and scale of changes taking place in the Arab world. It aims to back decision-makers in Arab countries to understand the changes taking place in the region, by shedding light on the nature of challenges facing nation-building at different levels. These changes could be political, economic, security-related, social, and cultural. The conference will provide a set of recommendations and proposals that contribute towards positive outcome for the present and the future.