The political and social upheaval triggered by the 2011 Arab uprisings shows few signs of abating, and U.S. and international policymakers continue to struggle to respond to the turmoil. Political, socio-religious and economic exclusion remain among the most significant causes of instability. Grievances that initially provoked the uprisings remain unaddressed: young people are disenchanted and marginalized, and minority voices continue to be disregarded as Arab states face a rising tide of radicalism and severe economic crises.
In response, the Baker Institute Center for the Middle East, in collaboration with the Carnegie Corporation of New York, launched a two-year project that confronted the governance crisis in the Middle East and identified effective and lasting policy interventions that could foster more inclusive and pluralistic states in the region.
The project also aimed to build sustainable bridges between Arab social scientists and U.S. scholars and policy practitioners. Amplifying the range and reach of expert voices from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is essential for better connecting research and policy, both within Arab countries and the United States. When the dust settles across the MENA, regional and international stakeholders must be equipped with policies that incentivize and support efforts to pursue genuine, long-term reforms premised on equal participation and fair opportunities.