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Reform and Change in the Arab World
Author : Several contributors
ISBN :
Book Language : English, العربية
Publication Date : 27-10-2006
No. of pages :

Introduction

This book includes papers presented at the first conference entitled "Network of Reform and Democratic Change in the Arab World" which was jointly organized by Al Quds Center for Political Studies and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Amman, 8-10 December 2006.

Papers were presented by intellectuals and politicians who reside on various locations of the reform spectrum. They addressed a wide range of reform concepts, its priorities and mechanism. The papers also tackle the reform experience and official, civil, Arab, and international initiatives. They also identify the role of "political Islam" in this process.

The idea to convene a conference on reform and to establish a network for Arab reformists came from the need to motivate and speed up the pace of reform that some Arab societies and countries have witnessed. It aims at bypassing the standstill situation and the stagnation that has dominated the region over the last decades and years thus leading to grave consequences at the level of comprehensive human development.

The organizers of the conference considered the series of previous reform initiatives witnessed by the region. Further, they gave political attention, in their actions and deliberations, to the issue of building a "joint vision" of Arab reformists and finding an integrated framework of action. Over three days of serious deliberations, we managed to formulate a joint vision supported with an action mechanism for the network and we have just announced its establishment.

As the reader may note, the themes of the book, which are the themes of the conference itself, have touched on a majority of challenges and topics of debate among the political elite in the Arab World. The first theme "Political Reform: The concept and prospects for reform and change", "The Issue of Arab exceptionalism: Illusion and dues," "The Arab World and the Reform and Change Challenge", and "Political Reform: The concept, the prospects of building a joint vision of Arab reformists" were addressed.

Under the themes "Initiatives of Arab reforms: Achievements and failures" this book includes studies on the European and American approaches to the reform process. It also presents the official and civil Arab reform initiatives.

Political Islam and reform is given ample space in this book including different themes such as "The Prophet's behavior by Imamah or the Nature of the Political Practice in Islam", the "Vocabulary of Reforms in the Shii political trend", "Islamists and democracy", and the "Study of the convergence between the religious texts and democratic conditions. The book also addresses the "Impact of Regional Conflicts on the Reform Process" touching on models and case studies from Iraq and Palestine. Additionally, the book allocates ample space to discussing the role of the NGOs in promoting and triggering the process of reform and development.

The importance of the book is twofold: firstly, due to its scholarly importance and secondly, it constitutes the intellectual base of the reform and change network in the Arab World. For this reason, this book shall be an indispensable reference for everyone who is interested in the issues of reform and democracy in the region.

Contents

Subject Pqge
Introduction 1

Part One:An Introduction to Reform

Opening Speech 2
Oreib Rantawi
Director of Al Quds Center for Political Studies- Jordan
A Welcome Address 3
Hardy Ostry
Regional Representative, Konrad Adenauer/ Amman Office
The Barcelona Process – Ten Years of European Assistance towards Peace, Stability and Freedom in the Mediterranean 4
Ralf Brauksiepe
A Member of the German Parliament and a Spokesperson to the Parliamentarian Group for Development and Party Cooperation for the Christian Democratic Party and the Christian Social Party/ Berlin-Germany
Keynote Speech 5
Sabri Rbeihat
Minister for Political Development and Parliamentarian Affairs-Jordan

Part Two:Political Reform: The Concept and Prospects for Constructing a Joint Vision

The Problematic Arab Exceptionalism: between Illusion and Entitlement 6
Ibrhaim Badran
Assistant of Philadelphia University President -Jordan
The Arab World: Challenges of Change and Reform 7
Dr. George Yitzhak
Coordinator of the Egyptian Movement for Change-Egypt
Political Reform: Concept and Prospects for Constructing a Joint Vision for Arab Reformists 8
Haider Ibrahim Ali
Director for the Center of Sudanese Studies- Sudan
Ideas on the Issues of Reform and Democratic Change in the Arab World 9
Oreib Rantawi
Director of Al-Quds Center for Political Studies- Jordan

Part Three: Arab Reform Initiative: Success and Failure

A Reading of Arab Initiatives for Reform: Achievements and Failures in the GCC Countries: Bahrain as a Case Study 10
Abdurrahman Al-Nu'eimi
Head of the board of directors / the National Center for Studies -Bahrain

Part Four:Reform: the Internal-External Debate

Reform between Implicit Rejection and Delayed Desire 11
Fuad Ibrhaim
A Writer in the Journal for Gulf Affairs - UK
Political Reform: External-Internal Dichotomy 12
Akram Al-Buni
A writer and political activis- Syria

Part five:Political Islam and Democratic

The Prophet's Behavior as Leader : The Nature of Political Practice in Islam 13
Dr. Sa'd El-Dein Al-Othmani
General Secretary of the Development and Justice Party in Morocco
Concepts of Reform for the Shiite Political Islamic Current 14
Ghanim Jawad
Director of culture and human rights / Al-Kawei Foundation - UK
Islamists and Democracy 15
Abdel Aziz Al-Khamis
Editor in chief of Arabian observe Magazine- UK/ Iraq
Democracy and the Authority of the Religious Text: A Study in the Convergence Between the Religious Text and the Democratic Condition 16
Mohammed Habash
A member of the People Council- Syria

Part Six: Reform and Regional Conflict in the Arab Region

Reform and Regional Conflicts in the Arab Region Jordan as A Model 17
Muhammad al-Halayqa
A Former Deputy Prime Minster of Jordan / Member of Upper house
Reform and Regional Conflicts in the Arab Region: Iraq as a Model 18
Bekhtiar Amin
A former Minister of Human Rights -Iraq

Part Seven: The Role of Civil Society in Reform in Democracy

The Role of Civil Society in the Process of Reform and Democracy 19
Nafeesah Lahrash
The head of the Women's Association in Itisal -Algeria
A Feminist View of Reform and Change in the Arab World 20
Badriyya al-Awadi
Professor of international law and director of the Arab Regional Center for the Environmental Law- kuwait
The Role of Non Governmental Organizations in the Reform Process in the Arab World 21
Kamal Bin Younis
Media Expert -Tunisia
Final Recommendations of the Conference 22
List of Participants 23