Democratic efforts on the brink: What is happening in the Middle East and North Africa


With the help of Elisenda Ballesté Buxó, Project Coordinator at International IDEA, this event takes a regional perspective on democracy, focusing particularly on the state of democracy in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

This region is one of many which is facing a democratic backlash in the world. According to the International IDEA’s 2019 report on the state of global democracy, the Middle East has experienced the slowest democratic progress in the world since 1975. While the Arab Uprisings in 2010-11 raised hopes for a turning point in the region’s democratic history, many of the movements demanding democratic transitions have since weakened. The COVID-19 pandemic has deepened the economic and social problems of the region, which could exacerbate the pre existing democratic challenges. The presentation will cover the key democratic trends and challenges in this region that have been observed in the last 5 years; while also shedding some light on some of the implications that the government measures to combat the Covid-19 pandemic have had on democracy and human rights in the region.

Elisenda Ballesté Buxó works at the International IDEA as a Project Coordinator and manages the EU co-funded online monitoring tool of COVID-19 measures adopted by the 162 countries covered in the Global State of Democracy Indices. Her work on Middle East and her experience on education, earned her the invitation from the UN to present a lecture on how education can be used as a tool on the effort on the resolution of the Arab-Israel conflict, in the UN Meeting of Civil Society in Support of Israeli-Palestinian Peace.

Towards the end of the presentation, the speaker will answer questions from the participants and open up for a wider discussion within the group. The event is moderated by FUF Stockholm Södra’s event group and held in English.

The event takes place via Zoom and requires pre-registration before 11:59 (CEST) on the 30th of May.

In collaboration with Medborgarskolan.

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