Friday, 6 September 2013

Transformative Justice in Tunisia and Egypt

Professor Paul Gready has been awarded a three year ESRC research grant proposal on Transformative Justice in Tunisia and Egypt.

The Arab world was shaken in 2011 by a series of popular movements, collectively known as the 'Arab spring(s)', that have challenged long established authoritarian regimes. What will be the medium and long term impacts of these uprisings? Who is driving (and contesting) change, and what kind of change is being sought? This study addresses these issues in the context of the contested transitions in Tunisia and Egypt.

The research is based on the following premise: for these uprisings to deliver on their potential will require transformative change that emphasises local agency and resources, the prioritization of process rather than pre-conceived outcomes, and the challenging of unequal power relationships and structures of exclusion. Such change is here termed transformative justice. The overarching research question is: How is transformative change defined and delivered in the context of political transition (in Tunisia and Egypt), and which actors, institutions and structures drive and contest such change? The research will look at changing attitudes over time (conducting two sets of interviews, one year apart) and document a range of voices and perspectives (urban/rural, supporters/opponents of the revolutions).

The research includes a strong capacity building element - training local researchers - and the grant will also fund two PhD scholarships at the Centre for Applied Human Rights.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

A dangerous game: Israel, Syria and US air strikes

In a piece for, Jacob Eriksson reflects on what a possible US strike on Syria might mean for Israel, and the problem of unspecified goals. Despite multiple threats being made against the Jewish state, the risk of unwanted conflict escalation makes such a retaliatory attack unlikely. Caution should, however, guide any American response.