“Citizenship is the Solution”?

May 14, 2012 in Panels by admin

“Citizenship is the Solution” (El-Mowatna heya el-Hall) is the new slogan in the Arabic world after the Arabic Spring. Especially the minorities and the less privileged people in the society of the Arabic World feel discriminated and ignored both in the labor market, and in having access to many rights. Justice is not for all and it is differentiated according to the connections one has, also before court and judges.

The old slogans used like Democracy, Liberalism or Secular State are attacked by the Islamist political groups and are pictured as an anti-Islamic western model, which makes them weak and difficult to defend or to be adopted. Here “Citizenship” offers a good alternative. It helps that the word does not carry bad connotations and is also not too novel, since it has been used by the old regimes in Syria, Egypt, Tunisia and the Golf Monarchies in the course of reformation and transition.

In the neo-patrimonial authoritarian regimes in the Arabic world, belonging and networking with the head of the states is vital. Qualification or knowledge plays no role, people are not the same before the law. Will the concept of “Citizenship” under the Islamist governments gain importance or will it remain the same? Can the Monarchies keep their neo-patrimonial system the way it was or will it be affected by the revolutionary demands to go forward in reforming the citizenship concept? Which role do the Islamist political groups play in weakening or encouraging the “Citizenship” concept?

The panel aim is to debate the concept of “Citizenship,” its definitions and its compatibility with the existing regimes in the MENA-Region, but also in Israel as a “democratic” neighbor and a geographic partner in the region. To what extent the people in the MENA region are aware about “Citizenship” should also be addressed in some presentations. Which importance will the Islamists grant to civil society organizations and human rights legislation: will they remain marginalized as before or will there be tendency towards improvement?

It is also sought to compare and to analyze the common points or similarities as well as the differences between the aforementioned countries. Contributions of case studies or conception papers are welcome from different disciplines.

Organisatorin: Hala Kindelberger, Universität Potsdam

The deadline for the submission of abstracts (no more than 300 words) is 04 June 2012. Abstracts should be sent to Hala Kindelberger (University of Potsdam): hala.k@hotmail.de