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Decentralisation: The Search for New Developments Solutions in the Arab World's Peripheries
Speaker: Intissar Kherigi, Co-founder, Jasmine Foundation

Moderator: Lina Khatib, Director, Middle East and North Africa Programme, Chatham House

An account of the Arab uprisings of the last decade would be incomplete without an understanding of regional inequalities. While each country’s protests were driven by a distinct combination of grievances, a common factor has been the marginalisation of “peripheries”. Since the 1980s, decentralisation has been championed as a driver for both democratisation and development, promising to empower regions, granting them political representation and enabling them to create their own economic strategies. Yet, the demands for freedom, dignity and social justice voiced by the Arab uprisings require the central state to be more present in peripheries, not less.

In a recent article, Intissar Kherigi examined the case of Tunisia and discussed whether decentralisation can help achieve greater local development in peripheral regions without allowing the central state to withdraw from its obligations to citizens. The article also explored the possibility of envisaging new forms of local development within the framework of highly centralised Arab states and how the state can reconfigure its relations with local communities in the context of severe political and economic crises.

In this webinar, part of the Chatham House project on the future of the state in the Middle East and North Africa, the article's author will address the unfolding processes of decentralisation in Tunisia since 2011 and will discuss whether decentralisation can be a driver for democratisation and economic development.

May 27, 2020 01:00 PM in London

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