Political Scientists Plan Visit to Speak at UNO about Arab Spring
More than two years after the Arab Spring, leading experts return to the University of New Orleans next month to discuss prospects for democratic and civil society in the Middle East.
Les Campbell of the National Democratic Institute and Tom Garrett of the International Republican Institute present "Arab Spring Revisited: Jordan, Libya, Yemen and Syria Two Years After" from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 29 in Kirschman Hall, Room 214. The event is hosted by the University's Bachelor of Arts degree program in International Studies, the World Affairs Council of New Orleans and Center Austria, UNO's research and discourse hub on all things Austria.
Campbell and Garrett return to UNO eighteen months after their first appearance on campus, which fell in the immediate wake of the Arab Spring, said John Hazlett, UNO Janet Dupuy Colley Professor of International Studies and director of the University's B.A. in International Studies program.
Campbell is senior associate and regional director for Middle East and North Africa Programs for NDI, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization and think tank aiming to promote openness and accountability in governments around the world by partnering with local supports to build political and civic organizations, safeguard elections and promote citizen participation.
According to his resume, Campbell has 25 years of experience in international development, parliamentary governance and political affairs. He has directed NDI's programs in the Middle East and North Africa region since 1996 and in his current position has overseen "a vast expansion" of NDI programs aimed at political, civic and governance reform throughout the Arab world. Campbell is a frequent guest and commentator on Middle East issues for major news outlets and has written a number of articles and papers on the subject of democracy in the Middle East.
Garrett is vice president for programs at IRI, a similar nonprofit, nonpartisan organization and think tank seeking to advance freedom and democracy worldwide by developing political parties, civic institutions, open elections, democratic governance and legal policy. According to his resume, Garrett has worked the past 15 years helping to improve election processes in Afghanistan, Albania, Azerbaijan, Egypt, Mongolia, Pakistan, Russia, the Solomon Islands, Tunisia and Ukraine.
"Democracy greatly lessens the likelihood of conflict between nations, and of want within nations," said IRI president Lorne Carter in an online presidential message. "For more than a quarter century, therefore, IRI has helped men and women working to bring liberty to their lands."