Following the 2011 Arab uprisings, policy makers, constitutional negotiators and drafters did little to address the demands of the millions of protesters across the region. The result has been a generalized regression in democratic governance throughout the region, in some cases far beyond the already poor standards that caused the 2011 uprisings in the first place. Author and lawyer Zaid Al-Ali will discuss the constitutional processes that followed the 2011 Arab uprisings and whether we are likely to see more protests in the coming years. 

This event will be moderated by MEI Faculty Director Tarek Masoud.

Al-Ali’s research and work focuses on constitution-building and peace-building, particularly in Arab countries. Al-Ali’s previous work experience includes having practiced international commercial arbitration since 1999 and working for the United Nations on Iraqi constitutional and parliamentary reform for five years.

Since 2011, Al-Ali has been involved in the large majority of constitutional reform initiatives in Arab countries, providing advice to a range of actors including constitutional negotiators in countries including but not limited to Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Yemen and Iraq. Author of the Struggle for Iraq’s Future, published by Yale University Press (2014) and of Arab Constitutionalism: The Coming Revolution, published by Cambridge University Press (2021). Al-Ali has previously taught Law at Sciences-Po (Paris) and at Princeton University. From 2019-2020, he was a fellow at the Berlin Institute of Advanced Studies (Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin). Al-Ali is a regular media commentator on constitutional developments in Arab countries, including in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the BBC, amongst many others.