August 20, 2013

Experts to discuss future of Arab reform movements Sept. 6 at Wayne Law

DETROIT - Three prominent analysts of Middle East politics will share their insights Friday, Sept. 6, when the Wayne State University Law School offers a panel discussion on "The Future of Reform Movements in the Arab World."

The free, public event will take place from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the Law School's Spencer M. Partrich Auditorium, 471 W. Palmer St. A reception will follow. Parking will be available in the structure across Palmer Street from the Law School for $6.50.

Professor of Law Gregory Fox, director of the Program for International Legal Studies, said he's delighted to host experts Professor Haider Hamoudi of the University of Pittsburgh Law School, Professor Tarek Masoud of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and Professor Mark Tessler of the Department of Political Science at the University of Michigan to serve on the panel. The analysts will discuss the precarious state of Arab political reform movements, often referred to as the "Arab Spring."

Starting in late 2011, protests and calls for reform swept the Arab world, and several long-standing authoritarian regimes fell from power as a result. Since then, however, Egypt has experienced a military coup, Libya is teetering on the brink of anarchy and momentum in the Syrian civil war seems to be shifting to the incumbent regime.

"Political, legal and social reform in the Arab world has reached a critical moment," Fox said. "There seem to be good reasons to agree with both optimists and pessimists about the future of progressive change. We know the questions the panel will address are of great concern to the Wayne community and to many outside the university in southeast Michigan."

Hamoudi has served as a legal advisor to the Finance Committee of the Iraq Governing Council and to the Constitutional Review Committee of the Iraqi legislature. His scholarship focuses on Middle Eastern and Islamic law, particularly as it pertains to commerce. Hamoudi is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Columbia Law School.

Masoud is a specialist on the Middle East and author of a forthcoming book on Islamic political parties. His research focuses on political development in poor, undemocratic countries. Masoud graduated from Brown University and earned his doctorate in political science from Yale University.

Tessler, a specialist on comparative politics and Middle East studies, has attended university and lived for extended periods in both the Arab world and Israel. He has studied and conducted field research in Tunisia, Israel, Morocco, Egypt and Palestine (West Bank and Gaza), and co-directs the Arab Barometer Survey project. Tessler graduated from Case Western Reserve University and earned his doctorate in political science from Northwestern University.

For more information about the event, email

Photos: (top to bottom) Haider Hamoudi, Tarek Masoud and Mark Tessler.

Wayne State University is a premier urban research institution offering more than 370 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to nearly 29,000 students.


Shawn Starkey
Phone: 313-577-4629

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