International Society of Political Psychology

Conference Abstracts

11L The Winter of Arab Discontent: Causes, Meanings, and Consequences

(Session Organizer) Fouad Bou Zeineddine, University of Connecticut; (Discussant) Felicia Pratto, University of Connecticut; (Chair) Fouad Bou Zeineddine, University of C

Conference: ISPP 2011
Affiliation: University of Connecticut
Research Area: Social inequality and social change

Starting with Tunisia in December, 2010, and still ongoing at the time of this writing, democratic protests have swept across the Arab world, engulfing Yemen, Egypt, Algeria, and Jordan, and causing stirrings of sympathetic protest in most countries in the Middle East. Demanding change and solutions to rising food prices, unemployment, government corruption and oppression, as well as the chronic lack of political freedoms, people have mobilized at a scale and level of determination not seen for decades in the region.

This roundtable will discuss the possible causes and mechanisms of this rise in collective action and democratic engagement at this particular psychosocial, economic, and political juncture in the timeline of human history. It will also address what these events tell us about the people of the region, their needs and ambitions, and how the rest of the world views and is viewed by them. Finally, it will address what these events mean for democracy and collective action in the Middle East, looking forward, and the potential consequences they could have on the political psychology and political landscape of the region in the future.

Bringing together a group of scholars with theoretical expertise and knowledge and experience with the region and its recent events, this roundtable aims to create a rigorous, culturally aware, and multidisciplinary deliberation of these momentous changes, with full audience involvement.