Ellen Lust is a Professor in the Department of Political Science and Founding Director of the Program on Governance and Local Development at Yale University. Her books include Structuring Conflict in the Arab WorldPolitical Participation in the Middle East, co-edited with Saloua Zerhouni; Governing Africas Changing Societies, co-edited with Stephen Ndegwa, the 12th and 13th editions of The Middle East, an edited textbook; Taking to the Streets: The Transformation of Arab Activism, co-edited with Lina Khatib; and Trust, Voice and Incentives: Learning from Local Successes in Service Delivery in the Middle East and North Africa, co-authored with Hana Brixi and Michael Woolcock. She has also published articles in such journals as Comparative Political StudiesInternational Journal of Middle East StudiesPolitics and Society, and Comparative Politics. Her work broadly examines political participation and governance. She is currently writing a book examining the role of social institutions on political behavior in the Arab world, and a jointly authored book (with Jakob Wichmann and Gamal Soltan) on the Egyptian transition. Ellen has conducted fieldwork, implemented public opinion polls, and led alumni tours across the region, including in Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, Syria and Tunisia. She also served as a founding associate editor of the journal, Middle East Law and Governance, sponsored by the University of Toronto and Yale University Law Schools, and currently serves as the President of its Board of Directors.

Mark Tessler is Samuel J. Eldersveld Collegiate Professor of Political Science at the University of Michigan. He is co-founder and co-director of the Arab Barometer Survey Project and he served as president of the American Institute for Maghrib Studies from 1995 to 2004. He is the author, coauthor, or editor of fourteen books, including Public Opinion in the Middle East: Survey Research and the Political Orientations of Ordinary Citizens, Islam, Democracy and the State in Algeria, and Area Studies and Social Science: Strategies for Understanding Middle East Politics. His new book, supported by a Carnegie Islamic Scholar award, is Islam and Politics in the Middle East: Explaining the Views of Ordinary Citizens. He has also published articles in such journals as World Politics, Comparative Political StudiesInternational Journal of Middle East StudiesPublic Opinion Quarterly, and Comparative Politics. In addition to his research on public opinion, he has written extensively on the Israel–Palestine conflict. He is the author of A History of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, the first edition of which was named a “Notable Book of Year” by The New York Times. He has consulted or done research for United Nations, the World Bank, the World Economic Forum, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the U.S. State Department, and other international and American institutions. His other professional service activities include the general editorship of a scholarly book series in Middle East Studies for Indiana University Press and membership on the editorial boards of Public Opinion Quarterly, Middle East Law and Governance, Journal of North African Studies, and others.

Mohamed Alaoua, Morocco

Hind Arroub is a Moroccan political & social scientist, researcher, writer, human rights activist, international consultant. She is the Founder & the Director of a Think Tank based in Rabat (Hypatia of Alexandria Institute for Reflexion and She has a PhD in Law and Political Science. Hind’s researches take an interdisciplinary approach. Her interests revolve around Morocco and the Arab World with a focus on: politics and religion, authoritarian regimes and democracy, good governance, riots and social movements, media freedom, human rights, women & youth issues, and global politics’ relationship to the Arab World (such as the Iraq war, international terrorism and the impact of globalization).

Hind was a Visiting Scholar at Stanford University (2010-2011) and she is also an associate researcher with CNRS at University of Strasbourg in France. She is a Regional Manager for North Africa with the international project on Democracy “Varieties of Democracy” lead by Gothenburg & Lund Universities/Sweden; Boston University and Kellogg Institute at Notre Dame University/USA. Hind is a reviewer for the Journal of North African Studies published by the American Institute for Maghreb Studies. Hind is a former lecturer of Political Science at Hassan II University/School of Law-Casablanca. She has 10 years’ experience in journalism in Morocco and abroad.

Hind’s first book “Revolutions in the Era of Humiliocracy’ ” (2001), co-authored with the Moroccan Professor of Futurism Mahdi El-Mandjra, addresses major questions of democracy in Morocco and the Arab world and other international issues related to the Middle East and North Africa region. She is also the author of “The ‘Makhzan’ in Moroccan Political Culture” (2004) and “Approach to the Foundations of Legitimacy of the Moroccan Political System”, published in November 2009. Her last book called ‘’Sacred and Political detention in Morocco of Mohammed VI’’ was published in September 2012. Hind also is a poet; she has a poetry collection in Arabic called “Milad Nassim Assef” (Birth of a Stormy Breeze).

Sally Ashour is an Assistant Lecturer of Political Science at the National Center for Social and Criminological Research. She graduated in political sciences as major studies and public administration as minor studies from the Faculty of Economics and Political Science, Cairo University. Sally Ashour is currently pursuing a PhD degree in International Relations and International Law. Her research topic is “The Role of The INGOs in implementing the Millennium Development Goals, Case study: International Federation for Red Cross and Red Crescent.” In January 2015, she was appointed as an Assistant to the Minister of Social Solidarity for International Cooperation and Research.

Nouha Belaid is a PhD student in Media and communication at l’Ecole Centrale des Lettres des Arts et des Sciences de la Communication. Her thesis focuses on the experience of television on social media. She graduated with her Master’s in Media and Communication, whose topic was political communication on social networks and had in 2013, the prize of scientific excellence from the University of Manouba, and two other academic awards.

She places a lot of attention to the convergence between the media and communication in general (which she had the opportunity to understand during her academic and professional background), since we’re now at the era of Web 2.0. She became interested in community management and the social media world in different fields (politics, cultural, economy, education, etc.). Education and the media are part of this set of passions, because any change imposes new uses and new practices. Moreover, the economic approach in the field of information concerns her because all use a new technological medium that is related among others to the economic situation. 

In short, all of these areas correspond to a single topic “Information and Communication.” Since 2013, Nouha has also taught several modules but since 2011 she started to do extensive research on new teaching tools as each generation requires a new mode of behavior. It’s the e-learning.

Ali Belghit is Vice President of AMNESTY International Algeria and President of the Youth Capacities Development Association in Biskra, Algeria. He earned his Bachelor in Law in Judicial and Administrative Sciences from Mohamed Kheider University in 2009. He is an expert in national and international law and, in addition to working as a lawyer in Biskra, Algeria, he has worked as a project manager assistant for National Democratic Institute in Beirut, Lebanon and as a national project coordinator in micro funding in Algeria and Germany.

Slaheddine Ben Fraj is a Professor in the Department of Sociology, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, of the University of Tunis, Tunisia. His research interests are in sociology of the family, education, crime and violence. He is ex-President of the Tunisian Association of Sociology (ATS), Member of the International Association of Sociologists French Language (AISLF), and Member of the International Association of Sociology. Since 2007 he has served as the Vice President of the Tunisian Association of Friends, Children of Integrated Children’s Centers and Youth. He is also the Vice President of the Tunisian Centre for Transitional Justice and a Founding Member of the Observation of Gender Project in the Tunisian Media.

Youssef Ben Ismail is pursuing a PhD in Histories and Cultures of Muslim Societies in the Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations department at Harvard University. His work focuses on 20th century and contemporary relations between religion and politics in the Arab World. His current research project investigates the role of religious actors in Tunisian politics from the late colonial period to the post-Arab Spring era. His research interests include the institutionalization of religion in North Africa, French colonial history, contemporary Islamism, Islam in China and the politics of post-Arab Spring Tunisia and Egypt. Prior to Harvard, Youssef worked, studied and lived in Tunis, Paris, Chicago and Beijing. He holds an A.M. from Harvard’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies and a B.A. from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris.

Lindsay J. Benstead is Assistant Professor of Political Science in the Mark O. Hatfield School of Government at Portland State University, where she teaches courses on Middle East and North African politics and research methods. Her research focuses on identity politics (e.g., gender, religion, tribe), clientelism, public opinion, and survey methodology in the Middle East and North Africa. Benstead has conducted nationally-representative surveys in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia (with Ellen Lust), Libya (with Ellen Lust and Jakob Wichmann), and Jordan (with Kristen Kao, Ellen Lust, and Jakob Wichmann) and contributes to the Transitional Governance Project ( and the Program on Governance and Local Development, Yale University ( She is a Contributing Scholar in the Women’s Rights in the Middle East Program, James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy, Rice University, where she blogs on women and Middle East politics. Benstead’s research has appeared in Perspectives on Politics, Politics & Religion, International Journal of Public Opinion Research, Democratization, and Foreign Affairs. She holds a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Political Science and a M.A.E. in Applied Economics from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

Abdelbaki Benziane is Professor of Management Science at University of Oran 2, Director of the Ecole Nationale Polytechnique d’Oran and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the University of Biskra and the University of Relizane. His research interests are university governance and evaluation and organization strategic management. Benziane is Director of the Research Laboratory on Euromediterranean Economies and Chairman of the Raw materials and energy intersectoral research committee. His most recent publications include “Evaluation and self-valuation guide based on Algerian higher education universities and colleges performance,” CRASC, 2015; “University governance: A comparative approach to Maghrebi universities,” Dar El Gharb, 2013; and the RIFEFF publications.

Benziane is also a member of the scientific board of the Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie (AUF) and a member of the board of the Réseau International Francophone des Etablissements de Formation de Formateurs (RIFEFF). He was honored as Officier dans l’Ordre des Palmes Academiques of the French Republic, 2013.

Mietek Boduszynski is an Assistant Professor of Politics and International Relations at Pomona College. He was a Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Department of State from 2004-2013 and has served as a U.S. diplomat in a variety of positions at U.S. Embassies in Albania, Kosovo, Japan, Egypt, and Libya. Boduszynski is an expert on Libya, the Middle East and the Arab Spring. Recent publications include: “Comparing Western Democratic Leverage: From Tirana to Tripoli,” Croatian Political Science Review, Winter/Spring 2014; “Political Isolation in Libya,” with Marieke Wierda, Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, Spring 2014; and “Libya Starts from Scratch,” with Duncan Pickard, Journal of Democracy, October 2013.

Abderrahim Chalfaouat is a PhD candidate at the Department of Advertising and Communication, Hassan II University of Casablanca. He works on the intersections between television, cultural policy and democratisation in Morocco. He received an MA in Moroccan American Studies from the same university in 2011. Before that, he had graduated with a BA in English linguistics in 2000 from the department of English language and linguistics. In 2012, Abderrahim attended the Summer University Course at the Central European University, in Budapest. In April 2013 he participated in the Religious Media and the Arab Spring workshop in Doha, Qatar, the Stockholm Internet Forum in Sweden in May 2013. In November 2014, he attended the Alumni Conference of the EU-Middle East Forum that the German Council on Foreign Relations organised in Berlin, Germany. Abderrahim’s research interests include media and society, cultural policy, MENA politics, democratisation and human rights. He is a writer and freelance journalist with studies and opinion articles featuring at a number of sites in English and Arabic, especially on

Youssef Cherif is a consultant/expert with the Arab Institute for Business Managers (IACE), a private think-tank based in Tunisia, working on Tunisian foreign policy. Youssef was also a consultant/expert for the United Nations, in charge of conducting the consultations for the Post-2015 Agenda implementation. He was on the other hand an expert (Arabian Gulf/North African affairs) for the Tunisian Institute for Strategic Studies (ITES), a government think-tank. He was The New Arab Debates’ manager and he worked previously with the Carter Center and Amideast, among other organisations in Tunisia. He holds a Chevening M.A. in International Relations, from the Dept. of War Studies, King’s College London, and a Fulbright M.A. in Classical Studies from Columbia University, as well as other degrees from Tunis (University of Tunis I & II; BA, Ma.1) and Beirut (AUB).

Amal S. El-Obeidi is an Associate Professor of Comparative Politics in the Department of Political Science, Faculty of Economics at University of Benghazi, Libya. She obtained a Ph.D. from Durham University, UK, in Middle Eastern Politics in 1997. She served for two years as a Dean of the Faculty of Economics of University of (Benghazi), where she was the head of the Political Science Department until November 2008. Obeidi also was head of the Studies and Research unit at the Research Centre of the University of Benghazi during 2006-2008. She was the head of the quality office at the faculty of Economics from September 2009 until December 2010. Her publications include Political Culture in Libya (2001), The Political Elites in Libya (2008), Identity in Libya (2001), Libyan Security Policy Between Existence and Feasibility: An Exploratory Study (2004), Political Socialisation of Arab Women, The Development of Women’s Movement in Libyan Society Between Empowerment and Activation: A Documentation Study (2006); The Orientations of the Academic Research of Women at the Libyan Universities: Analysis of the MA Thesis (2010), The National Security in Libya: Challenges of the Transitional Period (2012). The Impact of the Revolution and the Transitional Period on Women’s Empowering Policies in Libya: Reality and Challenges (2013). “From Forced Reconciliation to Recognition: The Abu Salim Case in Historical Perspective” (in: Jan Michiel Otto et. al. (eds), Searching for Justice in Post-Gaddafi Libya: a Socio-Legal Exploration of People’s Concerns and Institutional Responses at Home and from Abroad, Leiden 2013). “Identity in Libya: Orientations of Loyalty and Identification,” Benghazi University Research Center (2014).

Obeidi specialises in gender issues, public policies, human rights, civil society, and security issues, especially in the Mediterranean region.

Mohamed Elfayoumy is an Egyptian diplomat who served as his government’s representative to the Syrian Opposition. Previously, he was posted to the Egyptian Embassy in Syria and was instrumental in evacuating thousands of Egyptian nationals from Syria during the conflict in 2011-12. He is also active in a number of civil society organizations working toward the political development of Egypt.

Roxane Farmanfarmaian is an Affiliated Lecturer in International Relations of the Middle East and North Africa, University of Cambridge, and a Middle East Fellow, Hinckley Institute of Politics, University of Utah. She specializes in: US-Middle East Relations; The Political Economy of Oil; Media in the Middle East; The Shia Crescent; and The Arab Awakening. Farmanfarmaian obtained her PhD in international studies from Cambridge University, where she was a Donner Scholar of Atlantic Relations and a member of New Hall College. She is the author of Blood and Oil: A Prince’s Memoir of Iran, From the Shah to the Ayatollah (Random House 2005, now in its fourth edition), and editor of War and Peace in Qajar Persia: Implications Past and Present (Routledge 2008). She was editor-in-chief of the Cambridge Review of International Affairs  from 2002-2005, and a founding member of the Centre of International Relations of the Middle East and North Africa (CIRMENA) affiliated to the Centre of International Studies at Cambridge University.

Mahmoud Gabsi, is a tenured professor in Social Anthropology (MCF) and Head of Department at ISCE Carthage, University of Tunisia. His books include L’identité et l’espace en Tunisie, Le Tourisme: une anthropologie, Le loisir: du sens dans la banalisation: ethnie, religion et politique dans le loisir de masse, Le corps dans la société: une science, des jeux et un public, and Frontières ethniques de la tunisianité. In 2013, he received his HDR diploma (Habilitation à Diriger des Recherches) from the University of Tunisia. His fields of research and teaching include methodology, space and society, urban studies, cultural identity, the social representation of the body, and interculturalism. His doctoral thesis, which was selected by Le Monde de L’education as one of the top 30 best theses in France, was titled Le loisir en France : un espace, une pratique.

Rachid Hmadouch, University of Tangier

Christopher Lamont is Assistant Professor of International Relations at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands and Associate Professor in the Osaka School of Public Policy at Osaka University. His research interests include transitional justice and democratization. He has published widely in the field of transitional, including his monograph International Criminal Justice and the Politics of Compliance (Ashgate 2010) and numerous peer reviewed journal articles and edited volumes.

Pierre Landry was an Associate Professor of Political Science at the Department of Political Science at the University of Pittsburgh (until August 2015) and a Research Fellow at the Research Center for the Study of Contemporary China at Peking University. As of August 2015, he will serve as Professor of Political Science and Director of Global China Studies at NYU-Shanghai. His undergraduate training was in Economics and Law at Sciences-Po in Paris, and he received his Ph.D in Political Science at the University of Michigan. He is also an alumnus of the Hopkins-Nanjing program. His research interests focus on Asian and Chinese politics, comparative local government, quantitative comparative analysis and survey research. His work has focused on governance and the political management of cadres in China, looking at the CCP’s formal and informal channels of control over local elites. Besides articles and book chapters in comparative politics and political methodology, he is the author of “Decentralized Authoritarianism in China” with Cambridge University Press (2008). He is a consultant at the Universities Service Centre for China Studies where he participates in the development of the Barometer on China’s Development (BOCD) and serves on the advisory committee of the Centre. He also collaborates with Yale’s GLD project as well as the UNDP and the World Bank on developing indicators of the variability of local governance in a variety of countries, particularly in Vietnam, Tunisia, and Jordan.

Dhafer Malouche has a PhD in Statistics from the University Paul Sabatier, Toulouse, France. He is now an Associate Professor at the Higher School of Statistics and Data Information at the University of Carthage, Tunisia. His research interests include several fields related to Statistics and its applications. He is working on Signal processing (quantifying and modeling arousal levels for autisms, elderly population, handball players). He is also collaborating with other researchers on Sensory analysis and Consumer preferences in the Olive Oil field.

He is working closely with the Program on Governance and Local Development with Professor Ellen Lust. They have recently finished two national Face-to-Face Surveys in Tunisia. The first one was implemented in June 2014. It was about the Political transition in Tunisia (a sample of 1200 Tunisians) and the second implemented in 18 municipalities in March 2015 was about Local Governance (a sample of 3600 Tunisians).

Dhafer was a Visiting Associate Professor at the Council on Middle East Studies (from January to August 2014) at Yale University and he was also a former Fulbright Scholar at the Department of Statistics at Stanford University between May and July 2011.

Douja Mamelouk is an Assistant Professor of Arabic and French at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. She obtained her Ph.D. in Arabic Language, Literature and Linguistics from Georgetown University in 2010. She completed her Master’s of Arts in Middle Eastern Studies at the American University in Cairo and her Bachelor’s of Arts at Willamette University, Salem, Oregon in French Literature and Political Science.

Professor Mamelouk’s research interests are Tunisian novels by women in Arabic and the literature of the Tunisian Avant-Garde literary group jama‘at that al-suur. Her most recent publications are “New National Discourses: Tunisian Women Write the Revolution,” (Alif: Journal of Comperative Poetics, May 2015), “The Monster’s Pretty Face,” translation of short story by Tunisian writer Amel Mokhtar published in the Arab World English Journal, Special Issue on Translation No. 3, May 2014, and “Temimi, Abdel Jelil,” Dictionary of African Biography, Oxford University Press (2011). She is currently working on her monograph entitled When the Subaltern Speaks: Can we Listen? (Forthcoming).

Jaouad Radouani is a Moroccan researcher holder of a PhD in Cultural Studies. He is also an active member of “The International Centre for Performance Studies,” in Tangier/Morocco, organising the yearly-held Performing Tangier Conference. He has participated in conferences, study days, and workshops inside and outside Morocco (Europe, the Maghreb & the Middle East) and published tens of articles addressing questions related to culture, identity, politics, discourse analysis, and literature.

Abdelhamid Rhaiem has a BA in English language, literature and civilization, an MA in Literature and completed a Doctorate in British literature from the Faculty of Letters, Arts in Humanities La Manouba in Tunisia. He is an assistant lecturer teaching literature and culture studies courses in the English Department at the Higher Institute of Languages in Gabes, University of Gabes/ Tunisia, where he is currently serving as the English Department Chair. He has organized several academic events in his institute, participated in quite a large number of workshops and conferences in Tunisia and abroad. In 2013, he was a visiting scholar at the University of Louisville, Kentucky where he attended seminars on contemporary American literature and benefited from interesting study tours in California, New Mexico, Ohio and Washington DC. Mr. Rhaiem is also a founding member of TAELS, the Tunisian Association for English Language Studies, and TATA, the Tunisian Association for Translation and Arabisation.

Wafa Satouri, University of Tunis. Je m’appelle Wafa Satouri. Je suis née à Djerba  (Houmt-souk) en Tunisie le 18 avril 1990 dans une famille qui m’a appris le sens d’un vrai bonheur. Mon père est professeur. Ma mère n’a pas travaillé dans le but de consacrer tout son temps à la réussite de mon frère, mes sœurs et moi. L’entourage dans lequel j’ai vécu m’a beaucoup encouragé à aimer l’éducation, la connaissance, la recherche. Contrairement à mon frère et à mes sœurs qui se sont spécialisés dans les sciences expérimentales et  technologie, je me suis spécialisée dans les sciences humaines et sociales. Mon indignation envers l’injustice et  le désordre m’a orientée vers le choix de se spécialiser en droit et exactement en droit public. J’ai étudié ce dernier dans la faculté des sciences juridiques, politiques et sociales à Tunis depuis 2009. J’ai réussi en 2012 en Licence fondamentale en droit public avec une mention bien. En 2015, j’ai terminé mon mastère de recherche en droit public dans la même faculté et j’ai réussi avec une mention très bien. Mon sujet de mémoire est intitulé « le domaine public immobilier des collectivités locales entre protection et valorisation ». Actuellement, je suis en recherche d’un sujet de thèse. Au cours de ma formation universitaire, j’ai réalisé différentes recherches sur diverses questions en droit tunisien, en droit comparé et en droit international. Les deux idées qui m’impressionnent toujours sont d’une part « la démocratie » en tant qu’expression de la volonté du peuple et d’autre part « la souveraineté étatique ».

Convaincue par un droit qui résout les problèmes de la société à la quelle il s’intéresse, je m’étais engagée volontairement dans différents stages tels que mon stage au sein du gouvernorat de Tunis. En outre, convaincue par l’importance d’un dialogue constructif entre les distinctes civilisations, entre les divers Etats, je me suis intéressée aux expériences qui regroupent des chercheures de différentes nationalités et orientations. J’ai été sélectionnée membre  à « Tunisian International Model United Nations : TIMUN » en avril 2012.

Finalement, je veux exprimer mon intérêt particulier pour les arts- spécialement le théâtre, pour la lecture et pour beaucoup d’autres intérêts.

Jane D. Tchaïcha, Ed.D., (Harvard University) is Associate Professor and Chair of the Modern Languages Department at Bentley University. She teaches French and courses on North Africa.  Her early research centered on language and technology for the second language learning and later transitioned into investigations exploring the role technology could play in women’s empowerment, particularly in the Maghreb. In 2008-09, she was selected as Fulbright Senior Scholar and spent five months at Al-Akhawayn University in Ifrane, Morocco teaching and researching women’s socio-economic issues in the developing world. She has published extensively on the topic of Maghrebi women, technology, and human rights. She is presently writing a book with her Tunisian colleague Dr. Khedija Arfaoui, about Tunisian women’s contributions to (re)building their homeland since the 2011 Jasmine Revolution.

Laura Thompson is a PhD candidate in the Committee on the Study of Religion, with a focus on Islamic Studies at Harvard University. Her dissertation examines public order and “freedom of expression” cases in North Africa, with a specific focus on post-Arab Spring Tunisia. Thompson holds a Master’s in Theological studies from Harvard Divinity School and a BA in anthropology and French from Georgetown University.

Participants At Large

Amal Al Obeidi, University of Benghazi

Abdelbaki Benziane, Ecole Nationale Polytechnique d’Oran

Roxane Farmanfarmaian, University of Cambridge

Pierre Landry, NYU Shanghai

Dhafer Malouche, University of Carthage

Jane Tchaicha, Bentley University