Justice Interrupted: The Past and Future of Democracy Movements in the Middle East

Historian Elizabeth F. Thompson Discussed the Struggle for Constitutional Government in the Middle East

The Arab Spring uprisings since 2011 have been portrayed in the media as a false dawn of democracy in the region. But the revolutionaries see themselves as heirs to a centuries-long struggle for just government and the rule of law.  Their struggle has been obstructed by foreign powers’  interventions, and by elites who cooperated with them.  Elizabeth F. Thompson uncovered the deep roots of liberal constitutionalism in the Middle East through the remarkable stories of those who have fought against poverty, tyranny, and foreign rule.  These stories offer lessons for Americans’ future role in the region.

thompsonElizabeth F. Thompson is associate professor of history at the University of Virginia. She is author of Justice Interrupted:  The Struggle for Constitutional Government in the Middle East (2013) and Colonial Citizens: Republican Rights, Paternal Privilege and Gender in French Syria and Lebanon (2000), winner of book awards from the American Historical Association and the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians.   She is now working on two projects, concerning World War I’s impact in the Middle East and cinema and the politics of late colonialism.  She is also co-director of the National Endowment for the Humanities’ summer faculty seminar, “World War I in the Middle East”.

The event was presented by the Center for International Studies and Co-sponsored by the Center for Middle Eastern Studies.

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