POMED Seminars for Professionals

POMED Seminars offer a low-cost opportunity for policy professionals to receive graduate-level training in political analysis and support for democracy in the Middle East. Seminars feature a different guest lecturer every week, and classes are kept small to encourage interactive discussions. To receive email updates on new seminars and course offerings, click here.


Previous Course Offerings

Spring 2015 — Supporting Democracy in the Middle East: Tools and Strategy

Dates: Wednesdays, March 18 — May 27, 2015
Time: 7:00 — 8:30 pm
Location: Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED)
1611 Connecticut Ave. NW, Suite 300
Washington DC, 20009
Cost: $380.00
Applications are no longer being accepted.

Since 2011, the people of the Middle East have been engaged in a difficult struggle to affect democratic change. Despite its commitment to the promotion of freedom, human rights, and rule of law, the United States has often struggled to make this ideal a prominent component of its foreign policy. The aim of this course is to shed light on the strategies through which the U.S. encourages genuine democratic development, the tools available to elicit lasting positive change, and the process of policymaking, from budgeting to implementation and execution.

Fall 2013 — Supporting Democracy in the Middle East: Tools and Strategy

*** REGISTRATION FOR THIS COURSE IS NOW CLOSED. ***

The seminar aims to shed light on the strategies through which the U.S. encourages genuine democratic development, the tools available to elicit lasting positive change, and the process of policymaking, from budgeting to implementation and execution. The seminar will equip participants with the knowledge to navigate and influence various instruments of U.S. policy relevant to democracy support.

Schedule:

  1. Promoting Democracy: Merits and Feasibility (October 9) – Stephen McInerney; Executive Director, Project on Middle East Democracy
  2. The Congressional Appropriations Process (October 16) – Congressman Jim Kolbe; Former Member of the U.S. House of Representatives and Chairman of Subcommittee on Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs of Appropriations Committee
  3. Public Rhetoric (October 23) – Chris Brose; National Security and Foreign Policy Advisor to Senator John McCain and former Chief Speechwriter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
  4. Defense/Military Approach (October 30) – Admiral Dennis Blair; former United States Director of National Intelligence
  5. From Appropriations to Programs: MEPI and DRL (November 6) – Dr. Tamara Cofman Wittes; Senior Fellow and Director of the Saban Center for Middle East Policy, The Brookings Institution
  6. From Appropriations to Programs: USAID (November 13) – Eric Bjornlund; Co-founder and Principal, Democracy International
  7. Diplomacy (November 20) – TBD
  8. The National Endowment for Democracy (November 26) – Dr. Laith Kubba; Senior Program Officer for the Middle East and North Africa, National Endowment for Democracy
  9. International Actors (December 4) – Ted Piccone; Acting Vice President and Director of Foreign Policy, The Brookings Institution
  10. Rethinking U.S. Policy in the Changing Middle East (December 11) – Steve Heydemann; Senior Vice President, United States Institute of Peace

Spring 2013 — Democratic Transitions: What Lessons Apply for the Middle East?

*** REGISTRATION FOR THIS COURSE IS NOW CLOSED. ***

Click here for more detailed information on this course, including a full list of recommended readings.

In the past two years, several countries in the Middle East and North Africa region have undergone political change that has accelerated the democratization process. Yet the transition toward democracy is by no means inevitable. The purpose of this course is to help glean lessons from successful democratic transitions in the rest of the world for the Middle East and to identify ways in which the United States can support democratic development in countries undergoing transitions. These skills will be particularly important for professionals who design, review and implement projects in the area of democracy and governance in the Middle East.

The seminar will begin by providing an introduction to the main body of literature on democratization. The first three sessions will define democracy, examine the various conditions that drive incremental liberalization, explore the dynamic of bargaining that obtains among elites and explore the role of external actors in the spread of democratic governance.

The remainder of the course will consist of a combination of practical case studies and detailed examinations of a number of democratic institutions, looking to their applicability to the democratic reform process underway in the Middle East.

Schedule:

1. February 13: What is Democracy? – Stephen Grand

2. February 20: International Dimensions of Transitions (Latin America) – Riordan Roett

3. February 27: Theories of Transition and Explanatory Models – Larry Diamond

4. March 6: Democratic Institutions I (Executives, Legislatures, Judiciaries) –TBD

5. March 13: Democratic Institutions II (Political Parties, Sub-Saharan Africa) – Sef Ashiagbor

6. March 20: Political Economy of States in Transition (Indonesia Case Study) – TBD

7. March 27: Transitional Justice (Argentina Case Study) – Juan Mendez

8. April 3: Comparative Constitutional Design (Latin America) – Todd Eisenstadt

9. April 10: Empowering Civil Society Organizations (Eastern Europe) – John Glenn

10. April 17: Designing a Democracy Support Strategy – Stephen Grand

Summer 2011 — Between Reform and Revolution: Sources and Varieties of Change in the Middle East

***REGISTRATION FOR THIS CLASS IS NOW CLOSED. ***

Click here for more detailed information on this course, including a full list of recommended readings.

The purpose of this seminar is to equip participants with an understanding of the internal dynamics that led to the historic uprisings currently sweeping the Middle East, to assess the prospects for genuine democratic change in the region, and to identify ways in which the United States can support democratic development in countries undergoing transitions. These skills will be particularly important for professionals who design, review and implement project proposals in the area of democracy and governance in the Middle East. Lectures will highlight conditions and factors common to the region through the lens of particular country cases.

Schedule:

1.      Between Reform and Revolution: Understanding the Present Climate and Implications for Democracy Support – Michele Dunne

2.      Opposition Actors: Islamist Organizations – Michael W.S. Ryan

3.      Opposition Actors: Secular Parties – Scott Mastic

4.      Civil Society Organizations (June 21) – Les Campbell

5.      Labor, Business, and the Political Economy – Steven Heydemann

6.      Youth Movements and Social Media – Adel Iskandar

7.      Women’s Organizations – Manal Omar

8.      The Military – Steven Cook

9.      Setting the Scene in Egypt – Shadi Hamid

10.   Designing Democracy Support Strategies in Egypt – Brian Katulis

Spring 2011 — Supporting Democracy in the Middle East: Tools and Strategy

***REGISTRATION FOR THIS COURSE IS NOW CLOSED. ***

Click here for more detailed information on this course, including a full list of recommended readings.

This course will examine the tools and strategies available to U.S. policymakers for encouraging genuine democratic progress, the links between these tools in theory and practice, and the process of policymaking from budgeting to decisions to execution. Its aim is to equip participants to navigate and influence various instruments of US policy relevant to democracy support.

Schedule:

1.      Rethinking U.S. Policy in a New Middle East – Nathan Brown

2.      Diplomacy – Ambassador Barbara Bodine

3.      The Congressional Appropriations Process – Congressman Jim Kolbe

4.      From Appropriations to Programs: MEPI and DRL – Scott Carpenter

5.      From Appropriations to Programs: USAID – Eric Bjornlund

6.      Leveraging Assistance to Achieve Democracy Promotion Goals – Stephen McInerney

7.     The National Endowment for Democracy – Richard Kraemer

8.      International Actors – Ted Piccone

9.      Public Rhetoric – Tom Malinowski

10.  Supporting Democracy in the Middle East: Tools and Strategy – Stephen Grand

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