Spring 2015 Seminar — 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
Applications are no longer being accepted.
Contact: Alex Russell
Since 2011, the people of the Middle East have been engaged in a difficult struggle to affect democratic change. Despite its stated 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.
The seminar will begin by outlining the debate around the merits and feasibility of democracy promotion. Subsequent lectures will examine the various tools that the U.S. uses for supporting democracy in the Middle East, which range from diplomacy, to programs, to cooperation with international actors. The seminar will conclude with an evaluation of these tools and will offer a new paradigm with which to consider U.S. policies in the region. Policymakers and other leading experts will deliver each lecture.
Seminar discussions will be particularly useful for professionals who design, review, and implement projects in the area of democracy and governance, but they will have broad relevance to policy professionals in a range of roles.
Course Schedule & Speakers
March 18 — Promoting Democracy: Merits and Feasibility
Vice President for Studies, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
March 25 — Security Assistance
Dafna H. Rand
Deputy Director of Studies & Leon E. Panetta Fellow, Center for a New American Security
April 1 — Military & Defense Approach
Admiral Dennis Blair
Former Director of National Intelligence
April 8 — Public Rhetoric & Diplomacy
Ambassador (ret.) Stephen Seche
Senior Analyst, Dentons US LLP
April 15 — International Actors
Senior Program Manager, Middle East & North Africa, Freedom House
April 22 — The Congressional Appropriations Process
Specialist in Middle Eastern Affairs, Congressional Research Service
April 29 — State Department Assistance Programs
Resident Senior Fellow, Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East, Atlantic Council
May 6 — United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
Acting Regional Coordinator for the Middle East, Center of Excellence on Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)
May 13 — Trade & Economic Relations
Ambassador Miriam Sapiro
Visiting Fellow, Global Economy and Development Program, the Brookings Institution
May 20 — No Class
May 27 — Rethinking U.S. Policy in the Changing Middle East
Senior Associate, Middle East Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Due to demand, admission to seminars is selective. To apply, click here to submit a copy of your résumé or CV and a short essay detailing your interest in attending this seminar. Applications are due by February 20, 2015, at 5:00 pm EST.
Grading & Expectations
To maximize the benefit of the course and to enhance the quality of discussion, participants are required to attend every lecture. Participants may opt to receive a grade. For those students who do, the grade will be based on a final paper. The final paper will require participants to synthesize material from the course and draw recommendations for U.S. policymakers in the form of a five-page (double-spaced) policy memo. Required and recommended readings for each week will be made available to participants prior to the first session. Participants should complete the suggested readings prior to class and prepare to demonstrate their knowledge of the material in class discussions.
About POMED’s Seminar Series 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 see current and past course offerings, click here.