A Fresh Perspective on the  Origins of "Civic Culture" and Why  It Matters for the Study of  the Arab World

Professor Carrie Wickham, Emory University

Monday 26th April, 17.45 - 19.00 (Assembly Hall, Cardiff City Hall)

Sponsored by Government and Opposition 

Carrie Rosefsky Wickham is Professor of Middle Eastern and South Asian Studies at Emory University.  Her research focuses on the dynamics of social movements, contentious politics and culture change in authoritarian settings, with a regional focus on the Middle East and North Africa.  She is the author of Mobilizing Islam: Religion, Activism and Political Change in Egypt (Columbia University Press, 2002), and The Muslim Brotherhood: Evolution of an Islamist Movement (Princeton University Press, 2013, released in paperback with a new Afterword in 2015).  Her articles have appeared in Comparative Politics, The Middle East Law and Governance Journal, Foreign Affairs and other outlets.  Wickham has presented her research findings at many universities and research institutes in North America, Europe and the Middle East, as well as to members of the U.S. State Department, the National Intelligence Council, and other policy-makers in the U.S. and Canada. Her new research project on “deep democratization” examines government, civic and private initiatives in Tunisia and Morocco which aim to strengthen humanist values and practices within an Arab-Islamic framework.  The project aims to identify when, why and how purposive interventions to cultivate humanist habits of mind and behavior gain wider social traction in the Arab world, both within particular communities and among members of the wider public.  The book based on this research will offer a fresh analytic perspective on the dynamics of democratization as a holistic, multi-layered process that extends beyond the domain of formal political institutions to encompass changes at the level of society, culture and the individual psyche.

The lecture will be chaired by Professor Erik Jones, Co-editor of Government & Opposition.  He is also Professor of European Studies and International Political Economy at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and Senior Research Fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford.