Colloque international : “Arab Citizenship in the New Political Era” — Rabat (Maroc), 28-30/05/2014

International Conference, May 28-30, 2014, Rabat, Morocco

 Organized by:

Prof. Nils A. Butenschøn, Norwegian Centre for Human Rights, University of Oslo, Norway,
Prof. Roel Meijer, Middle East & North Africa Research Group, Ghent University, Belgium,

In co-operation with and hosted by The Université Mohammed V, Rabat-Souissi

In co-operation with: The Institut Néerlandais au Maroc (NIMAR), the Centre Jacques Berque (CJB), and the Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre (NOREF)

The Arab uprisings have seen the re-birth of the Arab citizen and must be regarded as part of a new wave of awareness of citizenship rights in the Arab world. The common demands for “dignity” (karama), bread and justice, underscored by mass uprisings across the region, have underlined the demand for a new relationship between citizens and the state. The uprisings also unleashed counter-forces raising questions about the future direction of developments.

The demands for political accountability as well as equal civil, political, social and cultural rights has led to the demand for a new “social contract” between citizens and the state on the one hand, and the call for the foundation of a new political community on the other hand. But it is still far from clear how this foundation is to be understood, reflecting a variety of cleavages in Arab societies.

Citizenship studies provide a lens to analyze the Middle East in an innovative and creative way, directing research to analyze state formation, the continuously shifting power relations between citizen and state, communal identities, as well as forms of resistance and contestation from the perspective of the citizen and his/her rights.

As citizenship and the citizen in the Arab context has been a relatively underdeveloped field of study, it means revisiting the history of the Middle East (and many of its classical academic works) and asking pertinent questions pertaining to the legacies of Islam, the Ottoman Empire, and the West with regard to concepts and practices of citizenship and the rights and obligations of citizens over the past two centuries.

The conference will also analyze how and why the uprisings seem to have hit republics and monarchies differently, the influence of the security state, patronage relations and clientelism, and the effects of economic developments on citizenship rights over the past decades. Besides looking at political structures, long term sociological developments (changing family structures and growing individualism), the conference will especially focus on the citizen as agency and analyze the diversity of movements that defend civil, political, cultural and social rights and help to reformulate and transform these rights according to local, religious, individual and communal interests and norms and values.

The conference has been divided into three days, each adopting a different theme. The first day will address historical legacies (Ottoman, Islam, Western) and the trajectories of individual countries, with a view to identify common themes across the region as well as a unique set of factors that have determined the rights of citizens in a select number of countries. The second day will focus on structures of inclusion and exclusion, dealing with long term developments with state institutions and political institutions. The third day will concentrate on the citizen as agency of change and deal with different movements, non-movements and networks and the way they influence the formation of the citizen.

Tuesday 27th of May: Opening Ceremony

18.00 – 18.30 Welcoming of the guests

18.30 – 20.00 Welcoming Addresses and Introductory Speeches by:

– President of the Université Mohammed V

– Dr. Khalid Berjaoui (Dean of the Faculty of Legal, Economic and Social Sciences)

– Mr. Mahjoub El Hiba (Interministerial Delegate for Human Rights)

– Nils A. Butenschøn

– Roel Meijer

20.00 – 21.00 Cocktail Dinner

Wednesday 28th of May: Political Legacies and the Crisis of Citizenship

07.55 – 08.00 Gathering in the Lobby of the B&B Rabat Médina Hotel

08.30 (sharp!)            Leaving the B&B Hotel Lobby for the University Campus

09.00 – 09.30 Registration and Coffee

09.30 – 09.45 Introduction by the Conference Organizers

09.45 – 11.15 1st panel: Legacies of Citizenship

Moderator: Dick Douwes (tbc)

  • (1) The Ottoman Legacy of Citizenship: Rights vs. Identity: Haldun Gulalp
  • (2) The European Legacy of Citizenship: The Case of the French Colonial Empire: Laure Blévis
  • (3) The Legacy of Islam: Shari’a, Individual Rights and Communal Rights: Sami Zubaida

11.15 – 11.30 Coffee Break

11.30 – 13.00 2nd panel: Arab Republics, Citizens and the Sources of Legitimacy

Moderator: Robert Springborg

  • (4) Syria: Identity, State Formation and Citizenship: Raymond Hinnebusch
  • (5) Lebanon’s Sectarian System: a Model in Blocking Citizenship: Sami A. Ofeish
  • (6) The Tunisian Revolution and the Search for New Citizenship: Historical paths and contemporary debates: Sami Zemni

13.00 – 14.00 Lunch Break

14.00 – 15.30 3rd panel: Arab Monarchies, Citizens and the Sources of Legitimacy

Moderator: Rania Maktabi

  • (7) Citizens and Expatriates in the Small Gulf Monarchies: Christopher M. Davidson
  • (8) Saudi Arabia: Online Mobilization for a New Social Contract: Stig Stenslie and Ida Almestad
  • (9) Morocco: Saloua Zerhouni
  • (10) Exploring the State-Society Nexus through Citizenship in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan – before, during and after the Arab Uprisings: Morten Valbjørn

15.30 – 16.00 Coffee Break

16.00 – 17.00 Keynote Speech: “Authoritarian Infrastructural Power in the Arab Spring” by Michael Mann

19.00              Cocktail Dinatoire

Thursday 29th of May: Structures of Inclusion and Exclusion

07.55 – 08.00 Gathering in the Lobby of the B&B Hotel to go the University Campus

08.30 – 09.00 Registration and Coffee

09.00 – 10.40 1st panel: Creating the ‘Non-Citizen’

Moderator: Sami Zemni

  • (11) The Workings of Neo-Liberalism in the MENA context: Gilbert Achcar
  • (12) Everyday Government and the Production of Citizen Subjectivities in Egypt: Salwa Ismail
  • (13) Effects of Patronage Systems and Clientelism on Citizenship in the Middle East: Robert Springborg
  • (14) Women, Work and Citizenship: Valentine M. Moghadam

10.40 – 11.00 Coffee Break

11.00 – 12.30 2nd panel: Ethnic and Religious Exclusion

 Moderator: (tba)

  • (15) Sectarianism and its counter discourses in the post-colonial Middle East: Dick Douwes
  • (16) Brothers and Citizens: Jakob Skovgaard-Petersen
  • (17) Citizenship and Exclusion: Biduns and the Manufacturing of Aliens from Within: Claire Beaugrand

12.30 – 13.30 Lunch Break

13.30 – 15.10 3rd panel: Legal Rights and Political Institutions

Moderator: Sami Zubaida

  • (18) Asking Unasked Questions after 2011: Do Women Count as People in Arab Politics? : Rania Maktabi
  • (19) In and Out: Sharia in the New Arab Constitutions: Baudouin Dupret
  • (20) The Rights of Citizens in the New Egyptian Constitution: Nathalie Bernard-Maugiron

15.10 – 15.30 Coffee Break

15.30 – 17.30 4th panel: Between Text and Practice

Moderators: Bertus Hendriks and Laila al-Zwaini

19.00              Student-guided City Walks (including evening meal in Rabat and/or Salé)

Friday 30th of May: The Citizen as Agency of Change

08.25 – 08.30 Gathering in the Lobby of the B&B Hotel to go the University Campus

09.00 – 09.30 Registration and Coffee

09.30 – 11.00 1st panel: Political Ideologies: Individual versus Communal Rights

Moderator: Roel Meijer

  • (21) Transnational Salafism and the Ambiguity of Citizenship: Emin Poljarevic
  • (22) The Struggle for Equality and Citizenship in Arab Political Thought: Ideological Debates and Conceptual Change: Michaelle Browers
  • (23) Citizenship, Public Order and State Sovereignty: Article 3 of the Egyptian Constitution and the “Divinely Revealed Religions”: Rachel Scott

11.00 – 11.20 Coffee Break

11.20 – 13.00 2nd panel: Social Movements and Citizenship Rights

Moderator: Saloua Zerhouni

  • (24) Social Movements and The Struggle for Civil and Political Rights in Bahrain: Ahmed Al-haddad and Maarten Danckaert
  • (25) (tba) : Jeroen Gunning
  • (26) Arab Youth: Evolving Participation and Acts of Citizenship: Assia Boutaleb

13.00 – 14.00 Lunch Break

14.00 – 15.40 3rd Panel: Ambiguities of Citizenship

Moderator: Nils A. Butenschøn

  • (27) North African Immigration and Citizenship in France: Between the Colonial Past and the Present: Driss Maghraoui
  • (28) Migration and the Marginality of Citizenship: Framing the Debate in the Arab Gulf Region: James N. Sater
  • (29) (tba)

15.40 – 17.00 Closure: “Citizenship Studies and the Middle East: New Perspectives”

by Engin Isin

Further information:

The conference’s working languages are English and French and simultaneous translation will be provided. Entrance to the conference is free-of-charge. But everyone interested to attend is obliged to register before May 24th by sending a message, containing the panels which you would like to attend, to Dr. Norah Karrouche. All other questions related to the conference can be addressed to Dr. Norah Karrouche as well, at

Citer ce billet
Chargé de diffusion scientifique (2014, 24 mai). Colloque international : “Arab Citizenship in the New Political Era” — Rabat (Maroc), 28-30/05/2014. IISMM. Consulté le 18 avril 2024, à l’adresse

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