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Political Turmoil in North Africa and Middle East

Political upheaval in North Africa caused the ousting of Egypt's long-time president, Hosni Mubarak, as well as long-time Tunisian ruler Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. Those changes, along with current events in Libya, are sending shock-waves throughout the Arab world. Georgetown faculty experts on politics, society and culture in Arab nations are available to comment on and explain the implications of these historic events.

Faculty Experts

Daniel Byman

Daniel Byman, professor in the School of Foreign Service and director of Georgetown's Security Studies Program and Center for Peace and Security Studies from 2005 until 2010, has written widely on a range of topics related to terrorism, international security, and the Middle East. A Senior Fellow with the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution, Byman served as a Professional Staff Member with the 9/11 Commission and with the Joint 9/11 Inquiry Staff of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees. Before joining the Inquiry Staff he was the Research Director of the Center for Middle East Public Policy at the RAND Corporation. Byman has also served as an analyst on the Middle East for the U.S. government. In a March Q&A discussing the situation in Libya, Byman says the longtime regime led by Moammar Gadhafi "is likely to go" and that potential new leadership could come from people "who are unaffiliated with the regime" that "are simply less well known."

Noureddine Jebnoun

Noureddine Jebnoun, adjunct assistant professor of Arab studies, specializes in the Middle East and North Africa where his teaching interests include political institutions, democratization and authoritarianism, Islamic political movements, political violence, security challenges, ethnic and sectarian conflicts and socio-political affairs of North Africa. From 1998 until 2005 he served as an assistant professor at the Tunisian War College, the Tunisian Command and General Staff College and the Tunisian National Defense Institute where he taught courses on “strategy” and “geopolitics.” In a recent opinion piece, Dr. Jebnoun says that the new government in Tunisia is led by the “same old guard of criminals from the Constitutional Democratic Rally, which is neither constitutional nor democratic.”

Daniel Brumberg

Daniel Brumberg is an associate professor in the government department and serves as a special adviser for the United States Institute of Peace's Muslim World Initiative, where he focuses on democratization and political reform in the Middle East and wider Islamic world. In an opinion piece for, Brumberg highlights the historical significance of the Tunisian revolt, explaining how “in 60 years, there has never been one case of a successful, popular revolt toppling an Arab regime.”

Michael Hudson

Michael Hudson is a professor of international relations and has edited and contributed to numerous books, including Middle East Dilemma: The Politics and Economics of Arab Integration (Columbia University Press/CCAS, 1999), The Palestinians: New Directions (CCAS, 1990), and Alternative Approaches to the Arab-Israeli Conflict.

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