Understanding the Arab Spring

On March 12th, 2012, the Mortara Center for International Studies, the Office of the Dean of the School of Foreign Service, and Georgetown Women in International Affairs (GWIA) convened a panel discussion “Understanding the Arab Spring” in Georgetown’s historic Riggs Library. Kathleen McNamara, Director of the Mortara Center for International Studies, Madeleine Albright, Mortara Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy, Jennifer L. Windsor, Associate Dean of Programs at the School of Foreign Service, and Rebecca Farmer (G’13) discussed the impact of the Arab Spring.

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright told the audience of students and faculty that countries undergoing transition as part of the Arab Spring are not necessarily looking at the United States as a model for governance. Albright pointed to a fundamental difference in the ultimate goal of Arab Spring protestors compared to that of Central and Eastern European dissidents in the 190s and 1990s. The latter protestors identified themselves with the West and the U.S., she noted.