The Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies held the fourth round of its Winter School, addressing the theme of “Political Culture: How Values Drive Politics,” on 7-17 January 2023.

The Winter School explored a set of interrelated topics including, but not limited to, the value of studying political culture, whether we can really speak of a political culture of national populations, methodological issues associated with studying political culture, the relevance of the concept for evaluating the possibilities of democratization and its relationship to changing perceptions of democracy cross-nationally, and how religion, religiosity, and religious institutions influence political culture.

Over the ten days, a series of lectures have been given by both Arab Center researchers and external figures specializing in political culture, notably, Azmi Bishara, Abdelwahab El-Affendi, Ellen Lust, Mark Tessler, Stephen Welch, Walter Armbrust, Wenfang Tang, and Sari Hanafi.

In addition to the lectures, sixteen researchers presented their papers focusing on different aspects of political culture, relating to political elites, constitutional reforms, political and social attitudes, or varying forms of political participation. The Winter School also featured a roundtable discussion on “The Relevance of Political Culture” and a workshop around the possibility of measuring political culture through opinion surveys, reflecting on the experience of researchers working with the Arab Opinion Index.