The Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies (ACRPS) in Doha will convene the first annual Conference of Strategic and Policy Studies Research Centers in the Arab World from December 15 to December 17, 2012. The conference, “Geostrategic Shifts in the Wake of the Arab Revolutions,” will bring together the directors of more than 70 Arab research centers that specialize in policy studies and strategic affairs.
Directors from research centers in Iran and Turkey are invited as guests of honor, and will participate alongside Arab centers from the region, which include representatives from the private, public, and semi-public sectors. University research centers, together with a number of Arab journalists and academics whose work focuses on strategy and policy, will also be present. The diversity of attendance will contribute to making this conference the largest ever to focus on the potentially pioneering role to be played by Arab strategy- and policy-focused institutes. Despite an emphasis on the Arab Spring in this year’s conference, the underlying theme shaping these annual events remains concerned with the long-term structural challenges and difficulties academic institutions in the region typically face.
The first day of the conference is structured around two main subjects, and will look at the issues and challenges policy research centers in Arab countries currently face, focusing on their role in streamlining policy making and ensuring policy implementation.
The remaining days of the conference will focus on the Arab revolutions and geostrategic shifts taking place in the wake of the Arab Spring and will be centered around two main themes:
1. Geopolitics: Geopolitics and Geopolitical relations in the Arab world on the eve of the Arab Revolutions
2. Geostrategy: The interplay between the Arab Revolutions and the Geostrategic Environment
This will be the first in a series of annual conferences held by the Policy Analysis Unit, and in doing so, we see to create a space for the exchange of ideas by Arab experts on matters pertaining to research centers and the conditions surrounding their work. The Policy Analysis Unit will ensure that the topics chosen for discussion reflect the most pressing academic needs. To this end, the organizers have appointed a committee to referee more than 40 academic papers to be presented in this year’s conference.
The thematic organization of the conference ultimately reflects one of the core beliefs of the ACRPS Policy Analysis Unit—Arab countries, in spite of their differences, form a unitary geostrategic sphere.
This is the second large-scale annual event being held by the ACRPS. The ACRPS’s conference on the Social Sciences and Humanities, first held in March 2012, will continue to be held annually (upcoming conference in March 2013), and aim to provide Arab scholars with a unique forum that enables them to engage with issues pertaining to the social sciences and humanities in the region.
His Highness Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad al-Thani, Heir Apparent of Qatar, will address the conference’s opening session, which will also be attended by the Secretary General of the Arab League, Dr. Nabil al-Arabi, along with a number of key political figures and decision makers in the Arab world.
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