Update from the DEMA Master – EIUC’s brand new regional Master programme

Six weeks into the new EIUC Master programme ‘Democratic Governance – Human Rights and Democracy in the MENA Region’, our small DE.MA team of 18 students dedicated a week to exploring different themes and issues relating to the so-called ‘Arab uprisings’ in the MENA region and the ensuing political transitions and turmoil.

Two lecturers from Morocco joined the class at the EIUC in Venice for the week: Professor El Ahmadi from Cadi Ayyad University in Marrakech – who is also the DE.MA Programme Director – and Dr Mohamed Chtatou from Mohamed V University in Rabat. The lecturers guided students through a number of topics and thought provoking issues, starting out with the roots of the uprisings – thus providing students with an opportunity to delve into the different underlying contexts in a number of MENA countries.

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Dr Mohamed Chtatou

DE.MA students had many heated debates concerning the respective roles of an array of factors somehow linked to the uprisings – including disenfranchised youth populations, the impact of the rentier state and patronage systems, the power of information technology and cyber citizenship, well-organised labour movements, the damaging legacy of colonialism, the patriarchy, Western and regional interventionism, amongst many other phenomena at interplay in the region.

The second half of the week was spent discussing and predicting “what’s next” for the MENA region. The students looked into state failures and security threats, political backlashes and the advances of extra-judicial movements, but also positive change and the potential for renewed uprisings bringing hundreds of thousands of brave, determined people to the streets to demand change and dignity.

  Thus, while current prospects may seem bleak to some, the DE.MA class will continue exploring the potential for political stability and security, social justice and equal opportunity, and transitions towards democratic governance in this ever-changing and inspiring region.

About the DEMA programme: The Master in Democratic Governance is a unique programme designed to meet the needs of students, professionals and experts who want to specialise in the field of democratic governance and human rights with a focus on the Arab world, but also gain the practical experience needed to build or improve their career/research activities. If you are interested in the DE.MA Master please write to dema.secretariat@eiuc.org.

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