The MBI Al Jaber Foundation, with The Institute for Middle East and Islamic Studies and the Sir William Luce Memorial Fund, at Durham University supports: Research on Reform in the Arabian Peninsula.
This international conference will aim to foster debate and understanding of the current reforms and strategic issues in the Arabian Peninsula, and will be the first of an annual conference series. It will be held at Grey College, University of Durham.
The countries of the Arabian Peninsula are frequently dismissed as having no democratic systems compared to most other regions of the world. President Bush has pursued the action in Iraq by proclaiming that democracy and freedom must be adopted both in Iraq and throughout the wider Middle East. This forms the basis of U.S. efforts to counter the conditions which breed international terrorism.
It has been argued that the Arabian Peninsula countries need to provide a system of democratic representation which takes fully into account their own history and culture. Can their firmly established tradition of rule provide the basis for the evolution of an Arab form of constitutional monarchy? Should the West be seeking to encourage national indigenous evolution rather than working to impose Western systems, albeit offering Western experience where relevant?
Papers will be delivered on reform and strategic issues in the Arabian Peninsula by leading scholars and experts in the field. A selection of the proceedings will be published by the Institute of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, in a dedicated volume. The conference proceedings will operate under the Chatham House Rule.