Indiana University

Skip to:

  1. Search
  2. Breadcrumb Navigation
  3. Content
  4. Browse by Topic
  5. Services & Resources
  6. Additional Resources
  7. Multimedia News

Last modified: Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Scholar of Middle East democratic reform process to present Jwaideh Memorial Lecture

Sept. 19, 2012

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Amaney Jamal, director of the Workshop on Arab Political Development at Princeton University and author of the award-winning book "Barriers to Democracy," will present the annual Wadie Jwaideh Memorial Lecture at Indiana University Bloomington on Monday, Sept. 24.

Jamal, whose current book, "Of Empires and Citizens: Pro-American Democracy or No Democracy at All?," has just been published by Princeton University Press, will speak at 7:30 p.m. at the University Club in the Indiana Memorial Union, 900 E. Seventh St.

Her lecture, which will be based on her current book, is free and open to the public. A light reception will follow.

The annual lecture is held each fall to honor the memory of Jwaideh, who founded the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures in the College of Arts and Sciences at IU Bloomington. The Iraq native came to IU in 1960 and served on its faculty for more than a quarter century. He died in 2001.

Jamal's research focuses on why democratization has been slow to arrive in the Arab world after the end of the Cold War, and her findings are timely, in light of recent actions in Libya, Egypt and elsewhere in the Middle East.

She argues that even in the wake of the Arab Spring and the overthrow of some autocratic Arab regimes, the future course of Arab democratization will be influenced by the strength of U.S. presence in the region and of popular anti-Americanism, which weakens democratic voices.

In her new book, the associate professor of history examined recent history in Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Palestine and Saudi Arabia and how Arab citizens decide whether to back existing regimes, regime transitions and democratization projects. She also looked at how the global position of Arab states shapes people's attitudes toward their governments.

"Barriers to Democracy," her first book, won the Best Book Award in Comparative Democratization at the American Political Science Association in 2008.

Her second book, an edited volume with University of Michigan scholar Nadine Naber, looked at the patterns and influences of Arab-American racialization processes. She also is a co-author on the book, "Citizenship and Crisis: Arab Detroit After 9/11."

Jamal is a principal investigator of the award-winning Arab Barometer project and co-principal investigator of the Detroit Arab American Study, a sister survey to the Detroit Area Study. She was a senior advisor on Pew Research Center projects focusing on Islam in America (2006) and Global Islam, (2010). In 2005, she was named a Carnegie Scholar.