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Rashid Khalidi: The Crisis of Arab Democracy and Palestine

Date(s) - 04/08/2021
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

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TPL and Ryerson University present: The Crisis of Arab Democracy and Palestine.

Starting in the 1970s, many autocratic regimes in the world suffered mounting crises, inaugurating democratic transitions across Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. The Middle East and North Africa remained a regional anomaly, however, despite promising experiments in constitutional reform in the early twentieth century and parliamentary government in several countries after WWII. The mass protests and political revolutions unleashed a decade ago by the Arab Spring, forcing several dictatorships to fall, suggested its democratic moment had finally arrived. Yet the hopes remain largely unrealized. And Palestinian demands for self-determination, although supported by public opinion across the region, appear more elusive than ever.

Unrepresentative regimes in the Arab world, often dependent on foreign patrons, continue to frustrate popular aspirations. But we cannot understand their resilience without grasping the long history of colonialism, great power interventions during the Cold War and the follies of the post-9/11 War on Terror.

The critically acclaimed historian and political commentator, Rashid Khalidi, examines these struggles for democracy in conversation with Sanjay Ruparelia.

*CLICK HERE to register and tune in LIVE on April 8:


About the series:
On the Frontlines of Democracy is a new public lecture series to analyze its prospects in the twenty-first century. Around the world, democracies face serious challenges, old and new. Can we protect our constitutional democracies in an era of popular mistrust, severe partisanship and resurgent nationalism? Can they reduce inequalities of power, wealth and status, defend deep diversity and confront climate change in the new digital age? And can we develop innovative strategies to revitalize civic engagement and empower public institutions to renew the promise of democracy?

Toronto Public Library is committed to accessibility. Please call or email us if you are Deaf or have a disability and would like to request accommodation to participate in this program. Please let us know as far in advance as possible and we will do our best to meet your request. At least three weeks’ notice is preferred. Phone 416-393-7099 or email

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