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Very substantive and spirited presentations and discussions by two-dozen experts from many countries and sectors analyzed why there is so much tension, violence and state fragmentation across Arab lands, and what can be done in the future to rebuild stable governance systems.Beyond the ravages to human lives and socioeconomic opportunities, chronic conflict has also shattered state and social institutions, polarized societies and fractured social cohesion.The workshop sought to explore how credible, legitimate and effective governance structures in conflict-affected contexts can be reconstructed when societies transform out of conflict.Hundreds of millions of Arab men and women have remained almost totally disenfranchised since then, due to a deadly combination that few other societies around the world have endured for decades on end: autocratic government systems anchored in military and security rule; conservative and increasingly defensive social structures (family, tribe, sect, ethnicity); and sustained economic pauperization and vulnerability heavily reflecting global neo-liberal rules that favor corporate profits and crony capitalism interests over human and citizen rights.
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