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Laws - Processes

Call for Papers: Medinas in the 20th and 21th Centuries. (Algiers, Fev. 2015)

Call for Papers/Appel à Contributions: Les médinas à l'époque contemporaine (XX-XIe siècles): Oscillations entre patrimonalisation et marginalisation Alger, 13-14 février 2015 ANR Métamorphoses des sociétés : "inégalité-inégalités" Source de débats, parfois âpres, une patrimonialisation est rarement le fruit d’un consensus, mais au contraire, "le produit de négociations, d’arbitrages, d’enjeux de pouvoirs et, inévitablement de conflits", à plus forte raison lorsqu’elle concerne des ensembles urbains anciens, ces espaces "vivants" polarisant un grands nombre d’enjeux, notamment économiques (liés notamment au foncier et au ...

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Decentralization in the Arab World Must be Strengthened to Provide Better Services


Introduction: Decentralization on the Agenda One of the major features of democracies is the extent to which the state is decentralized. With the advent of democratic transformations in the Arab world, decentralization already is or will soon be on the reform agenda. Decentralization is desired for two reasons: one, it enhances democracy, and participation in managing local affairs; two, it consequently leads to better developmental outcomes. The assumption here is that delegating authority to lower echelons of authorities will make service provision more effective, as it will be more responsive to the actual needs of the beneficiaries, while political representation ...

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Daliyeh and the Ongoing Struggle for Beirut's Public Spaces

[Daliyeh, Beirut. Image courtesy of Mona Harb.]

Daliyeh, a small peninsula sprouting from the Raouche neighborhood close to Beirut's renowned Pigeons' Rock, is being sealed off from the public. Already, security guards are on site and steel poles—the first sign of a planned fence—have been struck into the ground. A luxurious hotel resort is expected to be built on the land, a resort likely accessible to only a small affluent section of Lebanese society. For everyone else, it is another marker that Beirut's suffocation is accelerating as the struggle for inclusive spaces continues. For decades, Daliyeh—amounting to 112,257 square meters of ground and rockKeep Reading »

Tahrir, Taksim, Tempelhof: Between Political Fields

[Tempelhofer Park. Image by author.]

Sitting in Engels—one among many of Neukölln's cosy, candlelit, hipster-friendly cafés—I read on a sticker the slogan: “Tah[r]ir, Taksim, Tempelhof: Das Feld gehört uns allen!” (Tahrir, Taksim, Tempelhof: The Field belongs to us all!). Tempelhof itself is a former airport located in former West Berlin, famous for its mythological role in the Berlin airlift during the Cold War. The airport was closed in 2008, but its vast runways and grass fields were re-opened to the public in 2010. People have adopted these as a space for outdoor sports, from kiting to cycling, while some skateboarders make best use of Tempelhof’s almost perfectly flat runways by attaching wind surf ...

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Actes du colloque Syrie: reconstructions, immatérielles et matérielles?

[Couverture du livre, reprenant

Parution: Irène Labeyrie et Claude Yacoub (coord.), Actes du colloque Ila Souria 1.0, Syrie: reconstructions, immatérielles et matérielles? (Paris: Association Ila Souria, 2014). L’association Ila Souria a publié en janvier 2014 les actes du colloque "Syrie: reconstructions, immatérielles et matérielles?", organisé les 9 et 10 octobre 2013 à Paris, à L’Institut du Monde arabe. L’association Ila Souria est une association de droit français sans but lucratif. Elle "est pour l’instant composée essentiellement de Syriens, de Franco-Syriens et de Français: universitaires, chercheurs, scientifiques et professionnels qui désirent œuvrer pour une Syrie ...

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القانون الانتخابي في تونس بين فخّ المال السياسي والصعوبات القانونية واللوجستية


استخدام المال السياسي في الانتخابات التشريعية والرئاسية هي جريمة استفحلت في جميع الدول ولكن بمستويات مختلفة. وتتباين خطورة هذه الجريمة بين دول العالم بمدى التزام كل منها بتطبيق قانون انتخابي ذي معايير دولية يراعي في كل فصوله ضرورة غلق الأبواب أمام أية محاولات لشراء أصوات الناخبين خصوصا من طرف الأحزاب الكبرى. ففي تونس مثلا سجّل المراقبون خلال انتخابات المجلس التأسيسي التي جرت يوم 23 أكتوبر من سنة 2011 آلاف التجاوزات التي تصب أغلبها في استغلال أصوات الناخبين من ذوي الدخل المحدود بمقابل مادي أو من خلال عدم الالتزام بضوابط الحملات الانتخابية والإشهار السياسي. ورغم توفر الأدلة الموثقة لدى المراقبين إلا أن خلو القانون الانتخابي من بنود حاسمة بخصوص العقوبات الرادعة لهذه ...

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Cairo: The Myth of a City on the Verge of Explosion

[Cairo Traffic. Image by Andy Serrano via]

Cairo is a crowded city. It is a truism that is easy to find in reportage about the city, which almost invariably begins with a description of Cairo as teeming, noisy, dusty, and polluted. Vendors and parked cars take over sidewalks for lack of space, while pedestrians walk amongst traffic. Shouts and car horns drown out everything else and traffic jams stretch on for miles. Numbers back up the impression: In 2006, just as the a long-term "visioning" exercise known as Cairo 2050 was beginning, the World Bank estimated Cairo’s population density at 37,136 per square kilometer, while CAPMAS, Egypt’s national statistics agency, more recently (2012) had the number ...

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Le Caire, laboratoire de l'urbanisme insurrectionnel

Review of Beth Stryker, Omar Nagati and Magda Mostafa (eds.), Learning from Cairo. Global Perspectives and Future Visions (Cairo: Cluster and The American University in Cairo, 2013). Faisant référence au succès éditorial mondial de Denise Scott Brown et Robert Venturi sur Las Vegas (Scott Brown, Venturi, 1972), lequel marqua la naissance du postmodernisme en architecture, Learning from Cairo apparaît comme un ouvrage tout aussi innovant, qui devrait marquer les études urbaines sur l’Égypte, le Moyen-Orient et plus largement les pays du Sud et qui, lui non plus, ne devrait pas échapper à la controverse. Précisons tout de suite que l’intérêt de Learning from ...

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A propos des mondes urbains de F. Navez-Bouchanine

Recension: Agnès Deboulet et Michèle Jolé (éd.) Les mondes urbains. Le parcours engagé de Françoise Navez-Bouchanine (Paris: Karthala, 2013). La littérature spécialisée en études urbaines vient de s’enrichir d’un ouvrage exceptionnel par la qualité des contributions qui le composent. Il s’agit du livre intitulé Les mondes urbains. Le parcours engagé de Françoise Navez-Bouchanine, dirigé et édité par Agnès Deboulet et Michèle Jolé, paru aux Éditions Karthala en juillet 2013. Françoise Navez-Bouchanine, à laquelle ce livre est dédié, aura réussi la gageure de susciter après sa disparition prématurée, autant si ce n’est plus que de son vivant, des discussions, des ...

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Lebanon's Sect Addiction

[Lebanon's former electoral districts. Photo courtesy of MESH.]

Lebanese MPs outraged secularists and campaigners opposed to sectarian politics this past week by provisionally approving a voting law that would make it so citizens could only vote for candidates of their own sect. The so-called Orthodox Gathering draft law still needs to pass a parliamentary vote—but activists and youth groups have already decried it as a step back from representative democracy and a lurch towards confessional – some claimed racist – politics. The bill was championed by Michel Aoun, the leader of the Maronite Christian Free Patriotic Movement (FPM) that contributes seven ministers to Lebanon’s current cabinet, alongside the Shiite Hezbollah, ...

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Egypt’s Anti-Freedom Constitution: The Borhami Video

[Salafist cleric leader Yasser Borhami (right) speaks with Morsi's presidential advisor Bassam al-Zarqa during the constitutional marathon vote in the assembly on 30 November. Image by Mohamed Abd El Gany/Reuters]

“This constitution imposes complete restrictions that have never before been imposed by any Egyptian constitution” and it “places restrictions on freedom of thought, expression, and creativity.” These are the words of Sheikh Yasser Borhami, a leading member of the Constituent Assembly. He was explaining Article 10 of Egypt’s draft constitution during a conference with religious experts and Salafist preachers on 22 November 2012. On this same day, President Mohamed Morsi granted himself sweeping powers, including the power to shield the constituent assembly from judicial oversight. For anyone who continues to believe that this constitution is a document that represents ...

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ICC Rejects Palestine Bid

[Logo of the International Criminal Court. Image from Wikimedia Commons.]

[The following is a ruling from the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court] Situation in Palestine 1. On 22 January 2009, pursuant to article 12(3) of the Rome Statute, Ali Khashan acting as Minister of Justice of the Government of Palestine lodged a declaration accepting the exercise of jurisdiction by the International Criminal Court for "acts committed on the territory of Palestine since 1 July 2002." [1]  2. In accordance with article 15 of the Rome Statute, the Office of the Prosecutor initiated a preliminary examination in order to determine whether there is a reasonable basis to proceed with an ...

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Fractured Space: The Case of Souk al-Ahad, Beirut

Beirut’s weekend market Souk al-Ahad attracts about thirty-five thousand visitors a day and has four hundred registered stalls, providing a living to five thousand families. It is located on the eastern edge of the city near its river and a highway (Figure 1). Beyond the physical collection of stalls, vendors, and affordable goods, the Souk is also the locus of a long conflict over land ownership between the Lebanese Ministry of Energy and Water and the municipality of neighboring Sin el-Fil. In the case ...

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Egypt - One Court, One Month: 1212 Death Sentences

[The following briefing was published by the Alkarama Foundation on 29 April 2014] Within a month, the Al Minya Criminal Court handed down in two separate verdicts 1212 death sentences following blatantly unfair and speedy trials in relation to the demonstrations that happened on 14 August 2013. In the first case, 37 Muslim Brotherhood supporters had their death sentence, issued on 24 March 2014, upheld, while the 491 remaining accused had their sentence commuted into life imprisonment. In the second ...

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نحو سياسة زراعية بديلة في مصر

تهدف هذه المقالة إلى طرح تصور لسياسة زراعية بديلة. يتطلب هذا أولاً تفكيك الأساطير المنسوجة حول القطاع الزراعي والفلاحين المصريين والتي تشكل حائلاَ معرفياً يعوق التواصل والتضامن الفعال مع حركات الفلاحين الاجتماعية. بدأت عملية التحول الرأسمالي للقطاع الزراعي في مصر منذ عصر محمد علي. كان هذا التحول مشوهاً ومناهضاً للزراعة الفلاحية. أدت عملية التحول هذه إلى نمو قطاع من المزارعين الرأسماليين، وزادت الميكنة الزراعية، والعمال الأجراء فى الريف المصري، وجعلت القرية أكثر خضوعاً لسيطرة آخرين مثل الدولة والسوق ...

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Egyptian Organization for Human Rights Condemns Unfair Trial that Sentenced 528 to Death

[The following statement was issued by the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights on 25 March 2014] The Egyptian Organization Condemns the Execution of 528 in Unfair Trial On Monday 24 March 2014, Seventh Chamber of Minya Criminal Court handed down the death sentence for 528 supporters of former President Mohamed Morsi and acquitted 17 others,in the violence acts took place in Matti that followed the disperse of Rabaa, and El Nahdah square sit-ins .The session was held without the presence of the ...

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Les quartiers populaires et les printemps arabes: Elements pour une approche renouvelee

Compte rendu de: Pierre-Arnaud Barthel et Sylvy Jaglin (éds.), Quartiers informels d’un monde arabe en transition. Réflexions et perspectives pour l’action urbaine, (Paris: Agence Française pour le Développement, Conférences et Séminaires no.7),159 p. Accessible en ligne. L'informalité est la condition d'habiter majoritaire dans les villes du Monde arabe. Trouver à se loger après avoir fondé une famille ou se maintenir à proximité des opportunités d'emploi se conjuguent pour la multitude populaire avec ...

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Nouveau Webdoc: Au centre de Tunis: géographies de l’espace public après une révolution

Un nouveau web-documentaire intitulé Au centre de Tunis: Géographies de l’espace public après une révolution est paru sur le net. Il s’agit d’une recherche universitaire réalisée par des géographes de l’Université de Cagliari (Italie), du Politecnico de Turin et de l’Université Montpellier 3 (UMR GRED), conçue et produite avec des professionnels des médias (photographes, vidéastes et journalistes), en collaboration avec l’agence Prospekt Photographers de Milan, et financée par la Fondazione Banco di ...

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Egyptian Constitutional Drafting: A Comparative Review

On 3 December 2013, Amr Moussa, the head of the Egyptian Committee of 50 tasked with amending the suspended Constitution of 2012, presented the new Egyptian draft constitution to the interim president of Egypt, Judge Adly Mansour. The draft will be put to a referendum within thirty days of its submission to the president and no later than 3 January 2014. As stipulated by Article 30 of the constitutional declaration promulgated on 8 July 2013, the new constitutional amendments will enter into effect once ...

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The Promise of the Wall: Reflections on Desire and Gated Communities in Cairo

“Gated communities,” which started to emerge in the US in the 1980s, have quickly spread around the world and became “a global commodity and cultural icon eagerly consumed by urban elites world-wide” (Genis 2007: 771). Since the mid 1990s, dozens of these communities have spread around Cairo. Most of these developments target the rich and present themselves as alternatives to the hectic, polluted, congested, and crowded Cairo. In their attempts to explain the increasing popularity of these spatial forms ...

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إعادة تشكيل النخبة بعد 3 يوليو في مصر

إعادة تشكيل النخبة بعد 3 يوليو في مصر. دراسة مقارنة في تشكيلات لجان الدستور والمجلس القومي لحقوق الإنسان والمجلس الأعلى للصحافة  إن توظيف النخبة وتجديد دمائها بالشباب وإحلال نخب أكثر ثورية مكان النخب القديمة المتحالفة مع السلطة، شكّل على الدوام مطلباً ثورياً منذ اندلاع ثورة الخامس والعشرين من يناير في مصر. إضافة إلى ذلك، فإن جذرية ارتباط النخب بالقطاعات العريضة من الشعب، وتحديد بوصلتها باتجاه الجماهير كمحدد للولاء والشرعية وعدم التحول إلى التماهي مع السلطة، أو قيام النظام باختيار الموالين له ...

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What Does Morsi Not Understand About Police Reform?

In mid-1861, Saeed Pasha, the ruler of Egypt, issued a Sovereign Decree to all police chiefs replacing the penalty of beating with imprisonment. Accordingly, regulations were issued stating that since  penalties in the form of beatings of some criminals are intended to once and for all discipline those who commit crimes and sins, and serve as a deterrence to others, while keeping in mind effect without harm, we have decided to replace the penalty of beating with the penalty of ...

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عندما يصبح تسييس القضاء ضمانة لاستقلاله: أفكار حول التجربة المصرية 1967-2012

أين اختفى قضاة "التيار الاستقلالي" في مصر اليوم؟ سؤال محير يراود أذهان أكثر من متابع للشأن القضائي المصري في الوقت الحاضر. فالمفارقة الغريبة هي أن القضاة الذين صنعوا الحدث القضائي والسياسي عامي 2005 و2006 عندما تحدوا من خلال نادي قضاة مصر نظام حسني مبارك في أوج سلطته باتوا اليوم، بعد سقوط هذا النظام، شبه غائبين عن الساحة القضائية.١ القضاة الأفراد ما زالوا هنا طبعاً، على الأقل سياسيا: فالمستشار حسام الغرياني ترأس مجلس القضاء الأعلى وهو اليوم يترأس اللجنة المكلفة إعداد الدستور والمستشار ...

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Singular Legal Regime Necessitates One-State Solution

This weekend, the Harvard University community will host its conference, "One-State Conference: Israel/Palestine and the One-State Solution". The conference promises to be an invigorating discussion on the likelihood of the two-state solution, the benefits of the one-state solution, and the challenges to achieving either. In light of that discussion, I thought it useful to share the legal dimensions that demonstrate Israel’s discriminatory system both within its putative borders and the ...

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