Hebrew University of Jerusalem (External organization)

Activity: MembershipPostdoctoral Fellowship


Postdoctoral fellowship - Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Within the political discourse in most of the Arab countries following the "Arab Spring", especially in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen and Syria, the concept of "Civil State" (Dawla Madaniyya) played a pivotal role. On the face of it, in the public debate over the character of the Arab states after the collapse of the authoritarian regimes, the demand to establish a civil state was shared by almost all the political streams. In practice, different political streams render the concept different semantic interpretations according to their political ideology. Based on my recent dissertation, that examined the roots of the civil state concept in Western political philosophy, and followed its evolution in Egyptian intellectual discourse – from its first appearance in the early 20th century until the recent debate on its inclusion in the first article of the 2014 constitution – this dissertation examines the spreading of the civil state concept from Egypt to other Arab states, such as Yemen, Syria, Lebanon, Morocco and especially Tunisia, where as opposed to Egypt, the civil state concept was included in the new constitution in the article which defines the identity of the country. I would like to explore the meanings of the concept and its usage in the political scene of some other Arab states in light of historical and social processes that are unique to each country that affected its development. I also would like to examine whether the civil state concept in other Arab states is used in the same meanings as in Egypt or has additional or alternative definitions as a result of the local circumstances of each place. Such examination would enable a comprehensive overview of the civil state model in contemporary Arab political thought in contrast to other prevalent models, such as nationalism, Pan-Arabism, Political Islam etc.
Held atHebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel