The Milbank Tweed Forum – Arab Spring: The State of the Revolution as It Turns One

On February 1, 2012, under the auspices of the Milbank Tweed Forum at NYU School of Law, a panel of experts took stock of the changes that the Arab Spring has brought with it and made assessments about the future. Panelists were Isobel Coleman (Senior Fellow for U.S. Foreign Policy, Council on Foreign Relations), Mohammad Fadel (Associate Professor, University of Toronto Faculty of Law), and Kristen Stilt (Associate Professor, Northwestern University School of Law).

Twelve months after the mass political protests in Tahrir Square brought down the Mubarak government, Egypt and other countries in the region remain roiled by popular discontent. What has united these uprisings, and how are they now starting to diverge? If we can identify a revolution’s beginning, can we say what marks its end? Are the foundation stones for constitutional democracy being laid, or will we see authoritarianism reemerge in a different guise? What are the implications of Islamists taking the helm through democratic elections? Answering these and related questions requires assessment of the complex mix of social, economic, and political factors now in play.

Each panelist gave a brief presentation and a discussion ensued. Among other topics, the panelists discussed the power of the military in Egypt, the role of Islamism and the nuances within it, minority and women’s rights, the influence of the economy, and the American response to this complex and shifting array of factors that makes the future so uncertain.

Video Recording

Click here for a video recording of the symposium.

Date and Time

February 1, 2012 from 1225 to 1350.


Isobel Coleman, Senior Fellow for U.S. Foreign Policy, Council on Foreign Relations.

Mohammad Fadel, Associate Professor, University of Toronto Faculty of Law.

Kristen Stilt, Associate Professor, Northwestern University School of Law.


Sujit Choudhry, Cecelia Goetz Professor of Law and Faculty Director of Constitutional Transitions at NYU School of Law.

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