Recent transformations in the Middle East have thoroughly changed the political, social, religious, cultural and economic conditions. In the region, dictatorships have fallen, followed by social turmoil, political instability and socio-economic crises. Other societies have been less subject to massive popular movements, but host significant political and social transformations of several kinds. The CMES research theme on “Democratization and Social Development and in the Middle East” explores the interrelated local, regional and transnational variations of current political processes and key actors shaping current societies and institutions.
CMES research focuses how current political institutions and social processes are intertwined with economic and social structures, religious expressions, ethnic relations, nationalism, citizenship and educational institutions. Other important venues for research of development and political processes may be located in art, literature, music and other aspects of cultural creativity, as well as the current transformations of local environments, as concerns urban design, social ties, gender roles, youth culture and family life. Last but not least, this research theme studies Middle Eastern societies in a transnational and global perspective. Current social developments and political processes of the Middle East are analyzed since they are linked to foreign policies and geopolitical tensions, the presence of international NGOs and development agencies, as well as international trade and global cultural flows.