Welcome to the Arab Transformations Project


The Arab Transformations Project involved an international research consortium of 11 partners which conducted extensive research focusing on Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Jordan, and Iraq. Its aim was to help understand and evaluate political, social, and economic transformations before and after the Arab Uprisings of 2010-11.

Funded by the European Commission, it carried out public opinion surveys across the region in late 2014, and built a longitudinal database using secondary data gathered between 2000-2015, making it possible to look comparatively at trends in attitudes, values, and behaviour across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

The funded portion of the project concluded in September 2016, but research continues into key questions such as democracy, development, security, migration, gender, and the international relations of the Middle East.

Key Findings:

  • The Arab Uprisings were driven primarily by concerns over endemic corruption and economic dislocation;
  • Political elites are not generally trusted by populations, who are dissatisfied with;
  • Liberal institutions like elections are not enough, especially when they don't respond to people's expectations;
  • people want to live in a ‘decent society’ with economic security and social justice;
  • The EU can contribute by promoting truly inclusive development and growth, but existing Free Trade Agreements produce more inequality, not less.


Voters in the Libyan 2012 elections (Flickr)

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