In a joint initiative, Carnegie’s Washington-based Middle East Program and the Carnegie Middle East Center convened a group of senior policymakers and party leaders from Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya to explore the specific challenges facing emerging Arab political parties in defining their platforms and positions in an increasingly polarized political environment. The project focused on several areas critical to developing clear party programs, including the role of central party positions and proposals, the process for determining these positions, and how to communicate these positions to key audiences.
The project also explored ways to build and activate grassroots networks, how parties can consolidate support among key constituencies, and how to develop institutions and processes for the long term that also provide pathways for new ideas. Discussions focused on identifying base party supporters, creating mechanisms to integrate new members, installing platforms for informing the public and encouraging its participation, and incorporating party messages into grassroots organizing.
The project paid special attention to discussing party finances, particularly how parties in Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya should deal with the challenge of developing reliable and responsible sources of financing and international support.