The role of the security sector varies widely across the Middle East and North Africa. Following the popular uprisings, the military has been instrumental for the development of democracy in some countries, but has upheld dictatorial regimes in others.

The Carnegie Middle East Center, in partnership with the Samir Kassir Foundation, held a “Beirut Ideas” debate on Arab civil-military relationships and the path toward more democratic societies, with case studies from Tunisia, Egypt, Syria, and Yemen. 

Farea Al-Muslimi

Farea Al-Muslimi is a visiting scholar at the Carnegie Middle East Center, where his research focuses on Yemeni and Gulf politics.

Rania Barrak

Rania Barrak is a professor at the Military Academy of Tunisia. Barrak served as communications officer during the electoral campaign of Tunisian President Béji Caïd Essebsi.

Nabil Bou Mounsef

Nabil Bou Mounsef is head of the political section at An-Nahar.

Jean Oghassabian

Jean Oghassabian is a member of the Lebanese Parliament. He served as minister of state from 2008 to 2011 and minister of state for administrative reform from 2005 to 2008.

Yezid Sayigh

Yezid Sayigh is a senior associate at the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut, where his work focuses on the Syrian crisis, the political role of Arab armies, security sector transformation in Arab transitions, the reinvention of authoritarianism, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and peace process.