First Graduate Conference - Call for Papers

Perspectives from Economics and Democratisation Studies

28 September 2012, London School of Economics and Political Science

Submissions are welcome for papers to be presented at the first of two one-day graduate conferences jointly organized by the London School of Economics and the Faculty of Economics and Political Science (FEPS), Cairo University. PhD students enrolled for any PhD programme in the UK are welcome to apply by Friday 3 August 2012.

Theme of the conference

The conference aims at discussing the causes and immediate implications of the Egyptian revolution in the context of the Arab Spring from an economic / political economy and democratisation perspective. The conference will be structured in two sections; each section will be introduced by a paper by one of the members of the steering committee of the collaborative project and will ideally include six papers, organized in two panels.

1. Political economy perspectives

The Arab Spring is considered an inspiring phase for transition in Arab countries like Egypt, Tunisia and Libya. One of the driving forces behind the eruption of the revolutions in those countries was the deteriorated economic situation and living conditions of the majority of people. A multidimensional reform process is inevitable for governments of these countries if they want to overcome economic problems and build a modern society with for growth prospects.

This section will be introduced by a paper by Dr Ola El Khawaga (FEPS) titled: 'The implications of the January 25th revolution on the Egyptian economy'. Submissions are welcomed on any aspects related to the study of political economy of transition, and the following are particularly encouraged:

  • Challenges facing the Egyptian economy post the Revolution;
  • Poverty and youth unemployment;
  • Revising and harmonizing the role of donors’ to the Egyptian economy;
  • Assessing economic progress after the revolution;
  • Managing monetary and fiscal policies in the transition period;
  • Political economy dynamics pertaining to the business medium and the working class in Egypt.

2. Democratisation

This section aims at locating the Egyptian revolution, and broadly the Arab Spring, within the main debates on the causes and processes of democratization. It will be introduced by a paper by Dr Marco Pinfari (LSE) titled: 'Between preconditions and efficient causes: the Egyptian revolution and its implications for the study of democratic transitions'. Submissions are welcome on any aspect related to the study of democratic transitions, but the following are particularly encouraged:

  • Comparative analyses of the role of individual systemic (education, economic development, religion, etc.) or contingent factors (leadership, external intervention, etc.) in the democratization process in Egypt or other Arab Spring countries;
  • Assessment of the role that factors such as social capital or economic development can play in these democratization processes, ideally based on primary material (e.g. surveys);
  • Analyses focused on “less conventional” approaches to democratization, especially on the role of the so-called “domino” or “snowball effect” or on the importance of media in democratization processes, again with a focus on Egypt or, comparatively, on Arab Spring countries.
Submission Procedure

Please download the paper proposal form| and submit it by Friday 3 August 2012. The proposal must be submitted via email as a Word document or PDF attachment; the email must be sent to Dr Marco Pinfari:|.

Selection Process

The coordinators of the project will assess the proposals on the basis of three criteria, which will be given equal weight:

  1. Overall relevance and importance of the themes and approaches described in the abstract;
  2. Methodological consistency and evidence of engagement with current academic debates in the chosen issue-area;
  3. Relevance to (at least) one of the two conference themes.
Travel Support Grant

Funds are available to cover the cost of attending the conference. If you wish to apply for travel support, please indicate this in your application.


If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Dr Marco Pinfari on|

Download PDF version of Call for Papers|
Download Paper Proposal Form|