The Annual Conference of the Economic Research Forum (ERF) has evolved over the past 18 years to become one of the most important regional platforms for ERF and non-ERF affiliates to discuss frontier thinking about economic development, learn from one another and interact with international scholars. The upcoming conference comes at a time when the region is undergoing significant
political transformation and will focus in its plenary sessions on a pertinent issue: Economic Development and the Rise of Islamist Parties. The plenary sessions will feature renowned economists and opinion makers and the conference will be held at the headquarters of the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development (AFESD) in Kuwait, March 3-5, 2013.
The political upheavals which swept ERF’s region in early 2011 ushered in Islamist political parties in Egypt, Tunisia, and potentially elsewhere in the region. Deposed political regimes were generally perceived to have failed to deliver acceptable standards of living to the majority of their populations, denying them freedom and social justice in the meantime. There has been much discussion
as to why the Islamist movements surged to the fore, and just as many questions about the likely development policies and outcomes of their ascendance to power. The fact that the track record of similar parties in other regions is mixed makes it doubly important to deal with questions about the conditions which would render this political development successful. This year’s conference is in-
tended to do just that, primarily by attempting to understand the causes behind the rise of Islamist parties, the conditions under which they succeed and the likely outcome in Arab Spring countries.
Read more about the conference on the ERF website