"Workshop: The Dynamics of Decentralization in the MENA: Comparative Lessons for Oman"

2-3 March 2020

Gothenburg, Sweden




The workshop aims to bring together scholars working on decentralization, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa, to discuss the nature of decentralization experiences across the region. The discussion will focus around the design of decentralization reforms, obstacles faced, progress made and outcomes of reforms, and will hopefully generate new ideas regarding decentralization, and also strengthen collaborative scholarly and policy networks around these issues. This workshop is part of a 2-year project (funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York) on decentralization in the MENA, with a focus on Oman.  The broader project aims to make three main contributions: First, it seeks to promote policy-relevant, scholarly research on decentralization, and pave the way for further cross-national studies and analyses on the topic. Second, it will inform stakeholders in the Sultanate of Oman, focusing on how differences in community governance structures -- that is, the extent to which citizens turn to state institutions for services versus non-state actors or different individuals (e.g., men vs. women, diverse ethnic and religious groups) participate in decision processes -- affect challenges in decentralization. Third, it aims to strengthen and expand networks of scholars and other stakeholders from across the MENA,  sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), the United States (US) and Europe concerned with decentralization. To do so, we employ an inclusive, multi-method approach to explore subnational variation in governance that may affect the effective implementation of decentralization processes in Oman.


*Please note that due to limited space this event is not open to the general public.  



Gothenburg University




Sami Atallah (Director at Lebanese Center for policy Studies, LCPS), Intissar Kherigi (Jasmine Foundation), Ahmed al-Mukhaini (Independent Scholar), Ezra Karmel (University of Guelph), Miriam Bohn (Friedrich-Alexander University), Erik Vollmann (Friedrich-Alexander University), Sylvia Bergh (Institute of Social Studies, The Hauge), Somayeh Shafiei (GLD, the Institute of Humanities and Cultural studies Iran), Zeynep Kadirbeyoglu (Bogazici University), Maryam Al Kharusi (GLD, Oman), Chagai Weiss (University of Wisconsin-Madison), James Worrall (University of Leeds), Marwa M. Shalaby (University of Wisconsin-Madison), Kristen Kao (GLD), Ellen Lust (GLD)