Julia Choucair-Vizoso

Former Editor in Chief
Julia Choucair Vizoso is editor in chief of the online journal, Sada. Her research interests include Middle Eastern politics, authoritarianism, and identity politics.


M.A., Arab Studies, Georgetown University; B.S., International Politics, Georgetown University


Arabic; French; Spanish


Julia Choucair Vizoso is no longer at the Carnegie Endowment.

Julia Choucair Vizoso was editor in chief of the online journal, Sada. Her research interests include Middle Eastern politics, authoritarianism, and identity politics. She is a Ph.D. candidate in political science at Yale University. Her dissertation seeks to explain patterns of ethnic exclusion in authoritarian coalitions and institutions. She is the co-editor of Beyond the Façade: Political Reform in the Arab World (Carnegie book, 2008).

  • Sada - Analysis August 20, 2008 عربي
    Elections Highlight Lebanon's Confessional System

    Compared to the dramatic events that shook Lebanon in the past six months, the parliamentary elections that took place between May 29 and June 19 were anti-climactic. Local and foreign observers expressed disappointment that, apart from the withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon, remarkably little has changed.

  • Paper December 5, 2006 عربي
    Illusive Reform: Jordan's Stubborn Stability

    In this Carnegie Paper, "Illusive Reform: Jordan's Stubborn Stability," Julia Choucair argues that Jordan's stability is best maintained through political reform. She contends that the United States and Europe, for short to medium-term reasons, have shied away from urging Jordan to undertake further reform, which would be in everyone's long-term interests.

  • Op-Ed Council on Foreign Relations Interview August 1, 2006
    Israeli Attacks on Lebanese Civilians Hurt U.S. Standing in Region

    Even though many Lebanese people and several Arab governments criticized Hezbollah for instigating the crisis with Israel, the Israeli air attacks -- including the killing of many civilians -- have now quieted the criticism, and in fact have worsened the already poor standing of the United States in the Arab world.

  • Article July 20, 2006
    Crisis in the Middle East

    This is a dangerous moment for the Middle East, because the conflicts in Gaza and Lebanon could easily escalate to involve the broader region. Any strategy to address the present crisis must deal with the realities of the Middle East as they are now, not try to leapfrog over them by seeking to impose a grand new vision. Such a vision would be bound to fail as it did in the case of Iraq.

  • Paper Carnegie Endowment January 5, 2006
    Lebanon: Finding a Path from Deadlock to Democracy

    The Lebanese political system, designed to ensure representation for a diverse population, makes it very difficult for one group to gain enough seats in parliament to govern effectively. Therefore, although Syria's withdrawal has restored Lebanon's sovereignty, it has also left a power vacuum that threatens the stability of the country.

  • Policy Outlook March 9, 2005
    Lebanon’s New Political Moment

    The assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri has forced the Lebanese to confront one another on the question of Syria’s role in the Lebanese political system and has pitted pro-Syria politicians with vested interests in the status quo against an increasingly vocal opposition movement backed by popular demonstrations.

  • Washington November 19, 2007
    Beyond the Façade: Political Reform in the Arab World

    Reform is a politically charged issue in the Middle East. Carnegie experts force us to recognize the reality of conflicting interests and the limitations of external actors to bring about political reform, while drawing lessons on how to make international democracy promotion more effective.

  • January 29, 2008 Washington, D.C.
    Beyond the Façade: Political Reform in the Arab World

    Contemporary discourse on democratic transformation in the Arab world often lacks a critical assessment of the kind of progress that is taking place on the ground. Marina Ottaway and Julia Choucair-Vizoso launched their new book Beyond the Façade: Political Reform in the Arab World, a critical assessment of political reform in the Arab world based on ten case studies.

  • February 27, 2007 Washington, D.C.
    Islamist Political Parties in Kuwait and Morocco

    On February 27, Nathan Brown presented his paper on Kuwait’s Islamic Constitutional Movement and Amr Hamzawy presented his forthcoming paper on Morocco’s Justice and Development Party. Leslie Campbell, National Democratic Institute, served as a discussant and Julia Choucair moderated.

  • September 26, 2006
    The Challenges of Reconstruction: Member of Parliament Discusses Lebanon’s Future

    Member and Secretary of the Parliament of Lebanon, Mr. Jawad Boulos, spoke at a roundtable hosted by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and moderated by Julia Choucair, September 26, 2006.

  • May 18, 2006 Washington, D.C.
    Coping with Hamas

    May 18, 2006 - Nathan Brown presented his Policy Brief "Living with Palestinian Democracy."  Larry Garber, the New Israel Fund, and Ori Nir, The Forward, served as discussants and Julia Choucair served as moderator.

  • January 11, 2006 Washington, D.C.
    Lebanon’s Uncertain Democratic Prospects

    The main obstacle to reform is the lack of any coherent central authority in Lebanon that has institutionalized decision-making mechanisms. The manner in which power is divided among the various sects results in de facto mini-states responsible for all the needs of their constituents, which leads to political and administrative paralysis.

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