In April 2018, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the Kawakibi Democracy Transition Center (KADEM) co-organized a workshop of the Carnegie Civic Research Network in Tunis, Tunisia. The workshop convened the global network’s members together with researchers and activists from Tunisia, Morocco, Syria, Libya, Palestine, Turkey, and Iran. Discussions examined new forms of civic activism in the Arab world, compared those with other regions, and drew out lessons for civil society support. Workshop participants took stock of recent and ongoing protests across the Middle East and North Africa region and globally and drew out lessons for what has worked and what has not worked in these mobilizations, and examined how civil society is dealing with government attacks and adjusting to operate in conflict areas. Participants also looked at how non-government organizations (NGOs) are reacting to new civic groups, and how new civic activism is being perceived by more established NGOs. Network members examined policy implications of these discussions for civil society support, with the aim of identifying how international civil society support can best reflect the changing nature of civic activism in the region.

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