BookTalkUNA presents

and The Battle for Pluralism

Join us for an evening of discussion with

Scholar, statesman and diplomat


Preceded by

UNA-NY Annual Meeting 2014




is held in conjunction with
the Institute of International Education

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

6 - 6:30 p.m. | UNA-NY Annual Meeting
6:45 p.m. | Presentation
7:30 p.m. | Reception and Book Signing

Institute of International Education
809 United Nations Plaza, Kaufman Center
New York, NY



UNA Members: FREE
UNA Student Members: FREE
Guests and Non-Members: $15

Marwan Muasher's new book THE SECOND ARAB AWAKENING is founded on his long experience as a diplomat and on a deep understanding of Arab history.

Many in the West are profoundly disappointed that the euphoria of the "Arab Spring" has not yielded the results of their expectations.

While his important book is not about immediate events or policies or responses to the Arab Spring, it instead takes a long, judicious view of political change in the Arab world, beginning with the first Awakening in the nineteenth century and extending into future decades when—if the dream is realized—a new Arab world defined by pluralism and tolerance will emerge.

Marwan Muasher, former foreign minister of Jordan, asserts that all sides—the United States, Europe, Israel, and Arab governments alike—were deeply misguided in their thinking about Arab politics and society when the turmoil of the Arab Spring erupted. He explains the causes of the unrest, tracing them back to the first Arab Awakening, and warns of the forces today that threaten the success of the Second Arab Awakening, ignited in December 2010.

Hope rests with the new generation and its commitment to tolerance, diversity, the peaceful rotation of power, and inclusive economic growth, Muasher maintains. He calls on the West to rethink political Islam and the Arab-Israeli conflict, and he discusses steps all parties can take to encourage positive state-building in the freshly unsettled Arab world.

Written by a veteran diplomat with years of experience in governance in the Middle East, THE SECOND ARAB AWAKENING is both a practical guide and a wakeup call, urging all people who care about democracy toward more informed positions and effective actions on behalf of pluralism.

We welcome this evening's presentation by Dr. Muasher, whose previous book, The Arab Center, was asserted by President Bill Clinton as "a must read to understand how to address the challenges facing the Middle East today."

MARWAN MUASHER is vice president for studies at Carnegie, where he oversees research in Washington and Beirut on the Middle East. Muasher served as foreign minister (2002–2004) and deputy prime minister (2004–2005) of Jordan, and his career has spanned the areas of diplomacy, development, civil society, and communications.

Muasher began his career as a journalist for the Jordan Times. He then served at the Ministry of Planning, at the prime minister's office as press adviser, and as director of the Jordan Information Bureau in Washington.

In 1995, Muasher opened Jordan's first embassy in Israel, and in 1996 he became minister of information and the government spokesperson. From 1997 to 2002, he served in Washington again as ambassador, negotiating the first free-trade agreement between the United States and an Arab nation. He then returned to Jordan to serve as foreign minister, where he played a central role in developing the Arab Peace Initiative and the Middle East roadmap.

In 2004, he became deputy prime minister responsible for reform and government performance and led the effort to produce a ten-year plan for political, economic, and social reform. From 2006 to 2007, he was a member of the Jordanian Senate.

From 2007 to 2010, he was senior vice president of external affairs at the World Bank. In 2011, he took seat in the advisory council of The Hague Institute for Global Justice.

Muasher is the author of The Arab Center: The Promise of Moderation (Yale University Press, 2008). His new book, The Second Arab Awakening: And the Battle for Pluralism was recently published in January of this year by Yale.

He lives in Washington, DC.

Praise from the Reviews

"In this timely book, a seasoned statesman and scholar of the Middle East provides an astute and historically informed analysis of the Arab Spring and its origins, meaning, and implications for the future of the Middle East. Muasher delves into history and draws on his own personal experiences to produce a smart, balanced, and engaging account of the intellectual debates and political reality that shape the landscape of change. Anyone interested in the future of the Arab world should read this book." Vali Nasr, author of The Dispensable Nation: American Foreign Policy in Retreat 

"This powerful book is a manifesto for political pluralism in the Arab world—a liberating concept that has unfortunately been missing in much of the thus far disappointing Arab Spring. Marwan Muasher shows how badly the Arabs need a political culture that accepts diversity, tolerates dissent, and embraces different sectarian strains. If Muasher's ideas about a pluralistic 'third force' can take hold, we'll see the second Arab awakening that this book describes—and Muasher will be one of its wisest chroniclers." David Ignatius, Washington Post

"Succinct and accessible… Muasher has produced an optimistic liberal manifesto." Foreign Affairs

"For the Arab awakening to have any future, the ideology that is most needed now is the one being promoted least: Pluralism. Until that changes, argues Marwan Muasher, in his extremely relevant new book, none of the Arab uprisings will succeed." Thomas L. Friedman, New York Times

NOTE: Only UNA-NY Members have guaranteed seating to all our BookTalk events, and attend for free or pay the discounted Members' admission, while UNA-NY Student Members attend most events for free. Non-Members must purchase tickets in advance to guarantee their seats. Our events are often sold-out, so we strongly encourage membership with UNA-NY to guarantee your seats! Why not take advantage?