Zaid Al-Ali, LL.M. (Harvard)
Senior Adviser in Constitution-Building in the Africa and West Asia region
Born in 1977 in Madrid
Studied Law at King's College London, at the Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, and at Harvard Law School
Arab Constitutionalism and Peace ProcessesSince 2011, more than half the countries in the Arab region have replaced, amended, or reconsidered their constitutional frameworks. A number of these countries have degenerated into full-blown conflict, and many others have not seen any appreciable difference in standards of living for large segments of people.
During my time at the Wissenschaftskolleg, I will be researching and writing on the factors that have contributed to these failures, with a view to possibly identifying better ways of proceeding that will increase the likelihood of success in the future. This will include a focus on the process through which constitutional negotiations are organized and on their substantive content. I will also focus on peace negotiations, with a view to drawing lessons from all of the processes that have taken place during the previous few years.
The research that I will be doing will build on my own personal experiences. I was involved in various capacities in virtually all of the processes that have taken place in the region since 2011. It will also build on research that I started at Princeton University, where I was a Law and Public Affairs Fellow in 2016.
Al-Ali, Zaid. The Struggle for Iraq's Future: How Corruption, Incompetence and Sectarianism Have Undermined Democracy. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2014.
-. "The Social Justice Blind Spots in the New Arab Constitutions."The Century Foundation. April 30, 2019.
Tuesday Colloquium, 28.04.2020
International peacemaking in Arab countries: Post-mortem
Ongoing conflict in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya, and Sudan. 15 years of civil war in Lebanon, 10 years of conflict in Algeria. Palestine still subject to colonization. In each of these countries, the United Nations and individual states have appointed international mediators, representatives, and envoys to resolve the difference between warring parties. Since 2003, the United Nations' Secretary General alone has appointed eight Special Representatives ('SRSGs') to Iraq. Thus far, it appears that none of their efforts have been successful. Most representatives and envoys remain in office for two years without making any progress towards peace. In some cases, critics have argued that international peace efforts have actually worsened internal conflicts. This raises a series of questions, including but not limited to how the international mechanism for peacemaking functions, why it functions in the way that it does, and why is it being perpetuated. Is another approach possible?
Publications from the Fellows' Library
Al-Ali, Zaid (New York, NY, 2019)
Al-Ali, Zaid ( London, New York, 2017)
Al-Ali, Zaid (New York, 2016)
Al-Ali, Zaid (New Haven, Conn. [u.a.], 2014)
Köpfe und Ideen 2020
"Every conversation offers a chance"
Zaid Al-Ali in an interview with Katja Gelinsky