Assessing Decentralization in the Arab Region

Lessons for Syria from Iraq, Morocco and Tunisia

Homs, Syria - September 22, 2013: A woman walks near a residential area in the city of Homs destroyed in the fighting between the rebels of the Syrian National Army

The weakness of current governance arrangements and the inefficiency of decentralization reforms were exposed with the wave of contestations that have rocked the Arab world since 2011.

Effective governance remains in decline across the region, and an assessment of why decentralization efforts failed to deliver on real political participation and devolution of power is essential. This exercise is more urgent today as Syria, Yemen, and Libya, will soon embark on a search for governance arrangements to heal their country’s fractures and build trust between state and society.

To contribute to this discussion, the Arab Reform Initiative prepared a research dossier assessing decentralization in the Arab Region. This dossier examines decentralization efforts in Morocco, Tunisia and Iraq, and lays out essential principles for any meaningful decentralization for Syria.

Read more on the website of the Arab Reform Initiative: