University of Vermont

The College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Political Science



In July 2013 the UVM Department of Political Science received a $30,000 grant from the Louis Rakin Foundation to study "The Arab Spring and Global Political Transitions." The purpose of the project, to be realized through teaching and research by UVM faculty and through presentations at UVM by other scholars, is three-fold: (1) to examine the course of the “Arab Spring” in light of past transitions to more democratic governments in other parts of the world; (2) to assess the impact of these Arab events on other world areas now and in the future; and (3) to develop recommendations based on this comparative scholarship for how Arab states and other states in periods of political transition can successfully develop stable and democratic political institutions. The project has three components: (1) support for four undergraduate “Rakin Seminar” courses in the UVM Political Science Department on these topics; (2) support for a “Rakin Symposium” lecture series that would bring scholars of these topics to the UVM campus for public lectures and participation in the “Rakin Seminars”; and (3) support for faculty research on topics related to the subject matter of the grant. We propose to share the findings of our faculty’s research and our visitors’ presentations through a dedicated “Rakin Symposium” section on the department's website. The Rakin Symposium will be held on April 3, 2014.

In a previous grant in 2010-12, Rakin Foundation funding provided critical support for bringing speakers to campus to participate in two seminars that had been designated the Rakin Seminar, one on "Oil and Politics" and another on "Accountability Mechanisms in Transitional Politics"-- speakers who made those courses a special experience for our students. The Rakin Foundation grant also supported important research by several Political Science Faculty on such topics as understanding state-media relations in new African democracies and the impact of benefits from EU accession on internal migration within Poland.

Last modified October 07 2013 01:55 PM