A Dissident’s View of the Arab Spring

The Arab Spring was not an event, it was the beginning of a long and ongoing process of transformation, says Weatherhead Center Associate Hicham Alaoui.

Photo of Hicham Alaoui, or Prince Moulay Hicham el Alaoui

By Michelle Nicholasen

Hicham Alaoui was a young prince—only seven years old—in 1971, when he witnessed a devastating military coup unfold against his family inside the Moroccan royal palace. The assailants did not succeed in overturning the 350-year-old monarchy, then under the rule of his uncle, King Hassan II, but Alaoui saw his own father wounded, and dozens more in the palace killed. This indelible experience would set the backdrop for a spiritual and political reckoning that would take him far outside the strictures of the monarchy, and on to the international stage.... Read more about A Dissident’s View of the Arab Spring

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From Rome to Rwanda: The Centuries-Long Effort to Define Civil War

A new book by Harvard historian David Armitage unearths two millennia of thinking about a most ignoble type of war.

Image of Romulus and Remus on a coin

If you live in a developed country, you are among those enjoying the “Long Peace,” a period marked by the absence of large scale interstate war since the end of 1945. It is the longest period of such calm in modern history. During this same time period, however, the world’s pockets of conflict have moved away from the frontiers and turned, instead, inward. 

“The Long Peace stands under a dark shadow—the shadow of civil war,” writes Harvard historian and Weatherhead Center Faculty Associate David Armitage, whose new book, Civil Wars: A History in Ideas tracks the evolution of human understanding of civil war over two millennia.

... Read more about From Rome to Rwanda: The Centuries-Long Effort to Define Civil War



Epicenter is an online publication that provides commentary and analysis on issues that transcend borders. Our team of writers and editors works with academic specialists to help bring clarity to complex global issues. The Weatherhead Center for International Affairs is committed to Harvard's tradition of fostering innovative, timely, policy-relevant scholarly activities that help us all make sense of the world.