The Three Waves of the Arab Spring & it's Implications for America

Lyndall Herman and Christina Sciabarra

Affiliation: The Southwest Initiative for the Study of Middle East Conflict (SISMEC), housed in the School of Middle East and North African Studies at the University of Arizona.


SISMEC is a consortium of instructors, researchers and students based at The University of Arizona, and dedicated to furthering understanding of conflict in the greater Middle East and Northern Africa through curriculum development, advanced research, diverse partnerships and community outreach. The Initiative’s external mission is to support and disseminate the most up to date and relevant scholarship on the sources, textures and dynamics of Middle Eastern and North African conflicts to a wide array of audiences through publications, lectures, conferences, electronic databases and involvement in vital, cutting-edge projects supported by the innovative use of technology. Our internal mission is to train scholars and practitioners firmly grounded in the languages and histories of the area as well as all of the tools of the social sciences and humanities, integrated through a unique focus on the articulation of global pressures with local social, political and cultural structures. To this end we develop and offer inter-disciplinary courses on regional conflicts and local manifestations of global issues, complementing The University of Arizona’s wider offerings. Our ultimate vision is a new architecture of security studies where pedagogy and research consistent with the goals of a public, land grant university support vigorous, self-renewing and most importantly, informed engagement at the global, national and local levels between decision-makers, opinion-makers, and the general public in the ongoing struggle for peace, stability and progress in the 21st century.
Lyndall Herman is a PhD student in the School of Middle Eastern and North Africa Studies at the University of Arizona and a research associate for SISMEC. Her research interests include civil-military relations, the role of international aid organizations in conflict mitigation and resolution, identity politics, and political elite theory in relation to the Levant, in particular Syria, Lebanon, and Israel-Palestine. Lyndall received her BA with honours in Political Science and Near Eastern Studies at the University of Arizona, before moving to London to attend King’s College where she received her MA in Intelligence and International Security. While living in London Lyndall worked for the One World Trust and Future Events News Service, as a Research Analyst on the Middle East, North Africa, and Southeast Asia desk. From 2007-2009 Lyndall worked for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency in the Gaza Strip, before returning to London to work for Conciliation Resources, a peacebuilding NGO.
Christina Sciabarra is a Political Science PhD student in the School of Government and Public Policy.  Her research interests include post-conflict reconstruction, conflict resolution and management, peace-building and identity conflict.  She has a B.S. in History from the United States Naval Academy, B.A. in Russian from the University of Arizona, and an M.A. in Diplomacy from Norwich University. Christina served 5 years as an active and reserve officer in the U.S. Navy as an aviation asset planner until her mobilization to Iraq in 2010.    Her recent case study on power-sharing in Iraq, coauthored with Dr. Faten Ghosn, was a winner in the United States Institute for Peace case study competition and is currently being considered for publication and use in USIP's conflict management course.