Knowledge Produced but Not Used: Predicaments of Social Research in the Arab World

  • Sari HanafiEmail author


The Arab world has more problems in knowledge use than in knowledge production. Without translating academic research into policy and public awareness, research will be read by few people who constitute an elite that is disconnected from their society and thus the research will not impact on it. It is rare to hear professional social researchers speak in the public sphere. This is due not only to the absence of their products in the mass media or newspapers but also to the difficulty of conversing with the policy makers.

This chapter is the outcome of a long reflection on the status of knowledge production in the Arab world by the use of not only empirical observations but also historical-structural analyses. Some of these results were co-published with Rigas Arvanitis. In addition, I conducted empirical and desk research. As I have longstanding experience in this field as a researcher and professor and participant observer, I will deliver some personal thoughts about the connection between social science with policy making and with public debate.


Social impact Scientific research Arab world Public social science Editorial piece Scientific community 


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Sociology, Anthropology & Media StudiesAmerican University of BeirutBeirutLebanon

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