Seventh Annual International Conference on Social Sciences, Al Akhawayn University, Ifrane, Morocco

With the gradual rise of socio-economic and political challenges facing the Middle East and North African (MENA) and the Sub-Saharan regions, the “public space” and the “public sphere” have come to the forefront of scholarly debates and research by scholars in various fields of studies. The concept of the “public sphere” was conceived as part of the interplay of first a physical locale that imply constant social relationships in a concrete public domain and second the constellations of socio-economic factors contributing to the rise of political debates . 

The aim of this conference is to probe social, economic, political problems via the theoretical lenses of the public sphere, the different aspects of spatial configurations, the politics of space, as well as the counter-public or parallel discursive arenas as conceived by Nancy Fraser.  “Popular spaces” in the language of Andrea Cornwall were part of “subaltern politics”, informal networks and the arenas in which individuals come together for collective action, self-support initiatives or through the enactment of different forms of sociability.