You are here

E. V.B.a. General Accounts and Analyses

After the Arab Spring, Journal of Democracy, Vol. 26, 2015

This issue of the Journal published six articles assessing the regional uprisings.  Michele Dunne 'After the Arab Spring: Caught in History's Crosswinds' suggests that despite difficulties in understanding the failures of the 'Spring' some lessons can be drawn; Michael Robbins 'After the Arab Spring: People Still Want Democracy' argues that data from the Arab Barometer suggested most Arabs still want democratic government; Marc Lynch, 'After the Arab Spring: How the Media Trashed the Transitions examines how the media that supported deposing dictators 'can make it harder to build democracy'; Charles Kurxzman and Didem Turkoglu 'After the Arab Spring: Do Muslims Vote Islamic Now?' assess whether Islamic parties have become more popular than they were before 2011, and Mieczslaw P. Boduszynski, Kristin Fabbe and Christopher Lamont, 'After the Arab Spring : Are Secular Parties the Answer?' examine sceptically whether the existing secular parties are equipped to play a positive role.  (The sixth article on Tunisia is listed under E.V.B.b.2. Tunisia.)

Achcar, Gilbert, The People Want : A Radical Exploration of the Arab Uprisings, Berkley, CA, University of California Press, 2013, pp. 358

Achcar rejects the concept of a sudden 'Spring', arguing instead that there is a long term deep-seated revolution which will take many years to develop. Achcar's Marxist inspired analysis stresses the basic socio-economic changes required.  He also covers the role of both the relatively tolerant monarchies of Morocco and Jordan and the 'oil monarchies' of the Gulf. 

Africa Center for Strategic Studies, Africa and the Arab Spring: A New Era of Democratic Expectations, ACSS Special Report No. 1, November 2011, Washington DC, ACSS, 2011, pp. 72

Amin, Samir, 2011: An Arab Springtime?, In Manji; Ekine, African Awakening: The Emerging Revolutions (E. I.2.3. Third Wave of Protests: 2011 -), Cape Town, Dakar, Nairobi and Oxford, Pambazuka Press (imprint of Fahamu), pp. 273-286

(Appeared originally in Monthly Review.)

Anderson, Perry, Explosion in the Arab World, New Left Review, issue 68 (March/April), 2011, pp. 5-14

Editorial reflections on the historical and social context of the revolts.

Brynen, Rex ; Moore, Pete W. ; Salloukh, Bassel F. ; Zahar, Marie-Joelle, Beyond the Arab Spring: Authoritarianism and Democratization in the Arab World, Boulder CO, Lynne Rienner, 2013, pp. 349

Dabashi, Hamid, The Arab Spring: The End of Postcolonialism, London, Zed Books, 2012, pp. 272

An ambitious attempt to explain 2011 in historical context. Starts from the Green Movement in Iran to chart the difference between ‘political modernity’ and the ‘social modernity’ which is supplanting it. Chapter 1 explores the ‘unfolding’ of the Arab Spring and other chapters include discussion of ‘A New Language of Revolt’ and ‘Race, Gender and Class in Transnational Revolutions’.

Gelvin, James E., The Arab Uprisings: What Everyone Needs to Know, New York, Oxford University Press, 2012, pp. 208

Book in question and answer format by an historian – topics include the role of youth, labour and religious groups, and why in some cases the military decided not to support the ruler. Discusses also the role of monarchies in Morocco, Jordan and the Gulf.

Isakhan, Benjamin ; Mansouri, Fethi ; Akbarzadeh, Shahram, The Arab Revolutions in Context: Civil Society and Democracy in a Changing Middle East, Carlton, Melbourne University Press, 2012, pp. 184

Laipson, Ellen, Seismic Shift: Understanding Change in the Middle East, Washington DC, Stimson Center, 2011, pp. 138

As civil resistance again took the world of realpolitik by surprise, the Stimson Center invited experts to evaluate how their sectors had viewed the prospects for change in the Middle East.

Lynch, Marc, The Arab Uprising: The Unfinished Revolutions of the New Middle East, New York, Public Affairs, 2012, pp. 288

By US political scientist and Foreign Policy blogger.

Manhire, Toby, The Arab Spring, London, Guardian Books, 2012, pp. 302

Part I is composed of the Guardian live blogs; Part II is made up of essays and analyses covering all the Arab countries, but with especial focus on those where the uprisings were most significant.

Noueihed, Lin ; Warren, Alex, The Battle for the Arab Spring: Revolution, Counter-Revolution and the Making of a New Era, New Haven CT, Yale University Press, 2012, pp. 304

Part I examines ‘The Roots of Rage’, for example the role of ‘Bread, oil and jobs’ and the new media; Part II ‘The Battlegrounds’ discusses Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Libya, Yemen and Syria; and Part III considers ‘The New Arab Politics’. Noueihed is a Lebanese/British Reuters correspondent for the Middle East and Warren a specialist in the area.

Roberts, Adam, The Fate of the Arab Spring: Ten Propositions, Asian Journal of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, Vol. 12, issue 3, 2018, pp. 273-289

Roberts discusses the 2011 uprisings in their broader historical context of the breakdown of empires and problems of creating order, and then summarizes the key events in the Arab Spring, with a particular emphasis on the role of civil resistance.

Roberts, Adam ; Willis, Michael J. ; McCarthy, Rory ; Garton Ash, Timothy, Civil Resistance in the Arab Spring: Triumphs and Disasters, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2016, pp. 360

After a general overviews of politics and resistance in the region, experts on individual countries explore the immediate impact of the Arab Spring in Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Libya, Yemen and Syria, and the subsequent developments, discussing the reasons for reassertion of repression on Bahrain and later Egypt; political breakdown in Libya and civil war intensified by external interference in Yemen and Syria. There are also chapters on the monarchical response to pressure for reform in Jordan and Morocco, and why the Arab Spring did not ignite massive resistance in Palestine. Adam Roberts provides a concluding assessment of the problems of using civil resistance in the Arab Spring, the difficulties of democratization, and the lessons to be learned. 

Sadiki, Larbi, Routledge Handbook of the Arab Spring, London, Routledge, 2015, pp. 688

Includes a wide range of experiences and viewpoints discussing the context and range of the Arab uprisings, and focusing on topics such as women and the Arab Spring, agents of change and the technology of protest and the impact of the Arab Spring on the Middle East. Highlights developments in Egypt.

Schäfer, Isabel, Youth, Revolt, Recognition: The Young Generation during and after the ‘Arab Spring’, Berlin, MIB (Mediterranean Institute Berlin), Humboldt University, 2015, pp. 110

Spierings, Niels, Democratic Disillusionment? Desire for Democracy after the Arab Spring, International Political Science Review, 2019

This article examines the impact of the uprisings on popular attitudes, using 45 public opinion surveys across the region to test his theoretical framework of a consequence-based approach that includes the concept of deprivation. When the data are combined to provide a country by country analysis they suggest that countries like Egypt and Morocco where initial protest had rapid political results but failed in the longer term, disillusionment was highest. Conversely a lack of major protest (Algeria) or of initial reform (Yemen) maintained desire for democracy.  Results for Lebanon and Tunisia showed very different respomnses from different groups in society: Sunnia in Lebanon and the very poor in Tunisia.

Stephan, Rita ; Charrad, Mounira M., Women Rising: In and Beyond the Arab Spring, New York , New York University Press, 2020, pp. 432 (pb)

This comparative study of 16 countries documents women's political resistance during and since 2011, with essays by both activists and scholars.  The book stresses the diversity of the social groups and attitudes of the women involved, and gives a voice to often marginalized groups such as housewives and rural women. After an introductory chapter 'Advancing Women's Rights in the Arab World', the book is divided into five parts: What They Fight For; What They Believe; How They Express Agency; How They Use Space to Mobilize; and How They Organize.

Weddady, Nasser ; Ahmari, Sohrab, Arab Spring Dreams: The Next Generation Speaks Out for Freedom and Justice From North Africa to Iran, Foreword by Gloria Steinem, New York and London, Palgrave Macmillan, 2012, pp. 256

Selection of personal views and stories with a focus on rejecting various forms of social and cultural oppression.

West, Johnny, Karama! Journeys through the Arab Spring, London, Heron Books, 2011, pp. 387

West is a former Reuters correspondent in Egypt and now works for the UN in the Middle East. Lively personal account and analysis – a further subtitle on the cover is ‘Exhilarating encounters with those who sparked a revolution’. Focuses on Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. ‘Karama’ means honour and dignity, and West stresses its role in sparking and maintaining the revolts, quoting a Tunisian revolutionary from Sidi Bou Zid: ‘This is a revolution of honour’.