Revisiting the Arab Uprisings
The Politics of a Revolutionary Moment
Drawing on an A-list of Middle East experts, this book assesses the relative merits of the thwarted paths to democracy in the ‘Arab Spring’ states.
Since 2013, the Middle East has experienced a double trend of chaos and civil war, on the one hand, and the return of authoritarianism, on the other. That convergence has eclipsed the political transitions that occurred in the countries whose regimes were toppled in 2011, as if they were merely footnotes to a narrative that naturally led from an ‘Arab Spring’ to an ‘Arab Winter’.
This volume aims at rehabilitating those transitions, by considering them as expressions of a ‘revolutionary moment’ whose outcome was never pre-determined, but depended on the choices of a large range of actors. It brings together leading scholars of Arab politics to adopt a comparative approach to a few crucial aspects of those transitions: constitutional debates, the question of transitional justice, the evolution of civil-military relations, and the role of specific actors, both domestic and international.
Stéphane Lacroix is an associate professor of Political Science at Sciences Po and a researcher at Sciences Po's Centre de Recherches Internationales (CERI). He is the co-author of Saudi Arabia in Transition (2015) and of Egypt's Revolutions (2016).
Jean-Pierre Filiu is Professor of Middle East Studies at Sciences Po in Paris, and has held visiting professorships at both Columbia University and Georgetown University. He is the author of From Deep State to Islamic State (2015), Gaza: A History (2014) and The Arab Revolution (2011).
‘Though cast as seminal, the Arab Spring has produced uncertain effects. With mastery of larger trends and local circumstances, this discerning volume provides a rigorous focus on transitional social forces. Contributors persuasively warn against presumptions of both inevitable democratisation and engrained authoritarianism — an invaluable window onto a roiling post-Spring region.’ — James Piscatori, Professor of International Relations, Durham University, and co-author of Muslim Politics
‘This is an impressive volume, featuring original and thought-provoking contributions by some of the most astute observers of the contemporary Middle East. In a field crowded with studies of the 2011 uprisings, this book stands out for the breadth of its coverage, the depth of its analysis, and the quality of its scholarship.’ — Mehran Kamrava, Professor and Director of the Center for International and Regional Studies at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in Qatar, and author of Inside the Arab State