Why Democracy Stalled in the Middle East?

In 2011, citizens across the Middle East took to the streets to demand more representative governments, social justice, and economic reforms. In Egypt and Tunisia, protest movements toppled dictators who had ruled for decades; authoritarian regimes elsewhere in the region were rattled as never before. The Arab Spring captured imaginations around the world and challenged long-held assumptions about the region’s political culture.

Within just a few years, however, hope had mostly given way to despair: the old order came roaring back—even more repressive than before in some places. That outcome, however, did not settle the underlying question of the…

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