ABSTRACT. The Arab uprisings were sometimes seen as calls for democracy, but we argue that in fact they were more accurately calls for social justice. Citizens across the region took to the streets to demand better economic, political and social outcomes including reducing levels of inequality, eliminating corruption and increasing respect for human dignity. These protests yielded significant changes across the region, including the downfall of numerous long-standing leaders. However, to what degree have their underlying calls for social justice been realized? By comparing data from nationally representative public opinion surveys conducted at the time of the Arab uprisings and a few years after these events, we find that citizens experienced some tangible improvements after the uprisings including declines in the importance of wasta . Still, major reforms targeting corruption, economic outcomes and to improve the effectiveness of government remain needed.
MICHAEL ROBBINS, PhD
University of Michigan
AMANEY JAMAL, PhD
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