Governance

Lebanon: divided politics, shared discontent

The explosion at the port of Beirut killed at least 150 people, and the subsequent massive protests led to the resignation of the government. However, the protests are not about replacing the figureheads, but about addressing the ‘bankruptcy’ of the political pact that was intended to keep the religious groups in balance. The fear is great that giving up on…

Sudan’s government seems to be shifting away from Islamic law. Not everyone supports these moves.

The latest Arab Barometer surveys reveal some surprises. Last month, Nasredeen Abdulbari, Sudan’s justice minister, announced the end of bans on alcohol and apostacy, and prohibited the use of traditional corporal punishment. These moves are part of a wider effort to shift away Sudan from traditional sharia, or Islamic law, which has been the basis for law in Sudan for…

Egypt after the Coronavirus: Back to Square One

Egypt’s recent security and macro-economic stabilization has been built on weak foundations and Covid-19 has further exposed this fragility. Egypt is now back to a situation broadly similar to that before the 2011 revolution: stable on the surface, but with deep structural problems and simmering social grievances, and little buffers to mitigate them. This paper argues for a major shift…

Youth in MENA: Findings from the Fifth Wave of the Arab Barometer

Key Findings: Youth economic frustration across MENA is increasing. Youth have little trust in governments, which are widely viewed as being corrupt, leading to a potential crisis of legitimacy in the region. However, views of youth differ relatively little from older generations in this regard. Youth are more likely to want to emigrate and to participate in informal politics. Arab…

Progress and missed opportunities: Morocco enters its third decade under King Mohammed VI

In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, Morocco’s King Mohammed VI will celebrate 21 years on the throne in July 2020. Over the last two decades, the king has spearheaded positive civil and political reforms, as well as formidable foreign policy and infrastructural changes. Most recently, the regime took swift and effective measures to control the initial spread of the…

What lies ahead as Jordan faces the fallout of COVID-19

On June 28, Jordan’s Health Minister, Dr. Saad Jaber, boldly declared that the coronavirus had “dried up and died in Jordan.” Dr. Jaber backtracked days later by renewing calls to adhere to necessary safety measures. Amid fears of a second wave, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan continues to stand out among its neighbors, as it exhibits an impressively low rate…

Insecurity and political values in the Arab world

Within a few years of the historic Arab uprisings of 2011, popular mobilization dissipated amidst instability in many Arab countries. We trace the relationship between shifting macro-political conditions and individual-level political values in the Middle East, demonstrating that a preference for democracy and political trust are not fixed cultural features of populations but rather can shift rapidly in the face…

Hopes and disappointments: regime change and support for democracy after the Arab Uprisings

What happened to citizens’ support for democracy after the Arab Uprisings? Did the support increase, stay the same, or actually decrease after all the protests, regime changes, and reforms? Which theories of citizens’ political attitudes best explain these dynamics? Analysing two waves of the Arab Barometer surveys and employing an item-response method that offers methodological improvements compared to previous studies,…