Governance

The participative role of social media for the disadvantaged young generation in the Arab Spring

The progressing digitalization of society has led scholars to hope that socially disadvantaged groups of the population may gain increased access to political participation. Using the example of the young Arab population who protested in the Arab Spring, this article investigates whether the use of social media has supported their political engagement. It analyzes the extent to which social media…

How humiliation is fueling the Arab street

…Consequently, many Arabs say in surveys that they wish to emigrate or are thinking about this. The Arab Barometer project that surveys the entire region every few years recently released the results of its 2018-19 fieldwork. In a June 2019 report entitled Migration in the Middle East and North Africa, by Michael Robbins of Princeton University, it noted that about…

Ben Ali: the Tunisian autocrat who laid the foundations for his demise

…..Still not out of the woods Following the initial euphoria after he went into went into exile, Tunisians have become increasingly disillusioned with their government. In the most recent survey by Arab Barometer in late 2018, 79% of adults thought that government performance was poor, 92% that the state of the economy was bad and 90% that the government was…

The Future of Democracy in Tunisia

Tunisia’s democratic transition appeared to benefit from pragmatism and consensus over the past eight years. The Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet, made up of four civil society groups, was awarded the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize for successfully negotiating a way out of a grave political crisis two years earlier when the transition was close to collapse. Politicians went on to write…

Tunisia At A Crossroads

Key Findings: Perceptions of economic conditions have significantly deteriorated since 2011. Trust in the government and parliament are low, but Tunisians have far more confidence in the security services and the judiciary. Nearly all Tunisians say corruption remains rampant, while fewer than half believe the government is taking steps to address the problem. Desire to emigrate is high and growing,…

In 2011, Egyptians quickly tired of protest. Here’s why that matters for Sudan and Algeria.

….. Public disillusionment with democracy We examined how mobilization in Egypt affected political attitudes after the fall of Mubarak by using local newspaper reporting to map protests, and matching this with data from the Arab Barometer survey. Our findings suggest that within five months of Mubarak’s ouster, Egyptians living in high-protest areas were more likely to associate democracy with socioeconomic…

Social Signals and Participation in the Tunisian Revolution

Revolutionary protests can spread surprisingly rapidly. Social contagion may play a key role in this process: people who observe others participating may be more likely to do so themselves, thus reinforcing the proparticipation signal. We leverage data from two surveys to assess the relationship between exposure to proparticipatory social signals and individual-level participation in the Tunisian revolution. We benchmark these…

A Youth-Driven Virtual Civic Public Sphere for the Arab World

The past three decades have been highly climactic for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The advent of satellite television and the Web, coupled with emerging democratic orientations, marked the region’s first political engagement with digital communications at a global scale. The failure of the digital public sphere, however, to deliver on democratisation promises during the so-called Arab Spring…