Political Institutions

How ordinary Arab citizens see their Present and Future

All of us are after exploring views of ordinary citizens– not least the decision makers who want to guarantee that their policies hit it right. What do findings from the Arab Barometer, Baseera and other survey research tell us about , for instance , who is the enemy/friend; how is Shari’a to be applied ; what do people think about…

Are the unhappy unemployed to blame for unrest? Scrutinising participation in the Arab Spring uprisings

Abstract Unemployment is considered a significant driver behind the so-called Arab Spring, and more generally behind protests, rebellions, and civil wars. However, the empirical evidence of this hypothesised link between unemployment and political instability is scant and contradictory. This article contributes to filling this gap. In addition, this is the first study which will concentrate on the role of unemployment…

What Has Changed in Policing since the Arab Uprisings of 2011? Surveying Policing Concepts and Modes of Contestation

… Should we address policing through a regional lens? Addressing the topic of policing within the frame of the “Arab World” is challenging for at least three major reasons. First is the question of definitions with ongoing debates about what counts as “policing” rather than “internal security” or indeed military practice.1Boundaries are blurred further in the Arab context in the…

What Arab Publics Think: Findings from the Fifth Wave of Arab Barometer

Key Findings from Wave 5: Half of Arabs want better ties with China while roughly four-in-ten want stronger relations with the U.S & Russia. Many want an increase in foreign aid, but are are largely indifferent to whether it comes from the E.U. or other countries. Few favor Iran while Saudi favorability has declined since 2016, leaving Turkey as the…

Reforming Arab economies in times of distrust

…RISING ASPIRATIONS, TIMID REFORMS After the regional slowdown in growth that followed the start of the Arab Spring, authorities in 2011 mostly focused on macroeconomic stabilization efforts that had been delayed until they became inevitable. These policies—which included cuts in consumer subsidies and increased taxes—were deeply unpopular and eroded the purchasing power of the middle class. According to the Arab…

Will Algeria’s New President Resume Politics as Usual or Bring Genuine Change?

…Determined Protestors Protesters see Tebboune as very much a part of that ruling elite rather than a step toward democratic change. The protests have seen widespread support from across the political, ideological, and socioeconomic spectrum, including participation by women’s, human rights, cultural, and student organizations. The protest movement has also created new spaces for citizens to debate major issues relating to…

Writing the Next Chapters of Morocco and Algeria

Morocco is no stranger to protests, but its situation differs from that of Algeria. A recent article on the BBC using data from the Arab Barometer survey asked the question, “Could Morocco see the next uprising after Sudan and Algeria?” While it was selective in its choice of data points, for example, attitudes toward religion, the point of the article, which…

Nine years after Bouazizi set himself on fire, there is a lot riding on Tunisia’s new government

Nine years ago, Tunisian street seller Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire in the rural town of Sidi Bouzid, setting off the Arab uprisings. This year, as Tunisians commemorate the events that ushered in a democratic transition, the country is embarking on the next phase of that transition with a newly elected government that is determined to finally deliver on…

Algeria’s presidential elections to be held amid disagreements between army and protesters over roadmap

The Algerian people can guarantee that, for the first time in two decades, the president will not be Abdelaziz Bouteflika. They will vote for a new head of state on Thursday. But this is no indication that the country will have a smooth transition by any means amid a 10-month, post-Bouteflika protests. Following the country’s Hirak movement — or the…

Arabs are losing faith in religious parties and leaders

“No to religion or sect,” cry the protesters in Iraq. “No to Islam, no to Christianity, revolt for the nation,” echo those in Lebanon. Across the Arab world people are turning against religious political parties and the clerics who helped bring them to power. Many appear to be giving up on Islam, too. These trends are reflected in new data from…

An Expiry Date for Despots?

A new wave of Arab uprisings suggests that the authoritarian bargain of the past may be collapsing. While thousands of Algerian citizens have continued to protest peacefully for the 40th consecutive week, demanding an accountable government and an end to corruption, streets in Iraq and Lebanon have turned into places of mass protests and ongoing confrontations between angry citizens and…

Across the Middle East, they are done with false prophets ​

When do demonstrations become a revolution? We romanticise the failures of the Arab Spring. But success has its costs, too. In the modern Middle East, only the Iranian Revolution has succeeded in bringing a new ruling class to power. But the 1979 revolution failed to bring about what the philosopher Michel Foucault predicted would be a new political dawn –…