Social Movements

Five Lessons From the New Arab Uprisings

…The fifth and final lesson is that the call for change in the region goes beyond electoral democracy and extends to deep socioeconomic reforms. Iraq and Lebanon show this clearly: relatively free and fair elections have already been held but have served only to reinforce corrupt sectarian regimes. According to the fifth wave of the Arab Barometer, the economic situation…

Five Lessons From the New Arab Uprisings

…The fifth and final lesson is that the call for change in the region goes beyond electoral democracy and extends to deep socioeconomic reforms. Iraq and Lebanon show this clearly: relatively free and fair elections have already been held but have served only to reinforce corrupt sectarian regimes. According to the fifth wave of the Arab Barometer, the economic situation…

Revisiting the Egyptian Uprising of 2011: Exploring the Role of Relational Networks within the Cairo-Based Political Opposition

Revisiting the Egyptian Uprising of 2011, I argue that strong relational networks linking actors in the broader Cairo-based political opposition—a conglomerate of prodemocracy movement organizations—should be understood as a necessary, albeit insufficient, causal condition for the diffusion of protest. These networks fulfilled two essential functions. 1) They were critical in terms of professionally socializing a new generation of activists—many of…

Demobilising the February 20 Movement in Morocco: regime strategies during the Arab Spring

The case of the February 20 Movement (F20) during the Arab Spring in Morocco demonstrates that when social movements face an existential crisis, they focus on maintaining relevance and resonance with the public. In this stage, movements typically experiment with prognostic frames to test resonance with the public and state reactions; however, F20 was not united in how to best…

Democratic disillusionment? Desire for democracy after the Arab uprisings

Have the Arab uprisings influenced the desire for democracy in the Middle East and North Africa? This study presents a systematic explanation of the different impact the uprisings had on people’s desire for democracy across the region. It applies the relatively new consequence-based theory of democratic attitudes, and integrates the notion of deprivation into it. The expectations derived from this…

The impact of the Arab Spring on democracy and development in the MENA region

In evaluating the consequences of the Arab Spring 8 years later, this paper not only focuses on the short‐term consequences of the uprisings that swept through a number of countries in the Middle East and North African region but also analyzes the long‐term prospects for democratization and development in the MENA region. The impact of the Arab Spring, despite its…

Protests and the Arab Spring: An Empirical Investigation

This article discusses a variety of major explanations for the intensity of recent protests in Arab states and investigates whether there is empirical support for them. We survey various political, economic, and social factors and develop a comprehensive empirical model to estimate the structural determinants of protests in 19 Arab League states between 1990 and 2011, measured using events data….

Do democratic revolutions ‘activate’ participants? The case of Tunisia

The democratic transition in Tunisia and free and fair elections that followed offer a unique opportunity to assess whether the experience of participating in successful political efforts translates into subsequent political participation. We consider whether participation in a democratic revolution is associated with greater rates of participation in nascent ‘normal’ democratic processes. Leveraging data from two surveys fielded in the…

Never out of Now: Preference Falsification, Social Capital and the Arab Spring

Could the Arab Spring have led to a rise in support for authoritarian governments in some states? Discussions of revolutionary diffusion during the Arab Spring focused on whether expressions of discontent spread to different states. Such discussions, however, neglect the potential for there to be a decrease in expressions of discontent in the wake of spreading revolutionary sentiment in certain…

The Syrian conflict and public opinion among Syrians in Lebanon

Whom do ordinary Syrians support in their civil war? After decades of repression, the Syrian uprising unleashed an outpouring of political expression. Yet the study of Syrian public opinion is in its infancy. This article presents survey evidence from a large, diverse sample of Syrian refugees in neighbouring Lebanon, one of the first of its kind, and examines their support…

Between organization and spontaneity of protests: the 2010–2011 Tunisian and Egyptian uprisings

This paper investigates the role of social groups in mobilizing resources for protests in repressive contexts. In particular, it examines the impact of organizations and informal groups on individual engagement in the protests developed in 2010 in Tunisia and in 2011 in Egypt. The empirical analysis draws on the following data sources: the second wave of the Arab Barometer (2010–2011),…

The myth of stability in Algeria

The image of Algeria as an island of stability in an otherwise turbulent region was shattered, once and for all, when mass protests erupted in mid-February this year, after President Abdelaziz Bouteflika announced that he would run for a fifth presidential term, despite having been seriously disabled ever since he suffered a stroke in April 2013 and rarely appearing in…

What We (Do Not) Know about the Diffusion of Democracy Protests

In “Why Democracy Protests Do Not Diffuse,” we examine whether or not countries are significantly more likely to experience democracy protests when one or more of their neighbors recently experienced a similar protest. Our goal in so doing was not to attack the existing literature or to present sensational results, but to evaluate the extent to which the existing literature…