Revisiting Transitions in the Arab World, Spring or Fall?
AIR WAR COLL MAXWELL AFB AL
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Beginning in December 2010, mass public protests swept much of the Arab world, bringing a mix of hope, sadness, and foreboding for the future. Although the demonstrations sent several long-serving presidents out of their countries, other rulers mobilized their security forces and inflicted high civilian casualties to retain their grip on central power. This article considers some of the reasons for the revolts that have occurred in numerous Arab countries and assesses some potential outcomes and implications, both for the Arab world and for the United States. Recent events raise a number of questions 1 Will the proverbial 100 flowers of democracy spring forward in Arab countries that have either exiled their leader or are in the process of challenging established autocracies 2 Will democracy-building become sustainable through the building of democratic institutions and popular support, or will incomplete democratic construction ultimately lead to disappointment and a possible democratic rejection 3 Will corrections to the economic conditions that contributed to the waves of populism in the Arab world follow democratization 4 Will religious forces, initially marginalized in the popular revolutions, reassert themselves through democracy, and should that happen, will democracy survive possible religious radicalization 5 Might Arab-world democratization make the Middle East less war prone and 6 How will the United States recraft its Middle East policies in the wake of the so-called Arab spring
- Government and Political Science
- Humanities and History