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After the Arab Spring: power shift in the Middle East?: from the ‘Arab Awakening’ to the Arab Spring; the post-colonial state in the Middle East

Dodge, Toby ORCID: 0000-0003-1262-4921 (2012) After the Arab Spring: power shift in the Middle East?: from the ‘Arab Awakening’ to the Arab Spring; the post-colonial state in the Middle East. IDEAS reports - special reports, Kitchen, Nicholas (ed.) (SR011). LSE IDEAS, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

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The consequences of the political turmoil that swept across the Middle East in 2011 support the claim that those twelve months have been the most politically significant in the region for over fifty years. The tragic self-immolation of Mohamed Bouazizi in the Tunisian town of Sidi Bouzid on December 17, 2010 was not just the final desperate act of an individual ground down by state corruption, repression and incompetence. His suicide gave rise to a region-wide wave of sympathy, an empathy that was quickly politicised by the mass recognition of his desperation: the long-term failure of Arab states to deliver on promises of citizenship, political freedom and economic development. Mohamed Bouazizi’s death triggered a powerful movement of political mobilisation challenging the governing elites of the Middle East. Within a month this movement had forced the Tunisian President, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, to seek refuge in Saudi Arabia after twetnty-four years of rule. Ten days after his departure, mass demonstrations spread to Egypt and dominated the centre of Cairo. Faced with a popular movement of Cairo’s youth, the army were reluctant to face public opprobrium and chose not to fire on the crowd. By February 11, Hosni Mubarak, who had ruled Egypt for thirty years, was forced from office. The strength of popular protest was such that two dictators had been driven from office, and the remaining ruling elites in Tunisia and Egypt were compelled to hold free and fair parliamentary elections in an attempt to meet the democratic demands of its population.

Item Type: Monograph (Report)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2012 The Author
Divisions: International Relations
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DS Asia
J Political Science > JQ Political institutions Asia
J Political Science > JZ International relations
Sets: Departments > International Relations
Research centres and groups > LSE IDEAS
Date Deposited: 04 May 2012 09:03
Last Modified: 22 Jun 2021 23:07

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