After the Arab Spring: Democratic Aspirations and State Failure: Course Manual

Publikation: Working paperUndervisning

The popular protests that erupted in 2010 and quickly remade the political map of the Arab world surprised almost everybody. We all knew the terrible state of Arab governance, marked as it was by rents, repression and regression, still no-one predicted that the people would ever rise. For decades, the Arabs had looked like an exception to global trends towards greater participation and accountability in public life, towards more sensible economic policies and more permissive social mores.

Today, the Arab world is in deep crisis. Of the 22 member states of the Arab League, at least five have essentially collapsed: Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Syria exist only in name today, as their territories have fallen to competing, murderous armed groups. In the remaining countries, the old autocracies have reasserted themselves. The repression at home is now worsened by regional conflict on an unprecedented scale, and the resulting frustration has led to the biggest refugee flows in recent memory. What went wrong?

This short course offers an overview of the structural shortcomings of Arab states and societies, which help us understand why the democratic awakening did not happen but
instead “has given way to civil wars, ethnic, sectarian and regional divisions and the reassertion of absolutism.” This raises the obvious and renewed question whether there is something inherent in the Arab, and by analogy Muslim, condition that makes them special. Does this condition makes this part of the world impervious to generally observable trends towards greater accountability, popular participation in political decision-making, greater generation and fairer division of economic wealth? Join this course to find out!
Antal sider89
StatusUdgivet - 2017

ID: 181602564