The "Arab Spring"
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By Adeel Malik and Bassem Awadallah After emergency laws are lifted, constitutions are drafted, and elections are held, policymakers in the Middle East will be faced with a tough practical challenge: how to create economic opportunities for the region’s teeming millions? Arab revolutions had a clear economic underpinning: they were fuelled by poverty, unemployment, and lack of economic opportunity. At the heart of these uprisings is a search for social and economic justice. While political repression in the Middle East remains a subject of continuous discussion in media and academic circles, the scale and intensity of the region’s economic repression has gone relatively unnoticed. The Middle East has long been trapped in a vicious development cycle.
Note: Hamid Dabashi's new book, The Arab Spring: The End of Postcolonialism (2012) has just been published by Zed in London. The following is an excerpt from this book, exclusively on Al Jazeera. The world keeps discovering, keeps inventing, keeps overcoming itself.
Middle East Centre Arab Uprisings Lecture Series Date: Thursday 23 February 2012 Time: 6.30-8pm Venue: Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House Speaker: Professor Charles Tripp Chair: Professor Madawi Al-Rasheed This talk will look at how resistance to regimes' appropriation of public space has been a central theme of the Arab uprisings. Charles Tripp is a professor of politics with reference to the Middle East at the School of Oriental and African Studies. Suggested hashtag for this event for Twitter users: #lsetripp This event is free and open to all with no ticket required.
As the growing tide of protest, resistance, and insurrection across the Arab world began to threaten regimes once considered permanent fixtures of the region’s political landscape, it was almost as if everything had been turned upside down. That which always seemed so fixed and constant suddenly appeared temporary, vulnerable, and fragile—not concrete but conditional, dependent entirely upon the people’s willingness to tolerate it, and tolerate it was precisely what they would do no longer. For a Western audience, long trained to view North Africa and the Middle East through an Orientalist prism, news of the mass upheaval was difficult to fathom.
The "Arab Spring" is now over one year old. In much of the popular analysis over the past year the term "Arab Spring" has become the defining characteristic of the "new" Middle East emerging from decades of authoritarian and repressive rule. However, one should be cautious about inflating the importance of the democratic uprisings in several Arab countries in shaping the future contours of the Middle East. This caution applies especially to exaggerating both the prospects of democracy -- particularly the unhindered linear transition to representative rule -- in the Arab world and the role of major Arab powers in determining political outcomes in the Middle East in the short and medium-term future.
Hamid Dabashi, The Arab Spring: The End of Postcolonialism . London and New York: Zed Books, 2012. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Hamid Dabashi (HD): As you well know, a massive set of revolutionary uprisings are sweeping across North Africa and Western Asia, from Morocco to Syria and from Bahrain to Yemen. This is all happening in the aftermath of an equally important uprising code-named the Green Movement in Iran.
James Gelvin, The Arab Uprisings: What Everyone Needs to Know . New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012. Jadaliyya (J): How did you come to write this book?
The Arab Spring - reading...
Exeter, United Kingdom - Twenty years is a footnote in the big scheme of history. In the early 1990s, new prophets were being placed on a pedestal to reshape the region. The fad "New Middle East" was born. Many scholars fell under the spell of Shimon Peres, one of the earliest prophets of the "New Middle East". From Morocco (where Peres first outlined his vision) to the UAE, statesmen, journalists and policy formulators readjusted rhetoric to that vogue. George W Bush and Condoleezza Rice, among others, tried after the sacking of Baghdad to resuscitate some life into the term, which was tattered by the disjunction of rhetoric and practice.
Since late 2010 much of the world's attention has been focused on events as they have developed across the Arab world - a wave of demonstrations, protests and revolutions that in its earliest phase came to be known as the Arab Spring. The present collection of academic articles and analysis represents a selection of the early scholarly responses to the events of the Arab Spring. Content has been selected from across our Area Studies and Politics and International Relations portfolios. Click on the images below to explore the content .
The Arab Spring is a revolutionary wave of demonstrations and protests that have been occurring in the Arab world since Saturday 18th December 2010. Revolutions have taken place in Tunisia and Egypt and the civil war in Libya resulted in the fall of the country's government last year. There have been civil uprisings in Bahrain, Syria and Yemen and protests on varying levels in Algeria, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait and in other Middle Eastern countries.
Obama set out to repair America’s relations with Syria and Iran, and gave George W. Bush’s “diplomacy of freedom” a quick burial. “Ideology . . . is so yesterday,” Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton bluntly proclaimed in April 2009, identifying Bush’s assertive foreign policy as a thing of the past. But as upheaval swept through Iran in the first summer of the Obama presidency, the self-styled bearer of a new American diplomacy ducked for cover. The Arabs nearby were quick to see that Obama’s cosmopolitanism — the Kenyan father, the years in Indonesia — masked a political man focused on problems at home. The rebels in Tunisia and Egypt did not expect the U.S. cavalry to ride to the rescue.
Home > Podcasts > Mobilization and Collective Action in the Arab Spring. A talk Juan Cole (University of Michigan) Download Podcast Duration: 00:38:16 Juan Cole is Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History at the University of Michigan.
Egypt and Tunisia are now officially on the international donor community's radar. The World Bank and the G8 are already planning different ways to sponsor the so-called Arab Spring. Many Arabs are speaking out against a possible Euro-US "hijacking" or "containment" of the regional movement through this type of "cheque book diplomacy".
As the year draws to a close, EFF is looking back at the major trends influencing digital rights in 2011 and discussing where we are in the fight for a free expression, innovation, fair use, and privacy. For several years, discussions about global Internet freedom have focused primarily on what are widely considered the world’s two most restrictive countries: China and Iran. But while China’s ‘Great Firewall’ is indeed the most sophisticated system of censorship and Iran’s persecution of bloggers unprecedented, the Arab world--the 22 Arabic-speaking states and territories stretching from Morocco to Saudi Arabia--is the most Internet-restrictive region on earth. In 2010, four Arab countries (Syria, Tunisia, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia) were named to Reporters Without Borders’ Enemies of the Internet list, while two more (the UAE and Bahrain) were designated as ‘under surveillance.’
The Egyptian uprising
The Syrian uprising...
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