Arab springs

View mindmap
  • Arab Spring
    • Intro
      • Arab spring/ uprising is a contested term some prefer the more traditional civil war
        • a term used in the aftermath of the Iraq war by various commentators who anticipated a major Arab movement towards democracy
        • referred to a series of anti-government protests, uprisings, and armed rebellions that spread across the MENA region in late 2011
          • began in Tunisia with protests in response to oppressive regimes and low standards of living
            • created a domino effect across the entirety of the MENA region with the intensity and success of the protests varying from state to state
              • some have referred to the succeeding and still ongoing conflicts in the region as the 'Arab Winter'
            • fear that revolution in one country could lead to interstate war and even when it didn't lead to war, revolutions intensify security competition and increases the risk of war (Walt)
    • Causes
      • pressures from within
        • young generation peacefully rising up against oppressive authoritarianism to secure a more democratic political system and a brighter economic future
          • largely instigated by youth/unions dissatisfied with the rule of local government and wide gaps in income levels and pressures caused by the global recession
            • some activists had taken part in the US sponsored and funded by the US National Endowment for Democracy but the US claimed they did not initiate the uprisings
            • concentration of wealth in the hands of the ruling families in power for many decades, political corruption, human rights violations, economic decline, and refusal to accept the status quo
      • Social media
        • used to circumvent state operated media channels, immense power of collective action
          • use of social media platforms more than doubled in Arab countries during the protests (exception of Libya)
            • used for organisation, circulation of information, formation of a digital democracy
    • Tunisia Case Study (Dec 2010)
      • following the self-immolation of Mohammed Bouazizi after his market stall was seized provoked an outbreak of protests that became increasingly violent
        • within 10 days the Tunisian president Ben-Ali vowed to punish rioters after the worst unrest in a decade
          • violent protests led to deaths and injuries mostly the result of police action and security forces against demonstrator
          • by 14th January 2011 Ben-Ali fled Tunisia and took refuge in Saudi Arabia
            • state emergency was declared and caretaker coalition government was created
              • 26th January 2014 new constitution was elected seen as progressive, increased human rights, gender equality, government duties towards the people and enacted a new parliamentary system making Tunisia a decentralised and open government
                • as of May 2018 the Tunisian uprising was the only one that resulted in a transition to constitutional democratic governance
                  • success in Tunisia sparked a wave of unrest across the region
      • why was this revolution a success
        • Tunisia presented the idea situation
          • Tunisia already had some basis of a civil society and institutions with an educated middle class/political elite able to carry the country forward
            • Tunisia as a country has little geopolitical importance and no oil meaning there was little temptation for outsiders to try and get involved/little reason for there to be any internal drives to take control of the country
              • army in Tunisia also sided with the protesters as it was an individual institution with lack of patrimonial ties not serving as the personal instrument of the ruler
              • highly personalistic state with more than half the elites being related to Ben-Ali nicknamed 'the family' ie if one falls they all fall
    • Libya Case Study (Feb 2011 to present)
      • three days after the fall of the Egyptian president Mubarak calls went out for their to be a peaceful demonstration in Libya against long term dictator Gaddafi
        • by the 18th of Feb opposition forces controlled most of Benghazi and by 20th Feb protests had spread to Tripoli and after a failed attempt to recapture using elite forces and militia Gaddafi's son addressed the country warning about the possibility of civil war
          • Gaddafi labelled the protesters as rats who needed to be executed
          • 17th March the UN authorised a no fly zone over Libya in attempts to protect civilian life but two days later allied forced of France, Britain, and the US intervened through a bombing campaign against pro-Gaddafi forces
            • in late August anti-Gadafi forces captured Tripoli scattering his government and effectively ending his 42 years in power
              • 20th October Gaddafi was found hiding in a drain where he was shot and killed
                • his body was displayed in a meat shop for Libyans to confirm that he was actually dead
      • despite the assassination of Gaddafi unrest continued in the country eventually leading to civil war
        • fight for control over Libya after death of Gaddafi between different tribal militia groups and jihadis wanting to take advanatge of thr power vaccum
        • co-operation of Libyan army due to their loyalty to Gaddafi regime prolonged unrest and made it difficult for there to be a linear path to follow after his demise
    • Arab Winter
      • term used for the resurgence of authoritarianism, monarchies and Islamic extremism in the aftermath of the Arab spring protests
        • Arab spring fully developed into an Arab winter 4 years after its onset in 2014 with the most significant event of the Arab winter being the rise of extremist group Islamic State
        • looks at the political developments such as the restoration fo authoritarianism and the suppression of civil liberties going back on the 'successes' of the uprisings
      • Pan-Arabism
        • Arab unity was an extremely important goal for Qaddafi who wanted to break from western particularly American influences
          • considering the events in Tunisia and Libya do they suggest that Arab nationalism does not have the power it did in the Nasser era
            • civil war indicates fragmentation rather than unity setting individuals in opposition to each other rahter than having a unifying effect
        • closely connected to Arab nationalism which asserts the view that Arabs should constitute a single nation
          • is pan-Arabism better understood as a goal promoted by some political leaders rather than a mass phenomenon with contagious effect
    • Long time coming?
      • before 2011 Arab governments were extremely successful in challenging any rise of opposition by co-opting and containing them
      • some argued that the uprisings were a long time coming due to the common features of the poor economic situation, corrupt patrimonial and authoritarian regimes, the brutality and indifference of regimes and the educated, unemployed and dissatisfied youth with a desire for democracy and breaking the status quo
        • however, in these regions stability and security was often favoured over democracy, the patrimonial networks embedded in society along with the power of regimes to suppress opposition and the support they had from western countries gave them legitimacy
          • these countries often lacked developed, experiences, organised, or united civil society so the lack of mobilisation made this hard to forsee

Comments

No comments have yet been made

Similar Government & Politics resources:

See all Government & Politics resources »See all Arab Springs resources »