Reflections on the Post Arab Spring Era

Reflections on the Post Arab Spring Era

Dr. Emad Shahin, explained how instead of being driven by classical revolutionary models with an overarching political ideology and a vanguard party, protesters during the Arab Spring took pride in the movements’ transcendent nature and pluralistic leadership. Dr. Shahin argued that what we witnessed were mass political movements where some managed to topple leaders without entirely dismantling their regimes (i.e. Egypt and Tunisia), a few that were crushed, and others which turned into civil wars (i.e. Libya and Syria). He argued that these uprisings are still relevant since they were able to harness an unprecedented amount of people power, youth organization, public space, and the breakdown of political fear. Dr. Shahin also noted that the Arab Spring radically challenges problematic notions of Arab exceptionalism. On the question of where we are now, Dr. Shahin cited the backlash of authoritarianism currently underway where regimes either “upgrade” by adapting to pressure or they become more repressive by moving closer towards the violent eradication of dissent. Contemplating about the future, Dr. Shahin concluded that the underlying causes for the Arab Spring are still brewing and all of these state structures are ruling over a volcano that can erupt at any time.

Source: International Institute for Islamic Thought Report

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Egyptian scholar Emad Shahin to discuss “The Middle East Beyond the Arab Spring”

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