Part or chapter of a book
Introduction - Taking the Arab transitions seriously
London : Hurst Publishers
1 - 8 p.
Middle East, Arab Spring, Arab politics
The uprisings that swept the Arab world in 2011 were driven by calls for "bread, liberty and social justice", as the slogan popular on Cairo's Tahrir square put it. They brought together millions of people, many of them young adults, in a outburst that surprised observers and regimes alike. During a short "moment of enthusiasm" ideological differences were set aside, and people began to dream together of a better future. The scene appeared to be set for dramatic change across the Arab region where, after decades of authoritarian dominance, democracy was finally expected to take hold. There are still many reasons to keep faith in the long-term evolution of the region, because the forces of change unleashed in 2011 have not disappeared. But the short-term aftermath of the uprisings has fallen far short of the expectations held by those who risked their lives to take to the streets in 2011...