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The Arab Winter
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Book description

In 2011, the world watched as dictators across the Arab world were toppled from power. In Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Syria, and Iraq, ordinary Arab citizens mobilized across the region during the Arab Spring to reinvent the autocratic Arab world into one characterized by democracy, dignity, socioeconomic justice, and inviolable human rights. This unique comparative analysis of countries before, during and after the Arab Spring seeks to explain the divergent outcomes, disappointing and even harrowing results of efforts to overcome democratic consolidation challenges, from the tentative democracy in Tunisia to the emergence of the Islamic State, and civil war and authoritarian retrenchment everywhere else. Tracing the period of the Arab Spring from its background in long-term challenges to autocratic regimes, to the mass uprisings, authoritarian breakdown, and the future projections and requirements for a democratizing conclusion, Stephen J. King establishes a broad but focused history which refines the leading theory of democratization in comparative politics, and realigns the narrative of Arab Spring history by bringing its differing results to the fore.


‘Stephen J. King's very insightful and timely study sheds important light on what followed the 2011 uprisings in six Arab countries. He has picked exactly the right cases for comparative analysis aimed at identifying generalizable patterns and scope conditions for authoritarian breakdown and the different paths that followed. The chapters on each country are rich and informative, but King explains as well as describes. His thesis that challenges associated with democratic consolidation bear much of the responsibility for the failure of most Arab Spring revolutions is both welcome and persuasive.'

Mark Tessler - Samuel J. Eldersveld Professor of Political Science, University of Michigan

‘In his valuable new book, Stephen J. King offers a new take on the trajectories of the Arab Uprising states. While most analyses have focused on authoritarian breakdown, King focuses on the requisites of democratic consolidation: consensus via pacts on key issues. This enables a deeper understanding of the variation in post-uprising trajectories between the one case of relative consolidation, Tunisia, and authoritarian restoration or state failure elsewhere.'

Raymond Hinnebusch - University of St Andrews

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