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The Middle East and North Africa region has not been immune to forms of contentious politics, having experienced independence struggles, revolutions, labor protests, and demonstrations for women’s rights. Yet it was not part of democracy’s third wave, which enveloped Southern Europe, Latin America, Eastern Europe, and parts of southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa between the mid-1970s and 1990, or the “color revolutions” that occurred later. The chapter surveys the literatures on revolutions and social movements, and on democracy, democracy waves, and democratic transitions, to determine the conditions that set off the Arab Spring protests and why democratization was limited to Tunisia only. The chapter shows that context and history matter, with no set formula for successful democratic transitions. The complex interaction of internal and external factors and forces shape the nature of prodemocracy protests and their outcomes. As such, the Arab Spring and its divergent outcomes should help refine theories of revolution, social movements, and democratic transitions.
This final chapter reiterates the book’s explanatory framework and overarching thesis. We have argued for an integrated and holistic explanatory framework that accounts for structural and societal factors and external and internal forces: the state and political institutions, civil society, gender relations and women’s mobilizations, and international influences. Whether or not a region or cluster of countries is prepared to embark on a democratic transition depends on socioeconomic, institutional, and cultural preconditions along with the nature of international connections and interventions. These structures, institutions, and social forces shaped both the possibility for a democratic transition and its trajectory across our seven cases. In particular, we reiterate the significance of the presence or absence of strong women’s rights movements and of international intervention in our seven cases, and we posit that our framework has relevance beyond the Arab Spring cases.
The chapter focuses on the role of civil society as a determining factor in the Arab Spring uprisings and their outcomes in the seven country case studies. It begins by revisiting the literature on, and debates over, civil society and its relationship to the state and political change, distilling two approaches. In one, civil society is a separate and autonomous sphere essential to democracy; it protects individuals and groups and gives them voice vis-à-vis the power of the state and, in some interpretations, the market. The other more skeptical approach posits that civil society is either an extension of the state apparatus or a sphere that provides legitimacy to the status quo and thus helps to reproduce it; civil society may be able to compel the ruling elite to enact some reforms, but it has neither the capacity nor the will to produce large-scale systemic change. We argue that both have merit and that each is context-specific, and we distinguish civil society in advanced capitalist democracies from that in authoritarian settings. We examine the strength and capacity of civil society prior to, during, and after the uprisings in each of our cases, showing that the strongest were present in Tunisia and Morocco.
The book argues that the success or failure of prodemocracy social movements is inextricably linked to the regional and international external environment of states undergoing transitions from authoritarian rule. The seven country cases all have experienced both coercive and noncoercive forms of external influence by regional and international actors and states. To account for cross-national variation and to capture patterns of convergence and divergence, the chapter scrutinizes the conditions and processes that motivate intervention calculations by foreign actors. It examines two forms of external influence – foreign aid allocations and disbursements, and coercive military interventions. In the absence of direct interventions, the protest movements in Tunisia, Morocco, and Egypt (prior to 2013) were able to develop organically. Conversely, Bahrain, Libya, Syria, and Yemen experienced directly military interventions that produced more violent transitions resulting in autocratic survival or protracted civil wars and failed states.
Why were some, but not all the Arab mass social protests of 2011 accompanied by relatively quick and nonviolent outcomes in the direction of regime change, democracy, and social transformation? Why was a democratic transition limited to Tunisia, and why did region-wide democratization not occur? After the Arab Uprisings offers an explanatory framework to answer these central questions, based on four key themes: state and regime type, civil society, gender relations and women's mobilizations, and external influence. Applying these to seven cases: Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco, Bahrain, Libya, Syria, and Yemen, Valentine M. Moghadam and Shamiran Mako highlight the salience of domestic and external factors and forces, uniquely presenting women's legal status, social positions, and organizational capacity, along with the presence or absence of external intervention, as key elements in explaining the divergent outcomes of the Arab Spring uprisings, and extending the analysis to the present day.
The chapter elucidates the book’s gender variable. It provides details for each country to show not only how women were affected by the Arab Spring protests, but more significantly, how gender relations and women’s mobilizations shaped the nature of the protests and the aftermath. It begins with a synopsis of feminist studies on women’s movement organizing and the impact on public policies, gender equality and violence, and the relationship between women’s autonomous movements, civil society formation, and democratization. It then applies these insights to the seven country cases, revealing that only in Tunisia, and to a lesser extent Morocco, had there been societal change in the direction of women’s autonomous organizing, influence, and political empowerment.
The chapter examines macro- and meso-level variation in the institutional and structural conditions that galvanized popular mobilization, it and maps their trajectory a decade following the uprisings. Although the protests were a culmination of an enduring struggle for political liberalization and democratization, years of stalled growth and high unemployment structured citizens’ grievances against their states. The chapter offers a mapping of regime type, institutions, and governance trends across the seven country cases. Although all seven countries were autocratic prior to the uprisings, variations in institutional development and capacity help explain why violence and repression prevailed in some cases and not others, why Morocco adopted the path of constitutional amendments, and why Tunisia embarked on a democratic transition. The chapter also shows that a decade after the uprisings, the Arab Spring’s socioeconomic grievances and demands remain unmet, leading to renewed protests in 2018–20.
This introductory chapter poses the book’s main questions, surveys the literature on the Arab Spring, places the Arab Spring in historical and comparative perspectives, introduces the book’s explanatory framework and methodology, and provides an overview of the book. Of the countries involved in and affected by the Arab Spring protests, why was Tunisia the only country to embark on a procedural and consensual democratic transition? Why not Egypt? Why did the Bahraini monarchy call on outside military assistance to repress the protests, while the Moroccan monarchy quickly agreed to constitutional amendments? Why did Libya, Syria, and Yemen descend into internationalized civil conflicts? More broadly, what prevented a region-wide democratic transition? We present our thesis regarding the salience of type of state, civil society, gender relations and women’s mobilizations, and international influences in shaping transition possibilities and trajectories. Tables and figures illustrate the argument and situate the 2011 uprisings along a historical continuum of protest and mobilization in the MENA region.
Due to the important roles of resistance training and protein consumption in the prevention and treatment of sarcopenia, we assessed the efficacy of post-exercise Icelandic yogurt consumption on lean mass, strength and skeletal muscle regulatory factors in healthy untrained older males. Thirty healthy untrained older males (age = 68 ± 4 years) were randomly assigned to Icelandic yogurt (IR; n 15, 18 g of protein) or an iso-energetic placebo (PR; n 15, 0 g protein) immediately following resistance training (3×/week) for 8 weeks. Before and after training, lean mass, strength and skeletal muscle regulatory factors (insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), transforming growth factor-beta 1 (TGF-β1), growth differentiation factor 15 (GDF15), Activin A, myostatin (MST) and follistatin (FST)) were assessed. There were group × time interactions (P < 0·05) for body mass (IR: Δ 1, PR: Δ 0·7 kg), BMI (IR: Δ 0·3, PR: Δ 0·2 kg/m2), lean mass (IR: Δ 1·3, PR: Δ 0·6 kg), bench press (IR: Δ 4, PR: 2·3 kg), leg press (IR: Δ 4·2, PR: Δ 2·5 kg), IGF-1 (IR: Δ 0·5, Δ PR: 0·1 ng/ml), TGF-β (IR: Δ − 0·2, PR: Δ − 0·1 ng/ml), GDF15 (IR: Δ − 10·3, PR: Δ − 4·8 pg/ml), Activin A (IR: Δ − 9·8, PR: Δ − 2·9 pg/ml), MST (IR: Δ − 0·1, PR: Δ − 0·04 ng/ml) and FST (IR: Δ 0·09, PR: Δ 0·03 ng/ml), with Icelandic yogurt consumption resulting in greater changes compared with placebo. The addition of Icelandic yogurt consumption to a resistance training programme improved lean mass, strength and altered skeletal muscle regulatory factors in healthy untrained older males compared with placebo. Therefore, Icelandic yogurt as a nutrient-dense source and cost-effective supplement enhances muscular gains mediated by resistance training and consequently may be used as a strategy for the prevention of sarcopenia.
The present study aimed to assess the relative validity and reliability of a modified Food and Nutrition Literacy (M-FNLIT) questionnaire in primary school children in the city of Mashhad. The study was conducted in four phases. In the first step, the content and face validity of the questionnaire was evaluated by Delphi consensus as well as interviewing the students. Then, construct validity was examined using Confirmatory Factor Analyses (CFA). The internal consistency and reliability of the questionnaire were also assessed using Cronbach α and Intraclass Correlation Coefficient (ICC), respectively. Finally, a Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) analysis was performed to detect the cut-off scores of the M-FNLIT scale. Findings of two rounds of Delphi showed satisfactory levels of Content Validity Ratio (CVR): 0.72 and 0.92, Content Validity Index (CVI): 0.92 and 0.98, respectively. The results of CFA for domains and subscales of M-FNLIT questionnaire including cognitive domain (understanding food and nutrition information and nutritional health knowledge) and skill domain (functional, food choice, interactive, and critical skills) indicated acceptable fit indices. M-FNLIT subscale-specific Cronbach α values ranged between 0.68 to 0.8 and ICC was 0.95 (CI: 0.93-96). The Final questionnaire included 40 items (36 Likert-type and 4 true-false items). FNLIT scores were categorized as low (≤58), medium (>58-<81), and high (≥81). The M-FNLIT questionnaire has a good level of validity and reliability to measure food and nutrition literacy in primary school children. The questionnaire can be applied in the evaluation of nutritional interventions in this age group.
Many arthritic patients have the belief that dietary habits can worsen or ameliorate their symptoms. Whether diet quality can modify the risk of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an issue of continued scientific debate and interest. Therefore, we aimed to examine the association between both overall diet quality and the overall diet inflammatory potential on the risk of RA.
Overall diet quality and the overall inflammatory potential of the diet were evaluated with the use of Dietary Inflammatory Index (DII) and the Healthy Eating Index (HEI)-2015, respectively. Both DII and HEI-2015 scores were calculated based on a validated semi-quantitative Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ). Multivariable-adjusted odds of RA were calculated across tertiles of HEI, and Energy-adjusted DII (E-DII) scores using binary logistic regression.
50 newly diagnosed RA cases and 100 well-matched healthy people controls.
Individuals in the highest tertile of DII scores, indicating the most pro-inflammatory diet, were about three times more likely to have RA than those in the lowest tertile (Odds Ratio: 2.99; 95%CI: 1.08 to 8.24; P-trend:0.037), whereas individuals in the highest tertile of HEI scores, indicating more top dietary quality, had a significantly lower odds of RA than those in the lowest tertile (Odds Ratio: 0.33; 95%CI: 0.12 to 0.87; P-trend:0.024).
Our findings show that E-DII and HEI-2015 are positively and negatively associated, respectively, with the odds of RA in a convenience sample of Iranians. These results highlight the importance of overall diet quality in modulating the risk of RA.