Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 05/2012

Revolution in the Arab World: The Long View

Laleh Khalili, Jillian Schwedler, William Zartman, Gamal Eid

October 2011

Center for Contemporary Arab Studies


In Revolution in the Arab World: The Long View, CCAS presents recent analysis of the historical context and events making up the Arab Spring. Themes covered in this collection include the prospects Arab states have to institutionalize their achievements, the vulnerability of various Arab authoritarian states to uprisings similar to those in Tunisia and Egypt, and counter strategies authoritarian regimes are using to resist, contain, and co-opt the protests. In the first article, Dr. Laleh Khalili compares the Arab Spring with other revolutions in the twentieth century, pointing out how difficult it is to ascertain what the effects of revolutions might be. Next, Dr. Jillian Schwedler also takes a historical approach to the study of revolution by looking systematically at protests in Jordan over several decades with a focus on law, urban space, and spectacle. Third, Dr. William Zartman focuses particularly on the events in Tunisia, commenting particularly on different groups vying for leadership. Fourth, Mr. Gamal Eid writes about how youth have used social media to rally support and organize protests in Egypt.