Why the Arab Revolutions of 2011 Are True Revolutions: Implications and Prognosis

Tuesday, July 15, 2014: 3:45 PM
Room: 419
Oral Presentation
Jack GOLDSTONE , School of Public Policy, George Mason University, Arlington, VA
When they began, there was hope that the Arab Revolutions of 2011 would be like the peaceful “velvet” or “color” revolutions in the USSR and Eastern Europe in 1989, or in the Ukraine in 2004.  Instead, with the possible exception of Tunisia, they have turned out to be more like true, classic revolutions with civil wars, counter-revolutions, high levels of violence, and extended periods of turmoil and sudden shifts in government.  There are a number of reasons for this difference, including (1) the greater youth of populations in the Arab revolutions; (2) the role of ideological contenders for power – Islamists – alongside the secular liberal revolutionaries; (3) the major interventions of outside powers; and (4) greater internal regional, ethnic and tribal divisions.