Arab Society in Revolt. The West's Mediterranean Challenge

The Arab Spring will be remembered as a period of great change for the Arab states of North Africa and the eastern Mediterranean. The significant transitions in governance are the result of the profound social, cultural, and religious changes these countries have been undergoing for a long time. The European Union and the United States, caught unprepared by the uprisings, now must address the inescapable challenges of those changes. How will the West respond to these new realities, particularly in light of international economic uncertainty, EU ambivalence toward a "cohesive foreign policy," and declining U.S. influence abroad? The book explains and interprets the societal transformations occurring in the Arab Muslim world, their ramifications for the West, and possible policy options for dealing with this new world. The volume examines areas of change particularly relevant in the southern Mediterranean: demography and migration, Islamic revival and democracy, rapidly changing roles of women in Arab society, the Internet in Arab societies, commercial and social entrepreneurship as change factors, and the economics of Arab transitions. The book then looks at those cultural and religious as well as political and economic factors that have influenced the Western response, or lack of it, to the Arab Spring as well as the policy options that remain open.

Output of the project "The Mediterranean Microcosm in the Broader Relationship Between the West and the Arab-Muslim World" conducted by the IAI in cooperation with the Center for the US and Europe (CUSE) of the Brookings Institution and the Robert Schuman Centre (RSC) of the European University Institute (EUI). Presented in a meeting organised by the IAI, Rome, 6 September 2012.

Washington, Brookings Institution Press, 2012, xii, 268 p.
978-0-8157-2396-7 ; 978-0-8157-2397-4 (ebk)
Publication date: 

Foreword, Strobe Talbott, p. vii-ix
Acknowledgments, p. xi-xii
Introduction, Cesare Merlini and Olivier Roy, p. 1-13

Pt. I. Societal Change in the Arab Muslim World
1. Demography, Migration, and Revolt in the Southern Mediterranean, Philippe Fargues, p. 17-46
2. Islamic Revival and Democracy: The Case in Tunisia and Egypt, Olivier Roy, p. 47-52
3. The Changing Role of Women in Society, Maria Cristina Paciello and Renata Pepicelli, p. 53-75
4. Mediterranean Islamic Expression and Web 2.0, Gary R. Bunt, p. 76-95
5. Modern Commercial and Social Entrepreneurship as a Factor of Change, Gonzalo Escribano and Alejandro Lorca, p. 96-121
6. The Economics of Arab Transitions, Caroline Freund and Carlos A. Primo Braga, p. 122-143

Pt. II. Consequences and Policy Options
7. Midwife or Spectator? U.S. Policies toward North Africa in the Twenty-First Century, Jonathan Laurence, p. 147-168
8. The Power of False Analogies: Misunderstanding Political Islam in a Post-Totalitarian World, Alan Wolfe, p. 169-183
9. Societal Change and Political Responses in Euro-Mediterranean Relations, Roberto Aliboni, p. 184-213
10. The West and the Islamist Challenge: Toward a Common Religious Market?, Olivier Roy, p. 214-226
11. The Challenge of a Changing Arab Islam in Future Transatlantic Relations, Cesare Merlini, p. 227-252

Contributors, p. 253-257
Index, p. 259-268

Research area