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Popular Mobilisation and Authoritarian Reconstitution in the Middle East and North Africa: Ten Years of Arab Uprisings


The 2011 uprisings and the ensuing protests that re-emerged in 2018–2019 across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) are representative of cyclical challenges between the forces of change and those promoting a continuation of the authoritarian status quo in the region. While geopolitical tensions have led to the present ascendency of counter-revolutionary and status quo oriented forces in the MENA, the uprisings continue to live on in the memories and aspirations of societies, having had a significant impact on the socio-political consciousness of the region. Employing history to underline the recurring relationship of tension between reform and authoritarian reconstitution across the region in the post-World War II era, the analysis warns about the perils of a returning complacency with forms of authoritarian-imposed stability in the MENA, underlining how renewed protests and uprisings are likely only a matter of time.

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