Authoritarianism, Revolutions, Armies and Arab Regime Transitions
Authoritarianism in the Arab world has had a propensity to endure for decades and was seen as an essential political feature in a region where democratisation was said to flounder. Yet, authoritarian regimes are exhausted and weakened. It took massive social mobilisation in 2011 in Tunisia and Egypt to topple them. Those societies have gained an essential voice in the political process with an aspiration for democracy. Transition was about to open up to chaos and then a specific actor, the military, stepped in to smooth the transition. The next step in Tunisia and Egypt is the delicate rebuilding of governments to fulfill this aspiration for democracy as well as to provide a demonstration effect for the new model of transition throughout the Arab world.