ISBN : 9780190222758
New to this Edition:
Beginning in December 2010 popular revolt swept through the Middle East, shocking the world and ushering in a period of unprecedented unrest. Protestors took to the streets to demand greater freedom, democracy, human rights, social justice, and regime change. What caused these uprisings? What is their significance? And what are their likely consequences?
In an engaging question-and-answer format, this updated edition of The Arab Uprisings: What Everyone Needs to Know® explores all aspects of the revolutionary protests that have rocked the Middle East. Historian James Gelvin begins with an overview, asking questions such as: What sparked the Arab uprisings? Where did the demands for democracy and human rights come from? How appropriate is the phrase "Arab Spring"?—before turning to specific countries around the region.
Shifting the emphasis from the initial upheaval itself to the spinning out of the revolutionary process, Gelvin looks at such topics as the role of youth, labor, and religious groups in Tunisia and Egypt and discusses why the military turned against rulers in both countries. Exploring the uprisings in Libya and Yemen, Gelvin explains why these two states are considered "weak," why that status is important for understanding the upheavals there, and why outside powers intervened in Libya but not in Yemen. This second edition looks more closely at the situation of individual countries affected by the uprisings. Gelvin compares two cases that defied expectations: Algeria, which experts assumed would experience a major upheaval after Egypt's, and Syria, which experts failed to foresee. He then looks at the monarchies of Morocco, Jordan, and the Gulf, exploring the commonalities and differences of protest movements in each. Reconsidering the possible historical significance of the uprisings Gelvin explores what this means for the United States and Iran. Has al-Qaeda been strengthened or weakened? What effects have the uprisings had on the Israel-Palestine conflict? What conclusions might we draw from the uprisings so far?
1 A Revolutionary Wave?
What is the Arab world?
Is the Arab world homogeneous?
Why do Arabs identify with one another?
What was political life in the Arab world like on the eve of the uprisings?
Why have authoritarian governments been so common in the Arab world?
What was the state of the economy in the Arab world on the eve of the uprisings?
What benefits did Arab regimes originally promise their populations?
Why and how did Arab regimes renege on the promises they had made to their populations?
How did the demography of the Arab states make them vulnerable to uprisings?
How did a food crisis make Arab states vulnerable to uprisings?
Why did populations wanting change in the Arab world have to take to the streets?
Can we pinpoint the factors that caused the uprisings?
What was the spark that ignited the Arab uprisings?
Where did the demand for human and democratic rights come from?
How did the demand for human rights and democracy strike roots in the Arab world?
How pervasive was the demand for human and democratic rights in the Arab world before the uprisings of 2010-11?
How appropriate is the word wave to describe the spread of protests throughout the Arab world in 2010-11?
Where did the phrase "Arab Spring " come from, and how appropriate is it to describe events in the Arab world?
2 The Beginning: Tunisia and Egypt
What characteristics do Tunisia and Egypt hold in common?
How entrenched were the autocracies ruling Tunisia and Egypt?
How did the regimes in Tunisia and Egypt attempt to control their populations?
How widespread was corruption in Tunisia and Egypt?
How did the Tunisian uprising catch fire?
How exceptional was Bouazizi's suicide?
Was the uprising in Egypt like that of Tunisia?
How did the initial phase of the Egyptian uprising play itself out?
What was the role of social media in the Tunisian and Egyptian uprisings?
Why did the Tahrir Square protesters and others adopt the tactic of nonviolent resistance?
What was the role of labor in the two uprisings?
What was the role of Islamic groups in the two uprisings?
What was the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood?
What are salafis?
Why did the armies in Tunisia and Egypt refuse to put down the initial uprisings?
Why did the paths taken by the Tunisian and Egyptian uprisings diverge?
How did decisions made by governing parties affect the course of uprisings there?
Why did the Egyptian military overthrow the Muslim Brotherhood government?
When is a coup not a coup?
Do events in Egypt demonstrate that Islamist parties are incapable of rule?
What was political life in Egypt like after the military takeover?
How does the Egyptian uprising help us understand the other uprisings?
What are the five biggest myths about the Egyptian Uprising?
3 Uprisings in Weak States: Yemen and Libya
What did the political systems of Yemen and Libya have in common before the uprisings?
What was political life in Yemen like before the uprising there?
What was political life in Libya like before the uprising there?
Why do political scientists consider Yemen and Libya "weak states "?
Why is the fact that Yemen and Libya are weak states important for understanding the uprisings there?
What role have tribes played in Yemen and Libya?
How did the uprising in Yemen evolve?
How did the uprising in Libya begin?
Was Qaddafi crazy, or crazy like a fox?
Why did the uprisings in Yemen and Libya turn violent?
Why did outside powers intervene in Libya?
What is "R2P "?
Why did efforts to fill the post-uprisings political void in Yemen and Libya flounder?
What are the fissures that might divide Yemen in the future?
Is civil War in Libya in the cards?
Why is al-Qaeda in Yemen?
Is al-Qaeda in Libya?
How did Libya affect American and Russian policy in Syria?
4 "Coup-Proofed ": Bahrain and Syria
What do Bahrain and Syria have in common?
What is "coop-proofing "?
Why did Bahrain's February protests end so tragically?
What occurred in Bahrain in the wake of the crackdown?
How did the uprising in Syria begin?
Who is Bashar al-Assad?
How did the Syrian regime deal with the uprising?
How did the regime sectarianize the uprising?
How did the regime militarize the uprising?
Who is the "moderate " opposition in Syria?
What is the Islamist opposition in Syria like?
What is the "Islamic State "?
Have Syria's Kurds participated in the uprising?
What assistance has the Friends of Syria provided?
How have foreign powers intervened on the side of the Syrian government?
Why is a negotiated settlement for Syria improbable?
How has the uprising affected Syrians and Syrian society?
How has the Syrian uprising affected Syria's neighbors?
5 The Global Meaning of the Arab Uprisings
Did the Arab monarchies dodge the bullet during the uprisings?
What were the protests in the Arab monarchies like?
What role have the Gulf monarchies played in uprisings elsewhere?
Why have the Gulf monarchies played such a prominent role in the uprisings?
Is American power in the Middle East on the wane?
How has the United States reacted to the Arab uprisings?
Did George W. Bush's "Freedom Agenda " pave the way for the Arab uprisings?
Have the uprisings strengthened or weakened al-Qaeda?
Will the state system in the Arab world survive the Arab uprisings?
How did the spread of the uprisings to Palestine affect the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?
What can history tell us about "revolutionary waves "?
Have the uprisings spread beyond the Arab world?
When will we be able to judge the significance of the Arab uprisings?
What conclusions might we draw from the uprisings so far?
"A remarkably readable, informative, slim volume...Of particular worth is James Gelvin's ability to show how the protests are interlinked, yet also independent of each other. Brief forays into the Palestinian/Israeli conflict and the current state of al-Qaeda are also illuminating...an excellent primer for the general reader." --Publishers Weekly
"This impressive achievement brings together a vast amount of information in a lucid manner. Highly recommended." --Library Journal
"A solid primer on the Arab Spring...[Gelvin's] background on the Arab world will certainly help non-experts better understand the region...A useful attempt to understand a still-unfolding story." --Kirkus Reviews
"Highly recommended...Gelvin's claim to provide "what everyone needs to know" does not unduly exaggerate the usefulness of the book for students and other nonspecialists. Even specialists in contemporary Arab affairs will benefit in some ways, notably by using it as a model in their own teaching and general writings." --CHOICE
"James Gelvin has throughout his career explained to us the role of popular demonstrations and symbolic action in the modern Middle East. There could be few more expert guides for the public to the remarkable Arab uprisings of 2011. Gelvin avoids easy answers for the hard one, and never prefers simple theory to complex realities." --Juan Cole, Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History, University of Michigan