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The Arab Spring Gathers Clouds: Why the Revolts for Change Have Stalled

The wave of popular protests engulfing the Arab Middle East has yielded markedly different results. While the revolts in Egypt and Tunisia prompted meaningful, and immediate, political change, the regimes of Syria, Bahrain, Libya and Yemen are able to put up a fight. The violent stalemates in the latter countries may eventually give way to political reform, but for now the fate of their popular uprisings is anything but certain. What explains this outcome divergence between the two sets of nations? What makes one autocratic Arab regime stronger than another? What roles do societies and militaries play in shaping the future of the Arab Spring? This article suggests that authoritarian regimes with established networks of social patronage and unwavering military loyalty are better able to withstand calls for change.

The Arab Spring Gathers Clouds Why the Revolts for Change
What started as peaceful protests in these countries is morphing or has already morphed into violent stalemates.
 

Not all Arab revolts are created equal. Although there are many factors that unite the socio-political experience of the Arab people, such as a common language, a comparatively homogenous culture, a shared history, similarly dysfunctional political systems, a majority religion, an inverted population pyramid, uncompetitive rent-based economies, etc, the pace of revolutionary progress across the Arab world has been uneven. While peaceful popular demands for change in Egypt and Tunisia have forced out two of the most entrenched Middle Eastern autocracies in 18 and 28 days respectively, similar protests in Bahrain, Libya, Syria, and Yemen appear to drag on without a clear end in sight. Even worse, what started as peaceful protests in these countries is morphing or has already morphed into violent stalemates

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