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Arab Spring 2.0

Analyzing the mass movements in Algeria and Sudan

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Change is the only permanent phenomenon in this world. The longevity of status quo makes it only more vulnerable against evolution. Some of these transitions are short-lived while some last long but the world is never like before when it goes through revolution. International politics also undergoes change from time to time. Revolution and evolution have pushed the history of nations. Arab Spring is also one of these evolutionary phenomena which challenged the status quo in global politics.

q1bwc5ekjgg0ydy5nahb Arab Spring is a democratic wave that has swept through the Middle East, since 2011. Most of the states in this region have been ruled by autocrats, either monarchs or dictators, since Second World War. But political, economic and social circumstances effected transformation of the region. Politically, these autocrat regimes were susceptible to democratic change as the United States was unwilling to interfere in Middle Eastern affairs after the disastrous Iraq War. These societies were also hit in economic terms as prices of oil and gas started to decline at the onset of the decade. Unemployment rates soared as these economies were dependent on hydrocarbons or a large proportion of their workforce was employed in hydrocarbon industry in neighbouring states. Social media also transformed the society by creating Arab Public Space as Paul Danahar called it in his book ‘The New Middle East: The World After the Arab Spring’.

The self-immolation of Mohamed Bouazizi, a Tunisian street vendor, pulled the trigger that blew up the whole region. When the Tunisian youth swarmed the streets to demand justice for their peer, their sentiments resonated with the whole Arab world as they all were angry, suppressed and motivated. Moreover, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, the then President of Tunisia, was no different than other autocrats like Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak, Libya’s Muammar al-Qaddafi, Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, Yemen’s Ali Abdullah Saleh and Bahrain’s Hamad bin Isa bin Salman al-Khalifa. The tide of anger uprooted the regimes of Ben Ali, Mubarak and Qaddafi. Tunisians’ success in ousting Ben Ali was followed in Egypt by the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak in February 2011, by Col. Muammar Gaddafi’s death in Libya the following October, and by the departure of president Ali Abdullah Saleh from Yemen in February 2012. Four autocrats went in just over a year. But al-Khalifa was saved by Saudi interference. Assad and Saleh’s successor Mansoor Hadi resisted and their countries plunged into an unending civil war.

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