Why Middle East Studies Missed the Arab Spring

Game III, F. Gregory
July 2011
Foreign Affairs;Jul/Aug2011, Vol. 90 Issue 4, p81
The article discusses why experts on the Middle East generally failed to anticipate popular uprisings that have ousted two long-standing rulers in the region, Hosni Mubarek in Egypt and Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali in Tunisia, and threaten the regimes of others. The author notes he himself argued in a 2005 article that authoritarian Arab governments offered the best hope for future stability, and that the U.S. should refrain from promoting democracy in the region. He proceeds to examine developments that have undermined ruling stability in the Arab world.


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