Is Democracy Really Dead in the Arab World?

A woman reads electoral posters in Tunis, Tunisia, May 5, 2018 (AP photo by Hassene Dridi).
A woman reads electoral posters in Tunis, Tunisia, May 5, 2018 (AP photo by Hassene Dridi).
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It has become conventional wisdom that the Middle East’s popular uprisings of 2011 failed, and that the prospects for true democracy in the region are dim for the foreseeable future. The return of authoritarian leadership in Egypt is the most dramatic reversal of the Arab Spring, but one can also look to Yemen, where a shaky political transition later plunged the country back into civil war, or of course Syria, where the early days of peaceful protest, brutally repressed by the Assad regime, seem like a distant memory in the ongoing civil war. There is occasional turbulence in Morocco, too, […]

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