An anti-government protest in Beirut, Lebanon, Oct. 20, 2019 (AP photo by Hassan Ammar).

From Lebanon and Iraq to Ecuador and Chile, popular protests have shaken governments and captured the imagination of pundits worldwide in the past few weeks. Combined with the mass demonstrations that forced regimes in Algeria and Sudan to cast aside longtime leaders earlier this year, as well as the Yellow Vest movement that stunned France from December 2018 through the late spring, some observers are wondering whether we are witnessing a revolutionary moment of global proportions. Has popular dissatisfaction with the unfair distribution of globalization’s spoils reached a tipping point? Or are these protests locally driven, offering little or no […]

Algerian students take to the streets to protest against the government, Algiers, Oct. 29, 2019 (AP photo by Fateh Guidoum).

Mass protests are unfolding across the Middle East and North Africa, as demonstrators take to the streets to decry a wide range of social and political ills. From Algiers to Khartoum, Beirut to Baghdad, the list of grievances includes rampant corruption, economic malaise, oppression and sectarian divisions. The protests have already resulted in the ouster of two leaders this year, in Sudan and Algeria. In other countries, demonstrators have clashed with security forces, resulting in hundreds of deaths and injuries, and many more arrests. Given their wide geographic scope, the protests have drawn comparisons to the Arab uprisings that swept […]

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi during a meeting with President Donald Trump at the InterContinental Barclay hotel during the United Nations General Assembly, in New York, Sept. 23, 2019 (AP photo by Evan Vucci).

The protests may have ended, but the past few weeks in Egypt have indicated that, rather than a model of authoritarian stability, the regime that President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has built is one of authoritarian fragility. And the regime’s actions make clear that it knows it. On Sept. 20, nationwide political protests broke out in Egypt for the first time since a brutal crackdown on demonstrators following the 2013 coup d’etat against President Mohamed Morsi that brought Sisi to power. The protests were sparked by a series of viral videos by an Egyptian actor and contractor named Mohamed Ali, who […]

Mozambican President Felipe Nyusi, bottom left, casts his vote in the country’s presidential election, in Maputo, Mozambique (AP photo by Ferhat Momade).

Editor’s Note: Every Friday, Andrew Green curates the top news and analysis from and about the African continent. Key presidential elections on either end of the continent this week delivered markedly different results. While a vote in Mozambique appears to have secured a victory for the longtime ruling party, elections in Tunisia may have introduced a new political era. Tunisia’s presidential campaign, which outsider Kais Saied won in a landslide, had been full of surprises from the beginning. The vote was moved up a few months after the country’s first democratically elected president, Beji Caid Essebsi, died in office. An […]

Supporters of jailed media magnate Nabil Karoui chant for his freedom in Nabeul, west of Tunis, Tunisia, Sept. 21, 2019 (AP photo by Mosa’ab Elshamy).

The first round of Tunisia’s presidential election underlined a critical fact about the country’s fraught democratic transition: Tunisians have had enough of their post-revolution politicians. This was made clear not only by the number of people who skipped the mid-September vote altogether, but by the choices made by those who opted to have a say. This year’s shortened electoral calendar, in which Tunisians will elect a new parliament between two rounds of presidential voting, was drawn up after the unexpected death of 92-year-old President Beji Caid Essebsi in July. The Independent High Authority for Elections brought the presidential vote forward […]