Taking the Long View on the Arab Spring, After Bouteflika’s Resignation in Algeria

Demonstrators march with national flags during a protest in Algiers, Algeria, March 29, 2019 (AP photo by Toufik Doudou).
Demonstrators march with national flags during a protest in Algiers, Algeria, March 29, 2019 (AP photo by Toufik Doudou).
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The unexpected outburst of popular opposition to the regime long in power in Algeria has stimulated a renewed conversation about the dramatic tidal wave of change in the Middle East in 2011 known as the Arab Spring. The conventional view has been that cascading protests toppled autocrats in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, but then fizzled out. Egypt returned to its previous strongman system, only one that was even worse than before. Libya, along with Yemen, got stuck in incomplete transitions that led to state failures and armed conflict, exacerbated by outside interference. And Syria is only now, eight years later, […]

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