The early weeks of the Arab uprisings of 2011 led many to believe that the fast-spreading protest movements were ushering in a new age of nonviolent democratic change in the region. Not surprisingly, the exuberant and initially successful uprisings were optimistically labeled the "Arab Spring." Events have since unfolded in a much less utopian fashion. The early chapters, as we now know, represented just one phase of what would become a complicated process, full of detours, bloodshed and Machiavellian maneuvers.
More recently, the violence in Syria and the blatantly anti-democratic developments in Egypt have highlighted the sharply different ways in which the region’s ruling regimes have responded to the protest movements.
The Arab revolutions have generally proceeded along five models, depending largely on the regime's response to the initial mass uprisings.