From Arab Spring To Arab Cataclysm

Five years ago, Mohamed Bouazizi, a Tunisian street vender with black curls, deep brown eyes, and chin fuzz, refused to pay a seven-dollar bribe, yet again, to a government inspector. For a man who supported his mother, five younger siblings, and an ailing uncle, seven dollars was a full day’s income—on a good day. This […]

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The Middle East Meltdown And Global Risk

Among today’s geopolitical risks, none is greater than the long arc of instability stretching from the Maghreb to the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. With the Arab Spring an increasingly distant memory, the instability along this arc is deepening. Indeed, of the three initial Arab Spring countries, Libya has become a failed state, Egypt has returned to authoritarian […]

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The Cost Of Stopping Another Arab Spring

The Arab Spring has been, in turns, exhilarating and excruciating. It has also been expensive—even for relatively peaceful Middle Eastern countries. Three Gulf countries sent a $12 billion aid package to Egypt in July, the latest in a regional spending spree that has also benefited the troubled countries of Yemen and Tunisia. Read Here – […]

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Arab Troubled Transitions Are Normal

Agreeing on the combination of these issues – statehood, nationhood, sovereignty and governance – comprises the classic definition of national self-determination. Arab citizens have never had the opportunity to undergo the thrills of national self-determination. This is because Arab countries and governing systems have always been defined either by foreign powers or by very small […]

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The Battle Over Democracy

When Arab societies rose up and toppled four dictators during 2011—in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, and Libya—people around the world joined in the celebration. Yet soon after the autocrats’ fall, a wave of apprehension washed over many in the policy and intellectual elite in the United States, Europe, and the Middle East itself. The warnings and […]

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Tunisia and the Clash Within Civilizations

Earlier this month, Tunisian opposition leader Chokri Belaid was shot dead outside his home. Belaid’s death has shaken Tunisia, but it also illuminates larger trends in the post-revolution Arab world. Belaid was an intrepid critic of the authoritarian ancien regime of Zine Abidine Ben Ali, which ruled Tunisia for nearly a quarter century until it […]

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Aftermath of Revolution

The recent assassination of a leading secular opposition figure in Tunisia has cast a dark cloud on what many had hoped would serve as a model for democratic transition in countries swept by the Arab Spring. The sad fact is that many revolutions lead to renewed dictatorships. But the good news is that even a […]

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Assassination is an attack on all of Tunisia

Chokri Belaid knew that his life was at risk. The secretary general of Tunisia‘s Unified Democratic Nationalist Party, and a key member of the secular opposition front, had been receiving death threats for months. When he was killed yesterday outside his home in Tunis, however, the fear was that it was the country that was […]

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