The Arab Spring: success in Tunisia and reverse-wave in Egypt: 2010-2014
Gatta, Maria Raquel Jesse da Costa
Coutinho, José João Pereira
The Arab Spring that began in Tunisia in December 2010 rapidly swept through the Middle
East and Northern African (MENA) region, with the main requests by protesters being the
improvement of standards of living and political change; key to the latter were demands for
the ousting of corrupt and autocratic leaders and the transitions to more open and democratic
Many observers were quick to label this stream of protests and demands for change as the
'Fourth Wave of Democratization' (an allusion to Samuel Huntington's work The Third
Wave). This idea was short-lived and by 2012 the spring had thawed into a winter, with a
wave of violence and general instability sweeping through most of the countries and leading
to widespread regional political, social and economic volatility. Few countries proved to be
successful in implementing some degree of change, amongst these were Egypt and Tunisia.
Nevertheless and while in both countries the first-ever free elections were held in 2011, by
2014 the aftermath of the revolution had proven very different. While Tunisia successfully
passed a new 'democratic' Constitution, Egypt's first democratically elected government
was ousted in a military coup.
The ultimate purpose of this thesis is to, departing from democratization theories and passing
through a background analysis of the pre-Arab Spring realities and a comparison of the
unfolding of events in the two countries, analyse why the results became so dissimilar.
In the Conclusion, we maintain that it was Tunisia's 'forward-looking' attitude, openness to
dialogue and attempt at consensus by the different 'stakeholders', in contrast to the absence
of these realities and to the overpowering role of the army in all phases of the process in
Egypt, which ultimately dictated the arguable success of the former's and failure of the
latter's transition to Democracy.
Domínio/Área Científica::Ciências Sociais::Ciências Políticas
Type of publication|
Lissabon - Universidade Católica Portuguesa
Added to C-A: 2020-02-10;09:44:56|
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