In 2011, the world watched as dictators across the Arab world were toppled from power. In Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Syria, and Iraq, ordinary Arab citizens mobilized across the region during the Arab Spring to reinvent the autocratic Arab world into one characterized by democracy, dignity, socioeconomic justice, and inviolable human rights. This unique comparative analysis of countries before, during and after the Arab Spring seeks to explain the divergent outcomes, disappointing and even harrowing results of efforts to overcome democratic consolidation challenges, from the tentative democracy in Tunisia to the emergence of the Islamic State, and civil war and authoritarian retrenchment everywhere else. Tracing the period of the Arab Spring from its background in long-term challenges to autocratic regimes, to the mass uprisings, authoritarian breakdown, and the future projections and requirements for a democratizing conclusion, Stephen J. King establishes a broad but focused history which refines the leading theory of democratization in comparative politics, and realigns the narrative of Arab Spring history by bringing its differing results to the fore.
Stephen J. King
Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication:
13 February 2020
Professional and scholarly
Table of abbreviations; Introduction; 1. Tunisia; 2. Egypt; 3. Libya; 4. Yemen; 5. Broken states: Iraq, Syria and ISIS; 6. Summary and conclusions; Index.
Stephen J. King is an Associate Professor of Government at Georgetown University and the author of Liberalization Against Democracy: The Local Politics of Economic Reform in Tunisia (2003), The New Authoritarianism in the Middle East and North Africa (2009), and co-editor of The Lure of Authoritarianism: The Maghreb After the Arab Spring (2019). He has published multiple articles and book chapters on the politics of economic reform and regime transition processes in the Arab world.
Reviews for The Arab Winter: Democratic Consolidation, Civil War, and Radical Islamists
'Stephen J. King's very insightful and timely study sheds important light on what followed the 2011 uprisings in six Arab countries. He has picked exactly the right cases for comparative analysis aimed at identifying generalizable patterns and scope conditions for authoritarian breakdown and the different paths that followed. The chapters on each country are rich and informative, but King explains as well as describes. His thesis that challenges associated with democratic consolidation bear much of the responsibility for the failure of most Arab Spring revolutions is both welcome and persuasive.' Mark Tessler, Samuel J. Eldersveld Professor of Political Science, University of Michigan 'In his valuable new book, Stephen J. King offers a new take on the trajectories of the Arab Uprising states. While most analyses have focused on authoritarian breakdown, King focuses on the requisites of democratic consolidation: consensus via pacts on key issues. This enables a deeper understanding of the variation in post-uprising trajectories between the one case of relative consoiidation, Tunisia, and authoritarian restoration or state failure elsewhere.' Raymond Hinnebusch, University of St Andrews