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Causes and consequences of the Arab Uprisings

Roundtable discussion with Wissam S. Yafi

19.12.2012 · C·A·P

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What are the reasons and dynamics that shape the uprisings in the Arab World and how will the region develop? Wissam S. Yafi addressed these questions in his presentation “Inevitable Democracy in the Arab World” that is based on his same-titled book published by Palgrave Macmillan.

Michael Bauer und Wissam S. Yafi, Fotos © Riesenhuber

In particular, he discussed the geopolitical, economic, technological and social dynamics in the Arab World. He argued that the socioeconomic factors made political change essentially inevitable, as the autocratic regimes in the region were unable to deal with these challenges. Demographic developments and economic problems coupled with the availability of new communication technologies established the basis for the uprisings and the political transformation process. Geopolitical factors, on the other hand, have to be regarded as rather easily reversible. However, they can have a rather profound short-term effect as can be seen in Syria where the strategic environment contributed to the escalation of violence.

The ensuing discussion focused especially on the role of political Islam in the new political systems in North Africa and the Middle East as well as on the question how external actors can positively contribute to the transformation processes.

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