The New Middle East: Protest and Revolution in the Arab World

Cambridge University Press (January, 2014)

newmeWhen the Arab Spring uprisings first broke out in 2010, their sheer scale was staggering. From Tunisia to Egypt to Libya to Syria, millions of hopeful Arabs defied fear and violence to call for bread, freedom, social justice, and more representative and egalitarian political and economic systems. Now that a few years have passed, such hope remains but the reality is complicated: Political, ideological, and sectarian divisions obstruct progress, and many still live in abject poverty. Although the Arab uprisings of 2010-2012 were undoubtedly a watershed event, clearly much work and struggle remain.

The New Middle East is the first comprehensive and interdisciplinary study to examine the causes, drivers, and effects of the events of the Arab Spring on the internal, regional, and international politics of the Middle East and North Africa. Gerges and his team of leading scholars investigate specific conditions, but also highlight broader connections between individual case studies and systemic conditions throughout the Arab world, which include the crisis of political authority, the failure of economic development, and new genres of mobilization and activism, especially communication technology and youth movements. Last but not least, they also reflect on the prospects for democratic change in individual states and in the region as a whole.

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Best known as an expert on Middle East politics and the author of many books, Gerges leads a mix of well-established political scientists, political economists, social anthropologists, and historians. The specially-commissioned essays in this volume cover:

  • Common threads of protest, including dismal economic conditions and living standards, abject poverty, and corrupt political systems;
  • Women’s participation in protests;
  • The mobilization of both the urban and rural poor;
  • Protests among youth and the role of agency;
  • Future challenges to progress, such as counterrevolutionary forces;
  • And many others.

List of Contributors

Sadik Al-Azm ♦ Madawi Al-Rasheed ♦ Atiaf Alwazir ♦ Lisa Anderson ♦ Mohammed Ayoob ♦ Federica Bicchi ♦ Valerie Bunce ♦ John Chalcraft ♦ Kristian Coates Ulrichsen ♦ Juan Cole ♦ Philippe Droz-Vincent ♦ Anne Gough ♦ Ali Kadri ♦ Karim Mezran ♦ Roger Owen ♦ William B. Quandt ♦ Avi Shlaim ♦ John T. Sidel ♦ Charles Tripp ♦ Gabriele vom Bruck ♦ Benjamin Wiacek ♦ Sami Zubaida ♦ Rami Zurayk