MAAS-548 Revolution and Prospects for Change: Arab World
Spring for 2015-2016
NOTE: This is a Content-Based Instruction (CBI) course, designed to give advanced Arabic students the opportunity to acquire strong language skills within their fields of study, such as political science and economics, among others.
On January 14, 2011, the Zine Al-Abidine Ben Ali autocratic rule of Tunisia came to an end after 23 years of reign. Less than one month later, Husni Mubarak, the President of Egypt was forced to resign on February 11, 2011, after nearly 30 years in power. Six months later, the Libyan dictator, Muammar al-Gaddafi, who was in power for almost 42 years, was ousted as a result of an armed uprising that costs thousands of victims among Libyan people and an unprecedented destruction of the infrastructure of the country. Meanwhile, Bahrain, Syria, Yemen, Jordan and Morocco have also experienced popular turmoil ranging from armed conflict to peaceful demonstrations. Though regimes in these countries have met these protests with a mix of brutal suppression and modest political and economic reforms, people are still struggling for the sake of dignity, freedom, human rights, equality and genuine political change. These events are still puzzling researchers and practitioners about their causes and implications at both regional and international levels. This class will focus on the many signposts on the road leading to these unrests and the demise of many of these regimes. It will emphasize the social background of actors among the movements and groups who have actively led these popular revolts in the Arab world. It will explore how mainly non-violent citizens across the region succeeded in toppling autocratic rulers, who were presumably stable and durable. The prospects and challenges for upcoming changes through political transition and the role of new elites in this process in countries such as Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen will be highlighted.
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