In January 2011, a revolutionary chain of uprisings shook the Middle East and reverberated across the rest of the world. Five years later, the results of the Arab Spring have been uneven. This span of time allows for a moment to reflect on the Arab Spring. To augment the content available from Perspectives on Politics, the staff from PS: Political Science and Politics has also made two symposia available for a short time.
As the Arab uprisings led to another spike in demand for knowledge on the region, this symposium makes concrete suggestions for how Middle East politics may be brought into a wide range of thematic courses. The authors introduce frameworks for understanding the less obvious dynamics of the Arab uprisings and suggest concrete ways of integrating these events into undergraduate and graduate courses in political science. They address the dominant frameworks in circulation and introduce primary and secondary materials for classroom use. The articles also suggest fruitful avenues for scholarly research to both engage and move beyond the most common analytic frameworks.
This symposium gives an account of (in)security in post-Arab Spring states by addressing three questions: What accounts for variation in the degree of violence that has accompanied post-Arab Spring transitions; what is the likelihood of further instability as processes of transition continue to unfold; and what steps can internal and external actors take to minimize the danger of violence escalating? The symposium opens with a framework for understanding the relationship between transition and violence, generally. The authors then apply that framework to the particular environments and countries of post-Qadhafi Libya, Yemen, and Egypt. The symposium concludes with reflection on conflict mitigation strategies.