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The Arab Spring and Democratic Socialization: Transnational Influences

  • Ewan Harrison
  • Sara McLaughlin Mitchell

Abstract

The Arab Spring was not a unique historical event to be understood in relation to circumstances within individual countries or the Middle East. Instead, it reflects a larger systemic trend. The fundamental dynamic in the international system is a process of socialization through which democracy is spreading worldwide. This process of socialization has been taking place since the American and French revolutions, and it is far from new. With the end of the Cold War, however, the pace and intensity of global democratization has accelerated. What began with a small cluster of states in the West has now become a globally salient force. Before 2011, the Middle East remained the only region of the world unaffected by the spread of democracy. The Arab Spring demonstrated that this is no longer the case. The revolutions of 2011 are the most recent manifestation of a global pattern through which authoritarian systems are being delegitimized. To understand the Arab Spring, it is necessary to situate it within this general trend.

Keywords

Middle East Authoritarian Regime Arab World Democratic Socialization Democratic Transition 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Ewan Harrison and Sara McLaughlin Mitchell 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ewan Harrison
  • Sara McLaughlin Mitchell

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