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date: 26 October 2021

p. 32415. The Arab Spring: The ‘People’ in International Relationslocked

p. 32415. The Arab Spring: The ‘People’ in International Relationslocked

  • Larbi Sadiki


This chapter examines the Arab Spring and its outcomes from an international relations (IR) perspective by offering a revisionist interpretation that emphasizes the importance of the interactions of civic (peaceful/ruly) and non-civic (violent/unruly), top-down and bottom-up, state and non-state, local and global manifestations of political behaviour. The Arab Spring is generally regarded as a local phenomenon of ‘street politics’ with no connection to global trends. The chapter challenges this notion and throws the Arab ‘revolution’ into sharper relief, first by tracing its origin and second by analysing its ‘itinerary’ through the region in the context of globalization. It also explores the problem posed by the Arab Spring for Orientalism, and more specifically to Arab ‘exceptionalism’, as well as the centre–periphery dyad. Finally, it discusses the impact of the Arab Spring on democratization and the international relations of the uprisings.

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