The Battle for the Arab Spring: Revolution, Counter-revolution and the Making of a New Era by Lin Noueihed
On December 17, 2010, a Tunisian man set himself on fire after the police seized the vegetable cart by which he earned his living. This single act by an unknown figure sent a wave of revolt through the Arab world. It led to the overthrow of governments in Tunisia and Egypt, civil war in Libya, prolonged unrest in Syria and Bahrain, and massive public protests across the region. In this deeply informed and accessible book, Lin Noueihed and Alex Warren draw on years of experience in the Middle East and North Africa to explain how the events of the Arab Spring spread so widely and with such staggering speed. What suddenly drove ordinary Arab people to rise up against their long-entrenched rulers? Noueihed and Warren contend that, although the exact causes were different in each country, an explosive mix was common to all: widening economic inequalities, pervasive corruption, lack of political freedom, and access to independent TV news, social media, and mobile phones. The authors explore these economic, political, and media developments, consider the impact of Western responses to the uprisings, and discuss the possibilities for a free, democratic Arab world in the future.