n Conflict Trends - Revolution in North Africa : impetus for political transition to democracy or subregional insecurity?

Volume 2013, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 1561-9818


The revolution in the North African Arab world (known as the Arab Spring), which started in Tunisia and spread to Egypt and Libya, was the first time that a popular uprising had overthrown autocratic leaders. While the movements in Tunisia and Egypt achieved regime change through relatively peaceful protests, the Libyan revolt succeeded through armed rebellion. The Arab Spring may be the beginning of a wave of revolution that will spread beyond the Middle East and become a global contagion. A new order is taking shape from North Africa to the Middle East, but as the dust settles, will the quest for human dignity and democracy continue?

It is hardly contentious to assert that the 21st century populations of many states in Africa are stirring politically and seething with unrest. People are becoming acutely conscious of social injustice to an unprecedented degree, and are growing resentful of their perceived lack of political dignity. The nearly universal access to radio, television and, increasingly, the Internet, is creating a community of shared perceptions and envy that can be galvanised and channelled by demagogic political or religious passions. These energies transcend sovereign borders and pose a challenge to existing states as well as to the existing global hierarchy.

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