Contentious politics: Authoritarianism in the Middle East

Why have authoritarian systems gained momentum in the Arab world?

Audio Published 10 May 2022 36 minute listen

Alaa Al Aswany


The Contentious politics since the ‘Arab Spring’ project seeks to challenge the current prevalent narrative of a failed 2010/2011 series of revolutions in the Middle East and North Africa. The project does this by interrogating the events in the Arab region since 2010 in a critical light, and by introducing a more nuanced analytical lens to understanding the evolution of change in the region and its contentious politics. The project is supported by the Carnegie Corporation New York.

In this four-part mini-series from the Undercurrents podcast, Lina Khatib speaks to leading experts about the great upheaval which occurred in the Arab region during the ‘Arab Spring’, the changes across Arab countries that have happened since and the outlook for the future.

In this third episode, Lina and Alaa Al Aswani explore contentious politics in the Middle East generally, and Egypt specifically, and the conditions which allowed for authoritarian political systems to emerge.