Contentious politics since the ‘Arab Spring’

This project seeks to challenge the current prevalent narrative of a failed 2010/2011 series of revolutions in the Middle East and North Africa.

Alongside regional thinkers and practitioners, Chatham House unpacks and challenges the problematic, and now dominant, narrative of failure of the 2010/2011 revolutions, by introducing a more nuanced analytical lens to understanding the evolution of change in the region and its contentious politics.

The project seeks to challenge such problematic narrative by interrogating the events in the Arab region since 2010 in a critical light.  It does so by examining the following three interlinked issues which will become the project’s tracks of enquiry:

  1. The continuum of change: Examining the continuous nature of political, social, economic and security transformations.
  2. The evolution of political parties: Examining the evolution of political parties in the region and the complex interrelations with mobilized movements.
  3. The role of elite-level status quo: Examining how national, regional and global ruling elites have responded to this process of change in the region and how their response has directly impacted the trajectory of change.

The project is supported by the Carnegie Corporation New York.