The Arab Spring –Is it a Revolution?

Thursday, 22 December 2011
CEPS Commentaries
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In this Commentary, Michael Emerson continues the exercise he initiated in June of monitoring developments of the Arab Revolutions at six-month intervals. The scoreboard so far shows three outright regime changes (Tunisia, Egypt, Libya), with two more in the pipeline: Yemen experiencing a slow regime change of uncertain destination, and with Syria into its eight month of bloody repression. He notes that all of these have been republics, whereas the monarchies of the region (Morocco, Jordan and the six Gulf states) have been spared so far, all making concessions to head off uprisings, either monetary manna in the case of the petro-monarchies, or some tentative political concessions in the non-petro-monarchies. Qualitatively, his general observation is that the street has lost its fear, while by the same token the authoritarian leaderships themselves became fearful for their future, if not for their lives.

Michael Emerson is Senior Associate Research Fellow at CEPS.