2021 - PRELIMINARY DRAFT REPORT - TEN YEARS AFTER THE ARAB SPRING: DEMOCRATIC EXPECTATIONS AND DISILLUSIONS

Anissa KHEDHER (France)

12 April 2021

The 2011-2012 uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa raised high expectations for the democratisation of the region’s societies and for a greater respect of the fundamental rights of the populations. Ten years after the Arab revolutions, some progress – varying from country to country and often timid – can be credited to the populations. The stablest countries are those that have listened to the demands of their citizens.

However, all the hopes roused by the 2011-2012 uprisings have not yet been fulfilled. From 2013 onwards, with the noteworthy exception of Tunisia, there have been increasing democratic setbacks in many respects. Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbates existing challenges, reveals the inefficiency of some regimes, and reinforces their authoritarian and repressive leanings. 

The frustrations that sparked the 2011-2012 uprisings are still very much alive. Since 2019, these tensions have resurfaced in several countries in the form of popular uprisings. These revolts show that the processes of transformation and liberalisation of the region’s societies initiated ten years ago are ongoing. It is both a sign and a result of an underlying globalisation trend bringing about structural changes towards which Middle Eastern and North African society has been and still is reacting.

The preliminary draft report will be discussed by the Civil Dimension of Security Committee (CDS) at the Spring Session of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly.


Read also

SEE MORE