Hailed as a gateway to a new era of democracy in the Middle East, the Arab Spring has proved to be a grave disappointment. Since the fall of strongmen Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali in Tunisia, Hosni Mubarak in Egypt and Muammar al-Qaddafi in Libya, violence and chaos have reigned in the region. Middle East scholar Steven A. Cook probes the promise and harsh reality of the change convulsing the Arab world. He focuses on four nations. Egypt remains as authoritarian as ever, Cook concludes, while Libya has become a shambles. Turkey has regressed since its experiment with democracy, and Tunisia – despite promising feints toward an open society – has clamped down on dissent. Cook, an astute observer of Middle Eastern society, offers an analysis as sound as it is sober. His pessimistic title accurately conveys his sentiments. Though this study may not contribute a dramatic viewpoint or groundbreaking research to the debate, Cook compiles a wealth of information and provides an in-depth reportorial look at the developments in the region since the Arab Spring. getAbstract recommends his book to all readers engaged in Middle East politics.
In this summary, you will learn
- Why the Arab Spring generated so much optimism,
- How the Middle Eastern democracy movements went off track, and
- Which developments in Tunisia went right – and which ones went wrong.
About the Author
Steven A. Cook, senior fellow for Middle East and Africa Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, also wrote The Struggle for Egypt and Ruling But Not Governing.