Summary of The New Arab Order

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In the wake of the Arab Spring in 2011, many people hoped that the Arab world had entered an era of democratic transition. Fast forward to 2018, and newspapers report widespread political repression in Egypt, discontented youth and economic woes in states such as Jordan and Morocco, widespread starvation in civil war-torn Yemen, state collapse in Libya, and steadily drip horrifying news reports out of Syria. According to political scientist Marc Lynch, the regional instability in which the Arab world finds itself today is an indirect consequence of the domestic upheavals of 2011. His essay in Foreign Affairs, getAbstract believes, will help you connect the dots.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How the Arab Spring weakened some states and strengthened others, and
  • Why the Gulf states’ increased power projection ultimately leads to less security in those states. 
 

About the Author

Marc Lynch is professor of political science and international affairs at George Washington University and the author of The New Arab Wars: Uprisings and Anarchy in the Middle East

 

Summary

The wave of popular Arab uprisings in 2011 largely failed to achieve democratic transformation in the Middle East – but they significantly reconfigured the power relationships in the region. Weakened by domestic conflict, Egypt and Syria were no longer able to project regional influence the way they used to. Wealthy Gulf states readily filled the vacuum. Thanks to their financial resources and repressive capacity, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates have been able to avoid civil unrest at home. Meanwhile, their considerable economic clout and control over several media channels broadcast across the Arab world have increased their regional profiles. Also, their well-resourced militaries have enabled them to expand their influence in neighboring states. Saudi Arabia, for example, started intervening in Yemen’s civil war and providing assistance to proxies in Libya and Syria.


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