© 2017

The Arab Spring, Civil Society, and Innovative Activism

  • Cenap Çakmak

About this book


This book investigates the role of civil society groups in the making of the Arab Spring and under what conditions they attained their goals. Democracy and recognition of human rights and fundamental freedoms seem to be the main drives of civil and grassroots movements in the Arab Spring countries, but it is essential to identify when they find it suitable to take such extreme action as taking to the streets in an attempt to take down repressive regimes. It is also important to investigate what methods they relied on in their action and how they challenged the state and the government. The focused case-studies in this volume show that civil society has certain limitations in its actions. They also challenge the commonly held assumption that the Arab world does not have a strong and rich civil society tradition. However, for lasting success and consolidation of democracy, something more than civil society action is needed, in particular, a strong organized opposition and democratic culture.


Arab Spring Civil Society Activism Innovative activism Democracy Civil groups Grassroots movement Middle East North Africa Government Repressive regime Human rights

Editors and affiliations

  • Cenap Çakmak
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of International RelationsEskisehir Osmangazi University Department of International RelationsEskisehirTurkey

About the editors

Cenap Çakmak is Professor of International Law and Politics at Eskişehir Osmangazi University, Turkey, and Senior Researcher at Wise Men Center for Strategic Research, Turkey. He previously conducted research at the TMC Asser Institute, Netherlands, and the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law, Germany, and is currently Visiting Scholar at the Raoul Wallenberg Institute, Sweden. His most recent publications include Post-Conflict Syrian State and Nation Building (2015), Islam: A Worldwide Encyclopedia (2016), and A Brief History of International Criminal Law (2016).

Bibliographic information


“This book is a particularly timely and important contribution to the study of contemporary problems in the Middle East and North Africa. Its point of view stresses the role of civil society amidst political chaos and repression, seen from very varied and interesting contexts ranging from the role of women’s movements to playing soccer. It will be of great use to scholars and commentators who want to make a rounded assessment of the region’s lack of political order and uncertain future.” (Richard Langhorne, Professorial Fellow, Division of Global Affairs, Rutgers University, USA)