The Arab Spring and Democratic Socialization: Transnational Influences
The Arab Spring was not a unique historical event to be understood in relation to circumstances within individual countries or the Middle East. Instead, it reflects a larger systemic trend. The fundamental dynamic in the international system is a process of socialization through which democracy is spreading worldwide. This process of socialization has been taking place since the American and French revolutions, and it is far from new. With the end of the Cold War, however, the pace and intensity of global democratization has accelerated. What began with a small cluster of states in the West has now become a globally salient force. Before 2011, the Middle East remained the only region of the world unaffected by the spread of democracy. The Arab Spring demonstrated that this is no longer the case. The revolutions of 2011 are the most recent manifestation of a global pattern through which authoritarian systems are being delegitimized. To understand the Arab Spring, it is necessary to situate it within this general trend.
KeywordsMiddle East Authoritarian Regime Arab World Democratic Socialization Democratic Transition
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