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The Worldwide Crisis of Authoritarianism

  • Ewan Harrison
  • Sara McLaughlin Mitchell

Abstract

The Arab Spring is merely the tip of a colossal iceberg in world politics. If the Middle East—which provides relatively infertile ground for democracy—is experiencing change, this reflects a pervasive process of democratization that has gathered momentum worldwide. As Carl Gershman, the President of the National Endowment for Democracy, notes: “the Middle East revolutions have already had a larger global impact than the… revolutions of 1989. This is because they were carried out by non-Western peoples who were once colonial subjects, so people throughout the world can identify with them.”2 Like 1989, 2011 represents an intense moment of global reflexivity or growing consciousness about the spread of democracy. In turn, this is a major factor encouraging further demands for democratization. Even if the Arab Spring fails to produce a single new stable democracy in the Middle East, which is unlikely, it has massively intensified already strong pressures encouraging democratization on every continent.

Keywords

Middle Class Chinese Communist Party Authoritarian Regime Autocratic Regime Giant Squid 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Ewan Harrison and Sara McLaughlin Mitchell 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ewan Harrison
  • Sara McLaughlin Mitchell

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