by Paul Amar
The Arab Spring unleashed forces of liberation and social justice that swept across North Africa and the Middle East with unprecedented speed, ferocity, and excitement. Although the future of the democratic uprisings against oppressive authoritarian regimes remains uncertain in many places, the revolutionary wave that started in Tunisia in December 2010 has transformed how the world sees Arab peoples and politics. Bringing together the knowledge of activists, scholars, journalists, and policy experts uniquely attuned to the pulse of the region, Dispatches from the Arab Spring offers an urgent and engaged analysis of a remarkable ongoing world-historical event that is widely misinterpreted in the West.
Tracing the flows of protest, resistance, and counterrevolution in every one of the countries affected by this epochal change—from Morocco to Iraq and Syria to Sudan—the contributors provide ground-level reports and new ways of teaching about and understanding the Middle East in general, and contextualizing the social upheavals and political transitions that defined the Arab Spring in particular. Rejecting outdated and invalid (yet highly influential) paradigms to analyze the region—from depictions of the “Arab street” as a mindless, reactive mob to the belief that Arab culture was “unfit” for democratic politics—this book offers fresh insights into the region’s dynamics, drawing from social history, political geography, cultural creativity, and global power politics. Dispatches from the Arab Spring is an unparalleled introduction to the changing Middle East and offers the most comprehensive and accurate account to date of the uprisings that profoundly reshaped North Africa and the Middle East.
Contributors: Sheila Carapico, U of Richmond; Nouri Gana, UCLA; Toufic Haddad; Adam Hanieh, SOAS/U of London; Toby C. Jones, Rutgers U; Anjali Kamat; Khalid Medani, McGill U; Merouan Mekouar; Maya Mikdashi, NYU; Paulo Gabriel Hilu Pinto, U Federal Fluminense, Brazil; Jillian Schwedler, Hunter College, CUNY; Ahmad Shokr; Susan Slyomovics, UCLA; Haifa Zangana.