Sunday, November 6, 2011

Empire: A revolution for all seasons

Empire asks what has become of the Arab revolutions after the initial euphoria has passed.

"The winds of change have swept the Arab world, with uneven results. Progress in places like Tunisia and Egypt, repression in Syria, bloody stalemate in Yemen, and unfinished business in Libya: the Arab Spring is at a crucial stage.

The impressive achievements since January have also highlighted new challenges. Islamist movements, long banned during decades of repression, are out in the open and face new types of political challenges and responsibilities. Will political changes in the region pass the test of national unity in the likes of Tunisia, Egypt and Libya?

Whilst the Syrian regime attempts to crush the growing opposition, killing thousands from Homs to Dar'a, the Syrian people continue their marches calling for change and democracy. As the Arab League enters the fray and Syria asks for international protection, where is the country heading? Militarisation of the revolution and growing sectarianism is threatening the unity of the country.

Meanwhile, as Libya emerges from NATO's aerial bombardment and Muammar Gaddafi's death, much work has to be done to avoid anarchy and civil war.

As the contest between democracy and dictatorships continues apace, what has become of the Arab revolutions after the initial euphoria?"


Nir Rosen, author, Aftermath: Following the Bloodshed of America's Wars in the Muslim World
Seumas Milne, associate editor, The Guardian
Professor Nadje Al-Ali, Gender Studies, SOAS
Dr Radwan Ziadeh, Human Rights Center, Harvard University.

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