ORIENT III 2016: 5 years into the Arab Uprisings – Reforms and Transformations

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Dear ORIENT readers,

In early 2011 the “Arab Spring” began to sweep away autocratic rulers in a region that was previously considered to be of solid stability though not at all democratic. Over the past five years, changes, reforms and a solidification of the political order have been witnessed in the countries of the region. The only consolidation of democracy took place in Tunisia, whereas in Egypt the old forces are firmly back in power. In this issue, we seek to provide you with insights on several issues that go beyond analyses of the most prominent topics. Rather than looking at conflicts, we aim to provide you with analyses of issues of transformation and reform, such as the building up of civil society, free media as well as solid and functioning political institutions under the rule of law.

This issue of Orient will look at some issues and their development since 2010. First, Prof Mohammed Bamyeh delves into the nature of revolutions and counter-revolutions and how the events in the Arab World need to be understood. Following this, Prof Larbi Sadiki provides an overview of the role of parliaments in the region. Subsequently, Dr Anders C. Härdig analyses the role of civil society groups of different shades in shaping reform and change. Dr Max Hänska then identifies the impact of different media sources during the “Arab Spring” before Prof Ed Webb assesses the methods of controlling the media and how these have developed over the past five years. After which Ilyas Saliba sheds light on the case of Morocco’s reform process.

I hope that the current issue provides you with valuable insights and different perspectives on the current reform and transformation processes in the region.

Dr. Gunter Mulack
Director of the German Orient-Institute



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