Working Paper 1

Jochen Hippler: Change in the Middle East – Between Democratization and Civil War. A Short Introduction, Duisburg, May 2013, ISBN 978-3-939218-40-1

The current changes in North Africa and the Middle East (MENA) have swept several long-standing dictatorships aside. In some cases this has opened up possibilities for more pluralistic or democratic developments in the future. But even in Tunisia and Egypt economic and political crises have been in the making. In other countries the transitions to new forms of governance have taken the form of civil wars, like in Libya and Syria. In many cases extremist religious tendencies are on the rise.

This paper is providing an overview of the developments in the MENA region since late 2010. It focuses on Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Syria, and on the regional trends and interconnections; the role of regime elites in the political transitions receives special attention. It also deals with the transformation of Islamist movements and its security implications. Finally, the paper analyses the changes in Western-Middle Eastern relationships as a result of the “Arab Spring”.

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