In 2011 uprisings broke out across the Middle East and North Africa, where people took to the streets demanding increased rights, freedoms, and in some cases the overthrow of dictators. Four years later, however, the region seems to be in the grip of a resurgence of authoritarianism. This Thermidor moment poses profound theoretical and analytical challenges to the study of the Arab uprisings and the potential for political change. On October 10, 2014 the LSE MEC and the Project on Middle East Political Science (POMEPS) brought together scholars based in Europe, the Middle East, and the United States for a one-day workshop in London to discuss this renewed authoritarianism across a wide range of countries, sectors, and dimensions.
Each participant in the workshop contributed a thematic memo, which will be available here individually, as well as in an upcoming POMEPS Studies collection.
‘The Authoritarian Impulse vs. the Democratic Imperative: Political Learning as a Precondition for Sustainable Development in the Maghreb’, John P. Entelis, Fordham University
‘Elite Fragmentation and Securitization in Bahrain’, by Toby Matthiesen, University of Cambridge
‘Militaries, Civilians and the Crisis of the Arab State’, by Yezid Sayigh, Carnegie Middle East Center
‘Arab Transitions and the Old Elite’, by Ellis Goldberg, University of Washington
‘Explaining Democratic Divergence: Why Tunisia has Succeeded and Egypt has Failed’, Eva Bellin, Brandeis University
‘Is Libya a Proxy War?’, Frederic Wehrey, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
‘Fiscal Politics of Enduring Authoritarianism’, Pete W. Moore, Case Western Reserve University
‘The Role of Militaries in the Arab Thermidor’, Robert Springborg, Sciences Po
‘Mass Politics and the Future of Authoritarian Governance in the Arab World’, Steven Heydemann, United States Institute of Peace
‘Security Dilemmas and the ‘Security State’ Question in Jordan’, Curtis R. Ryan, Appalachian State University
‘Authoritarian Populism and the Rise of the Security State in Iran’, Ali Ansari, University of St Andrews
‘A Historical Sociology Approach to Authoritarian Resilience in Post-Arab Uprising MENA’, Raymond Hinnebusch, University of St Andrews
‘The Arab Thermidor’, Marc Lynch, George Washington University