The Arab Uprisings: Book Review

2067 words 9 pages
Budd 1
Liam Budd
POLI 227
TA: Sherif Fouad

The Arab Uprising: The Unfinished Revolutions of the New Middle East

Marc Lynch defines the 2011 Arab uprisings as “an exceptionally rapid, intense, and nearly simultaneous explosions of popular protest across an Arab world united by shared transnational media and bound by a common identity” (Lynch, 9). In his book The Arab Uprising: The Unfinished Revolutions of the New Middle East, he sets out to put the events of the Arab uprising into perspective and to create a guide for the new Middle East. He does so pragmatically and theoretically but dismisses popular theories of international relations as outdated for the new Middle East. Throughout the book, Lynch emphasizes the
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Lynch says, “the role of momentum and shared identity cannot be overstated” (Lynch, 101) A common narrative developed through the renewed pan-Arab identity of the new Arab public that protesters were the “good guys” and regimes the “bad guys.” As protests proliferated, the uprising unfolded less coherently and unified. By March the revolutionary arena fragmented as sectarian tensions increased, revolutionary momentum slowed and national particularities reasserted themselves.
In the week of March 14 regimes struck back at protesters with security forces. The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) was working to consolidate the regional
Budd 4 status quo and was building a monarchical, conservative bloc. The GCC intervened directly in Bahrain, putting down protests as the world largely turned a blind eye. Morocco and Jordan’s monarchs offered reforms substantial enough to largely quell their uprisings. Revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia appeared to be stalling as movements failed to achieve their original aspirations. Yemen experienced extreme violence but had almost completely dropped off the international radar. Arab regimes proved they would not go down easily and were not afraid to use violence. In late spring the idea of peaceful protest to lose traction. The idea of Western military pressure gained appeal