College

Buchtel College of Arts and Sciences (BCAS)

Date of Last Revision

2020-05-05 10:38:53

Major

Political Science

Honors Course

Honors Project

Number of Credits

4

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Date of Expected Graduation

Spring 2021

Abstract

Despite experiencing countless wars, sectarian extremism, imperialism, and authoritarian rule, very few events have impacted the Middle East more significantly than the Arab Spring. Starting in 2010, the Arab Spring marked a turning point in which the people of numerous Arabic states collectively gathered to protest and combat the oppressive regimes that had controlled the region for decades. The Spring was indicative of the strong, recurring ambitions for revolution and regime change across the Middle East, presenting the Arab nations with an opportunity to reform their states from within. For some Middle Eastern states, the Arab Spring served as a catalyst for revolutions that overthrew authoritarian regimes and replaced them with governments that valued individual freedoms and sovereignty. Other states, however, chose not to pursue democratic goals after the Spring, often creating worse conditions than before. Although the Arab Spring was started with intentions of freeing the people of the Middle East from the regimes they existed under, the revolution simply failed within certain states. In this paper, a formal analysis will be conducted of two Middle Eastern states that felt entirely different effects from the Arab Spring: Egypt and Tunisia. From this analysis, a proposal will be formulated regarding how military status influenced Tunisia’s maintenance of a functional democracy, while Egypt fell victim to a coup and subsequent authoritarian rule following the Arab Spring.

Research Sponsor

Dr. Karl Kaltenthaler

First Reader

Dr. Ron Gelleny

Second Reader

Mr. Eihab Abousena

Honors Faculty Advisor

Dr. Ron Gelleny

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