[Marxism] Toward a Political Economy of the Arab Uprisings (Part One)

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sat Dec 28 06:34:26 MST 2013

Many of the characteristics of the recent Arab uprisings are puzzling 
and do not fit easily within popular intellectual frames. Why did they 
occur at the end of 2010, when there were no apparent direct triggers 
such as declines in subsidies or shifts in foreign alliances, rather 
than in the 1990s, when the welfare state began to be rolled back? Why 
did the revolutions start in Tunisia and Egypt, the countries with some 
of the highest economic growth in the region in the preceding few years, 
rather than in countries such as Syria or Yemen, where economic 
conditions were more dire and political repression more severe? Why were 
they initiated by secularist middle-class youth, the supposed 
beneficiaries of the modernizing republics, rather than by the 
long-standing Islamist opposition?


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