What happened to the Arab Spring?
What happened since the Arab Spring of 2011? It started a long-term revolutionary process, but what have been its consequences? Gilbert Achcar, author of ‘Perilous Power: the Middle East and US Foreign policy', will answer these questions in ACMES' first Annual Lecture in Spui25.
The Arab Spring proved to be much more complicated than other revolutionary processes. Part of this can be explained by specific socio-political features of the dominant Arab state system. Another complicating feature is that the revolutionary process confronted not only the established regimes, but also their Islamic fundamentalist contenders. These factors, in addition to the intrinsic weakness of progressive forces in the region, provide the main explanation for the shift from the initial revolutionary phase to the ongoing counter-revolutionary phase that started in 2013. The various dynamics of this shift will be assessed in light of the particular conditions that prevail in the different key theaters of the 2011 uprising. The region will find no new stability as long as no solution emerges for the explosive socio-economic factors behind the Arab Spring.
Achcar will be introduced by Farid Boussaid, lecturer at the Department of Political Science at the University of Amsterdam. Afterwards Paul Aarts will kick off the discussion, followed by questions from the audience.
About the speaker
Gilbert Achcar grew up in Lebanon. He did research and taught in Beirut, Paris and Berlin, and since 2007 he has been Professor of Development Studies and International Relations at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS, University of London). His many books include: The Clash of Barbarisms: The Making of the New World Disorder; Perilous Power: The Middle East and U.S. Foreign Policy, co-authored with Noam Chomsky; the critically acclaimed The Arabs and the Holocaust: The Arab-Israeli War of Narratives; Marxism, Orientalism, Cosmopolitanism; The People Want: A Radical Exploration of the Arab Uprising, and most recently Morbid Symptoms: Relapse in the Arab Uprising.
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