The Arab Revolution

The Arab Revolution : Ten Lessons from the Democratic Uprising

By (author) Jean-Pierre Filiu

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The democratic uprising throughout the Arab world is proving how wrong were the hitherto accepted political alternatives, either dictatorship or Islamism. Yet more lessons are already being learnt from this grass-root process, even while it is in the making. Above all, when it comes to freedom and justice, there is no definitely no Arab exceptionalism. Social networks have been crucial in empowering a leaderless movement, where the generational factor is striking. The Facebook-savvy globalized youngsters from the urban middle class are key, but it is from the wrong side of town that disenfranchised youths spearheaded the Tunisian revolution. Ruling regimes everywhere are striving to adapt, while major sectors of the opposition favour prolonged transitional periods to rebuild the devastated political scene. The challenge is historical for the Muslim Brotherhood in its various national forms, with a strong appeal for the Turkish model of government participation, even under constraints. But the main losers could be the jihadi groups whose discourse and violence have been invalidated by the mass protests and their pluralist agendas. Even though the situation is still volatile, nothing will be the same again in the Arab world, and a preliminary assessment of this major revolution underlines what else might change and at what cost.

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  • Paperback | 256 pages
  • 137.16 x 210.82 x 20.32mm | 272.15g
  • 01 Jul 2011
  • C Hurst & Co Publishers Ltd
  • London
  • English
  • 1849041598
  • 9781849041591
  • 436,300

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Author Information

Jean-Pierre Filiu is Professor of Middle East Studies at Sciences Po in Paris, and has held visiting professorships at both Columbia University and Georgetown University. His The Apocalypse in Islam (University of California Press, 2011) was awarded the main prize by the French History Association. His books and articles on the Arab world have been published in a dozen languages.

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Review quote

'... a bold and timely portrait of the complexities of the Arab world. ... History is rapidly unfolding and Filiu's bold attempt to capture the moment makes for a stimulating read.' - Daily Telegraph 'With this timely major book on the subject, we have the Arab Revolution of 2011 recorded as a major event in world history. Filiu, the leading French authority on the politics of the Arab world, convincingly treats the Arab revolution, which has so far succeeded in Tunisia and Egypt, as a singular event whose consequences will unfold in the coming decades. The ten lessons capture the main import of this great event, and the appendices give the reader a flavour of its tenor. ... A book written with great verve and for the general public.' - Said A. Arjomand, Distinguished Service Professor of Sociology & Director of the Stony Brook Institute for Global Studies, State University of New York 'Few writers bring the combination of diplomatic, policy-making and scholarly experience to analysing the Arab revolutions as does Jean-Pierre Filiu. And none but him could have written such an authoritative and spot-on analysis of the causes, implications and possible futures of these momentous events as they are unfolding. This book will be the gold standard against which the flood of soon-to-appear books on this subject will surely be measured.' - Mark LeVine, author of Heavy Metal Islam, Professor of History, UC Irvine and Distinguished Visiting professor, CMES Lund University. 'This book simultaneously combines masterful control of the overall historical context, with acute sensitivity to the current specificities of each one of the major Arab countries. Beautifully written and accessibly priced. Perfect for general readers and specialists alike and for wide course adoption. ' - Alfred Stepan, Wallace Sayre Professor of Government, Columbia University 'Jean Pierre Filiu's book provides a remarkable in-depth analysis of the "Arab spring", putting it in perspective and exploring its long-term consequences. Thanks to his exceptional knowledge of the Middle East, Filiu has been able to grasp the meaning of this revolution and make it comprehensible for a wide readership.' - Olivier Roy, author of, inter alia, Holy Ignorance: When Religion and Culture Part Ways and Globalised Islam.

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