The Challenge of Explaining Arab Politics (Paperback)
Studies of the Arab world since the 2011 uprisings have fluctuated between extolling the explanatory power of the democratization paradigm or the validity of the authoritarian resilience framework. It is through these two theoretical lenses that political developments across the region have been largely interpreted. These two paradigms though fail to capture the actual complexity of the changes - or lack thereof - that have characterised the region since 2011 because their focus is on elites and institutions (the macro-story). When one examines the attitudes of citizens a different story emerges (the micro-story). The central puzzle of this research builds on the paradox of what citizens in three Arab countries think about their political systems. Reflecting on the longer-term trends in the region and using recent survey data, the book investigates and explains the high level of dissatisfaction of citizens in countries that have experienced radically different post-uprising trajectories.