The Middle East Unbalanced At their outset, the Arab protests of 2011 shared commonalities across the region—a popular rejection of corrupt and authoritarian regimes that offered no vision for the future. Today, the outcomes of those protests vary significantly by country. For some, this divergence has introduced an element of doubt over whether there was anything fundamentally common about the protests. What is certain, however, is the divergence has increased the complexity of mapping the protests’ effects. This collection of essays endeavors to meet the challenge by explaining how a set of countries and issues have evolved from an important moment of convergence.
Following the core mission of Sada, fostering debate about key issues across the region, this collection of longer essays from young authors explores these distinct circumstances and trajectories. Invariably, there are common themes—authoritarianism, sectarianism, extremism, and social and economic vulnerability—but they are impossible to assess as a singular phenomenon. The authors draw on their experiences and extensive research and fieldwork to provide unique insights into a breadth of challenges and issues.