Category Archives: democracy

Mona El-Ghobashy: “The Arab Uprisings and the Many Meanings of Revolution”

After ten years as the Arab region’s only functioning democracy, Tunisia is now imperiled by a presidential strongman who in 2021 dissolved parliament and attacked the judiciary, and in 2022 rewrote the constitution to reflect his plebiscitary conception of direct democracy. Egypt is governed by a personalized military dictatorship that incarcerates or eliminates all forms of opposition, even its erstwhile business cronies. Yemen, the Arabian peninsula’s sole republic, is ravaged by an air war between a Saudi-UAE alliance and Houthi rebels, rendering 80% of Yemenis in need of humanitarian aid. In Syria, the nationwide uprising did not end the 50-year rule of the al-Assad dynasty. With military support from Russia and Iran, Bashar al-Assad has subjected Syrians to staggering state violence; over half a million have perished and 13 million forced to flee their homes.”

“Economic Neglect and Political Instability Unraveled Tunisia’s Democracy”

“Tensions across the religious-secular fault lines in the country could not be reconciled, and freely elected leaders failed to deliver on the 2011 uprising’s cry for bread, freedom and dignity.”

Steve Ellner: “The impasse of the Latin American left”

“As the left returns to power across Latin America, the lessons of the Pink Tide have become increasingly relevant. ”  A review of The Impasse of the Latin American Left.  Franck Gaudichaud, Jeffery R. Webber, and Massimo Modonesi, eds. Duke University Press, 2022.

‘What Have We Done With Democracy?’ A Decade On, Arab Spring Gains Wither

Tunisia, birthplace of the pro-democracy uprisings that swept the Arab world, now looks to many like a final confirmation of failed promise.”

Amador Fernández-Savater: “15M in the Spanish labyrinth”

15M invents a place from which to feel, think and act with autonomy, a space that does not sell promises or solutions, that does not ask for adherence, but rather invites anyone to elaborate questions about and take actions with regard to life in common.”

Robert Solé: “Ten Years of Hope and Blood”

“But in Lebanon, as in Algeria or Sudan, the game is not over. The same can be said of all the countries that have experienced a “Spring”, however fleeting, followed by a counter-revolution. The Arab peoples now know that it is not enough to overthrow an authoritarian regime to achieve democracy. Elsewhere in the world, the road has always been long and painful. Refusing to despair, the most committed or lucid citizens are trying, in Gramsci’s words, to combine the pessimism of intelligence with the optimism of will.”

Zaynab El Bernoussi: “The Arab Uprisings Ten Years On”

“a dignity lesson from the Arab world to the rest of it … about a need to develop political institutions, empower the youth and expand their share of the economy, and, finally, accept diversities at last.”

Mateo Jarquín: “Reckoning with Revolution in Nicaragua”

‘The Sandinista Front was the first and only armed leftist organization to take power in Latin America after the Cuban Revolution. Their success in 1979 was made possible by an ideologically diverse, “multiclass coalition” which differentiated the Nicaraguan case from failed uprisings elsewhere in the so-called Third World.’

“Two killed as huge pro-democracy protests continue in Peru”

“Protests have mounted demanding the resignation of Manuel Merino, the former speaker of congress who was sworn in as president on Tuesday, with tens of thousands of people filling the streets of Lima and dozens of towns and cities.”

“Fear and uncertainty as Kyrgyzstan mob rule spreads”

“A power vacuum is threatening to destabilise Kyrgyzstan, which is struggling to come up with legitimate ways of initiating a power transfer following the violent uprising over a disputed parliamentary election result. The euphoria felt after opposition groups seized the parliament building has quickly turned to uncertainty and insecurity.”