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Arab Spring

Regarding politics: The ‘Arab Spring’ protests and political movements that spread through this region after December of 2010 were largely met with enthusiasm by international observers, who were eager to see the demands of the protestors met with progress toward greater democracy and political transparency, improved economic opportunities and equity, and the expansion of secularism, cultural freedoms and openness to more diverse views. That flowering of freedoms has not occurred, however, democratization has withered, and oppressive and corrupt dictatorships have retrenched in some countries, while others remain mired in internal conflicts and even civil war. Why do you think the ‘Arab Spring’ failed to live up to its promise? What do you find most interesting, surprising, or disturbing about these developments? What do you think the future holds for the politics and peoples of this region? Consider sections 6.6 and 6.7 of the textbook, as well as the NY Times article “Autocrats Still Rule” and the 7-minute PBS NewsHour segment Ten Years After Arab Spring, Democracy Remains Elusive (which I added to the sub-module on “Politics/Geopolitics”) in your response (of 100 to 200 words).