The Lure of Authoritarianism: The Maghreb After the Arab Spring
Authoritarian regimes in the MENA region ruled for more than a half century through a strategic combination of violence, elites’ cooptation, and tightly controlled liberalization reforms. But the failure of autocratic rulers to deliver jobs and decent living conditions galvanized an increasingly young and socially connected population to demand political change in 2011. Yet, a decade after the “Arab Spring” revolutions, no credible or coherent alternative to authoritarian rule has emerged. Military officers, Islamists or strong populist figures with no commitment to basic political and civil rights remain the only game in town. Beyond the effect of the social media or regime behavior, this volume sheds light on the broad societal forces that block political change.