Lessons from the Jasmine and Nile Revolutions: Possibilities of Political Transformation in the Middle East?
Prof. Eva Bellin
Middle East Brief 50, May 2011
The quick succession of the Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia by the fall of Mubarak in Egypt raised the hope that a contagious wave of revolution might soon usher in democratic transition throughout the Middle East. In this Brief, through a close analysis of these two cases, Prof. Eva Bellin suggests a different scenario. She argues that these two uprisings were successful thanks to four key factors that are not easy to replicate in the Arab world as a whole: an emotional trigger, a sense of impunity, a professional military, and new social media. She concludes that while replication may not be easy, success can breed hope and optimism.