PhD Proposal: Accounting for Differences in Outcome of the Arab Spring




Research Questions, Hypotheses & Variables:

Why did the Arab Spring affect states differently? What accounts for these differences in outcome? This article seeks to address that very question.

In this research, I extend “Wimmer et al’s” model of ethnic conflict & exclusion to include ethno-religious groups in the Middle East. Ample literature has been written on the consequences of minority rule, especially in the Middle East, but there is little research on ethno-religious exclusion as the source of national instability. The typical variables considered are foreign intervention, religiosity or authoritarianism. My argument is that some states are more or less politically developed than others, and as such, exhibit a more sophisticated system that at the very least represents the majority ethnic fabric of the nation-state. Exclusive states tend to be less developed politically, and as such disenfranchise ethnic majorities leading to more instability.

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A true Muslim and Arab Nationalist would not attack Jews as Morsi has.

Instead, he would attack the policies of the occupying forces of Israel — a more secular, non-fascistic approach.

But of course, this man is far from secular.

To me, this does not represent Islam. To me, this is ideological fanaticism; this is Islamism.

There is a difference between the two; as there are differences between a Christian like President Obama and a so-called Christian like Rush Limbaugh.

Get me?

Egypt satirist Bassem Youssef faces arrest warrant

How nicely democracy is playing out in Egypt. Freedom, or control?

Mohammad Morsi is in no way representative of Egypt or the Arab people.

This is a sentiment shared by Egyptians around me, who, looking back on the ‘revolution’ that swept their country just two years ago, feel a sense of betrayal by both, the international community and their fellow egyptians back at home.

How has Morsi managed to consolidate his grasp over Egypt?

By playing on the ignorance of the masses, and by using religion, Morsi has been able to garner enough support to fully reign over Egypt.

Why is this a bad thing?

Morsi is not looking out for the Egyptian people. He is a religious man who has dues to the religious community which, impoverished as it is, is likely to take Egypt further back in history than it already is. 

A parallel can be drawn to Syria, where ‘revolutionary forces’ are echoing similar calls for extreme changes to the status quo. 

Are these changes good?

Revolutionary calls for changes to the status quo in the Middle East would surely be good for the Arab people if these calls echoed the genuine sentiments of the Arab World.

But how can Morsi be regarded by Egyptians as a genuine representative?

Regarded as the center of Arab freedom and liberalism, Egypt does not deserve to be insulted this way. 

What happened to the pride of Egyptian secularism? Since Naser, Egypt has been quiet.

Real democracy in the Middle East, real revolution, can only come when the people abandon extreme ideologies, embrace secularism, and learn to separate the sacred from the sociological. This duty is in itself sacred.

With foreign nations seeking to penetrate the Middle East at all times, from Israel, to the U.S., to Europe, to Russia, how can we begin to hope for a future of freedom and democracy?

How can Syrians, Egyptians, Palestinians, and the Arab World truly be free?

When it accepts that true freedom does not come promises of money or salvation, but rather, with promises of individual liberty and secular democracy. 

An objective constitution, an Arab Magna Carta per se, must be established, purging the Middle East of ignorance, intolerance, crime, poverty, social misery, and stagnation. 

The people must be socially free from religious fanaticism, and financially free from destructive feudal and/or over-bureaucratic systems. 

A free government, with elections, a permanent, secular bill of rights (constitution) guaranteeing liberal freedoms, and a functioning free economy. 

What prevents this in the Middle East?

Religious and ideological propaganda and foreign meddling. 

A liberal Middle East will one day come for the Arab people. 

What is the fate of Israel? Is peace with the Palestinians and the Arabs possible? Do the Israelis want peace? Do they want to expand?

If Israel wants to expand, the Middle East will remain militarized and politically unstable, killing hopes for a free, democratic Arab World. 


Noam Chomsky: The West will do whatever it can to prevent real democracy from flourishing in the Middle East.

The keyword here is real.