Surkov Nikolay
The Second Wave of Arab Revolutions Reached an Impasse
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ISSN 0869-1908

DOI 10.31857/S086919080014800-7

This article deals with the distinctive features of the second wave of mass protests in the Arab world, which is also sometimes called the "Arab Spring 2.0". By analyzing the experience of three countries (Algeria, Iraq, Sudan) the author attempts to identify the factors which determine the success or failure of the popular revolutions. The author examines the role of the following factors: the position of the military, the level of activity of civil society, the behavior of the elites, the impact of external forces. The cases of Algeria and Iraq demonstrate that the inability of civil society to self-organize and the passivity of external forces lead to the so-called "stillborn" revolutions. In Algeria, the massive protests led to only cosmetic changes, since the opposition did not formulate a positive program and did not nominate leaders who could negotiate with the old elite. Iraq also lacks the counter-elite necessary for a successful transition, protesting youth do not have a common vision of the country's future, the authorities actively use violence, and external players are passive or support the government. Such combination makes political transit in Iraq unlikely, but conditions for a permanent "revolutionary situation" will remain. The Sudanese case is an example of a successful popular revolution. It demonstrated that a well-organized civil society, with active external support, can initiate regime change. However, the process of democratic transition in this country is threatened due to the inability of the new leaders to reign in the security forces, to implement the reforms and create new effective institutions. The author comes to the conclusion that in the majority of Arab states there are still no forces capable of competing with authoritarian regimes, because their emergence takes time and resources.


Keywords: Arab Spring | democratization | Algeria | Iraq | Sudan | protests |

Russian Science Citation Index



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