The Halting Process of Democratization in the Arab World: Current Challenges and Prospects

Author First name, Last name, Institution

Hamdy A. Hassan, Zayed University
Hassanein T. Ali, Zayed University

Document Type

Book Chapter

Source of Publication

Routledge Handbook on Middle East Security

Publication Date



Following the uprisings that began in 2010, a number of scholars leaped to hasty conclusions about the end of “Arab exceptionalism” in regard to democracy. More than half a decade later, however, the outcomes have generally been negative and disappointing, as some Arab countries have plunged into civil war and internal conflict that threaten their very existence as political entities. In other cases, the ruling elites have taken tentative steps on the path of political reform in an effort to divert the winds of change; alternatively, democratization has at times been considered a low priority in the face of perceived security and development challenges. All of these responses represent attempts by ruling regimes to modernize authoritarianism rather than to engage in genuine democratization. The aim of this chapter is to account for the most significant political and democratic trends in the Arab world in the wake of the Arab Spring and to analyze the current challenges facing the process of democratization.






Social and Behavioral Sciences

Indexed in Scopus


Open Access