Project Title: The Arab Spring Uprisings: What Makes the Successful Overthrow of the Regime?
Student: Cierra Cresanto ’17
Mentor: Dr. James Franklin
Between 2010 and 2012, the Middle East and North Africa experienced a period of upheaval, known as the Arab Spring. Mass dissatisfaction with repressive, authoritarian governments sparked protests, demonstrations, riots, and even civil wars, across the region. Many of the protesters in these countries aimed to overthrow their current regimes and establish more representative governments. While some of the countries in the Middle East and North Africa experienced a successful overthrow of their government, not all did. This paper examines the situations that lead up to the uprisings in several countries in the Arab world, including Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia, as well as the progression of their revolutions. Sydney Tarrow’s opportunities model is used to highlight factors that resulted in the successful overthrows in Tunisia and Egypt, and the failed ones in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.