A contradictory 2019 in the Arab world: The heralds of a second Arab Spring in times of increased vulnerability and upgraded authoritarianism

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Ait Youssef, Iasmin
Alsheikh Ali, Rana
Comaro, Elena
Diana, Elise
Lavigne Delville, Solène
Maaninou, Nouha
Pannunzio, Marta
Werf, Charlotte : van der
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Global Campus of Human Rights
During the year 2019 mass mobilisations broke out throughout the Arab region, with protestors calling for regime change and denouncing mismanagement, corruption and the lack of basic services and human rights in countries as diverse as Algeria, Sudan, Lebanon, Iraq and Egypt. In some cases they were violently opposed and quelled; in others they brought about a transitional process. These democratic processes and authoritarian reactions were accompanied by an important case of democratic consolidation in Tunisia and peaceful transfer of power in Mauritania. Some observers saw in these movements the sparks of a second Arab Spring, while others noted an upgrading of authoritarianism, through different repression techniques against protesters, activists and civil society organisations. Security forces and tribunals have been used for repression, but so have new constitutional and legislative texts that have shifted the balance of power in favour of the executive and the military. The repression of cyberspace was extended through new technological tools that allow for the monitoring, tracking and silencing of dissenting voices. Beyond these two opposing dynamics, the socio-economic situation in many countries across the region deteriorated, increasing the vulnerability of groups such as women, children, stateless persons and refugees. The socio-economic situation has also provided several local, national, regional and international actors with a means to exercise economic violence that typically impact on the most vulnerable, depriving them of their most basic human rights or allowing them only conditional access to these rights. Key words: democratisation; authoritarianism; cyber control; socio-economic violence; refugees; protests, human rights; Arab Spring; oppression; arrests
Arab countries, democratisation, authoritarianism, censorship, internet, civil society, social movement, activists, protests, refugees, social conditions, economic conditions, children, women, statelessness
I Ait Youssef, R Alsheikh Ali, E Comaro, E Diana, S Lavigne Delville, N Maaninou, M Pannunzio & C van der Werf ‘A contradictory 2019 in the Arab world: The heralds of a second Arab Spring in times of increased vulnerability and upgraded authoritarianism’ (2020) 4 Global Campus Human Rights Journal 230-262 http://dx.doi.org/10.25330/596