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Feldman, Noah

The Arab Winter

A Tragedy

PRINCETON UNIVERSITY PRESS

    39,95 € / $45.00 / £38.00*

    eBook (PDF)
    Publication Date:
    2020
    Copyright year:
    2020
    To be published:
    May 2020
    ISBN
    978-0-691-20144-3
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    Overview

    Aims and Scope

    Why the conventional wisdom about the Arab Spring is wrong

    The Arab Spring promised to end dictatorship and bring self-government to people across the Middle East. Yet everywhere except Tunisia it led to either renewed dictatorship, civil war, extremist terror, or all three. In The Arab Winter, Noah Feldman argues that the Arab Spring was nevertheless not an unmitigated failure, much less an inevitable one. Rather, it was a noble, tragic series of events in which, for the first time in recent Middle Eastern history, Arabic-speaking peoples took free, collective political action as they sought to achieve self-determination.

    Focusing on the Egyptian revolution and counterrevolution, the Syrian civil war, the rise and fall of ISIS in Syria and Iraq, and the Tunisian struggle toward Islamic constitutionalism, Feldman provides an original account of the political consequences of the Arab Spring, including the reaffirmation of pan-Arab identity, the devastation of Arab nationalisms, and the death of political Islam with the collapse of ISIS. He also challenges commentators who say that the Arab Spring was never truly transformative, that Arab popular self-determination was a mirage, and even that Arabs or Muslims are less capable of democracy than other peoples.

    Above all, The Arab Winter shows that we must not let the tragic outcome of the Arab Spring disguise its inherent human worth. People whose political lives had been determined from the outside tried, and for a time succeeded, in making politics for themselves. That this did not result in constitutional democracy or a better life for most of those affected doesn't mean the effort didn't matter. To the contrary, it matters for history—and it matters for the future.

    Details

    PRINCETON UNIVERSITY PRESS
    Language:
    English
    Keyword(s):
    Meaning of Arab spring; aftermath of Arab spring; consequences of Arab spring; history of Arab spring; Tahir Square; ISIL; Syrian Civil War; rise of ISIS; fall of ISIS; defeat of ISIS; caliphate; Muslim Brotherhood; Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi; Middle East democracy; Middle Eastern democracy; Steven Cook; False Dawn; Shadi Hamid; Islamic Exceptionalism; sharia; Ennahda; shia; sunni; alawi; el Sisi; Assad; Mubarak; Qaddafi; Morsi
    Readership:
    General/trade;Professional and scholarly;College/higher education;

    More ...

    Noah Feldman is the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and the author of many books, including The Three Lives of James Madison, The Fall and Rise of the Islamic State (Princeton), and What We Owe Iraq (Princeton). A contributing writer for Bloomberg Opinion and the host of the podcast Deep Background, he lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Twitter @NoahRFeldman

    Reviews

    "Noah Feldman has written an elegant and incisive book that illuminates one of the most important events of our time: the tragic failure of the Arab Spring. It was tragic because failure was avoidable. Tyranny returned in Egypt, horrendous slaughter followed the uprising in Syria, but Tunisia demonstrated what political prudence could achieve: the emergence of democracy in the Arab world. Feldman asks a question with haunting relevance well beyond the Middle East: can a people who have chosen a democratic path then choose to renounce it in favor of tyranny?"—Michael Ignatieff, President, Central European University, Budapest

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