Comparing the Arab Revolts: The Global Context

Issue Date October 2011
Volume 22
Issue 4
Page Numbers 5-12
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The revolts that have been sweeping the Arab world during 2011 have already had a dramatic impact on global perceptions of the fortunes of democracy. These uprisings broke out at a moment when democracy seemed to be mired in a period of decline. Have the events in the Arab world been a “game-changer,” reversing what had merely been a short-lived downturn in the fortunes of democracy and prefiguring a new period of global democratic progress? Or did the growing strength of authoritarian regimes prior to 2011 reveal the real underlying trend, from which we have been momentarily distracted by the exciting and dramatic developments we have been watching unfold in the Middle East?

About the Author

Marc F. Plattner is a member of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) Board of Directors. He was on the NED staff from 1984 until 2020, serving first as the director of the grants program. In 1989, he became founding coeditor (with Larry Diamond) of the Journal of Democracy. He later served as codirector of the International Forum for Democratic Studies and as NED’s vice-president for research and studies.

View all work by Marc F. Plattner