Chevron Left
Back to After the Arab Spring – Democratic Aspirations and State Failure

After the Arab Spring – Democratic Aspirations and State Failure, University of Copenhagen

4.7
198 ratings
50 reviews

About this Course

Learn why the hope and excitement of the Arab Spring is gone, why so many Arab states are falling apart, why the youth are so frustrated, why there are so many refugees, and what can be done about it. The so-called Arab Spring appeared to end decades of exceptionalism and bring the Arab world back into the mainstream of global developments. The rebellions promised the return of politics and the reassertion of popular sovereignty against their corrupt and geriatric leaders. Much hope and flowery language greeted the young men and women who deposed their leaders and tried to build new, better societies. Today, the Arab world is in deep crisis. Of the 22 member states of the Arab League, at least five have essentially collapsed: Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Syria exist only in name today, as their territories have fallen to competing, murderous armed groups. In the remaining countries, the old autocracies have reasserted themselves. The repression at home is now worsened by regional conflict on an unprecedented scale, and the resulting frustration has led to the biggest refugee flows in recent memory. What went wrong? This course offers an overview of the structural shortcomings of Arab states and societies, which help us understand why the democratic awakening did not happen but instead “has given way to civil wars, ethnic, sectarian and regional divisions and the reassertion of absolutism.” This raises the obvious and renewed question whether there is something inherent in the Arab, and by analogy Muslim, condition that makes them special. Does this condition make this part of the world impervious to generally observable trends towards greater accountability, popular participation in political decision-making, greater generation and fairer division of economic wealth? Join this course to find out!...

Top reviews

By LK

Oct 13, 2018

An eye opening experience. I really hope this becomes a mandated course among anyone participating in any diplomatic initiatives in the Middle East and the Arabic world.

By BE

Sep 04, 2017

That is the second class I am taking with Professor Afsah and would love to take more. The class is interesting, engaging and relevant. Highly recommended!

Filter by:

50 Reviews

By Rebecca Thorpe

Feb 10, 2019

Overall, a very interesting and deep look at a the structural issues which plague the Arab Spring. The readings, however, consistently required more then the allotted 1 hour set in the course.

By Syed Mujahid Hussain shah

Jan 06, 2019

Arab world systematically failed to produce the society which can yearn for the true democratic aspirations. The So-called "Arab Spring was absolutely clueless and leaderless. The leaders of Arab nations tried to mitigate the effect of uprisings by just giving them temporary comfort rather than installing democratic and sustainable economic system. Above all the "Political Islam" added insult to the injury which is most often misinterpreted in terms of bringing prosperity and justice in society. Consequently , producing vacuum for the group like "ISIS". Similarly, the purchased achievements in academia miserably led to rely on the family system nepotism. To sum up, It can be observed that pessimism seems to prevail in coming future for the democratic system in the future.

By Noor

Dec 24, 2018

Very informative and eye opting for an Arab trying to understand why we r behind other countries and to realize how to go about it

By Beatriz merchan Diaz

Dec 13, 2018

Ha sido un gran curso.

By Mohammed Ali Al-Hamdani

Nov 19, 2018

thank you very very match

By Ingmar Salim

Nov 11, 2018

pacing of this course was manageable with the tests coming after each video.

By Leon Kirshtein

Oct 13, 2018

An eye opening experience. I really hope this becomes a mandated course among anyone participating in any diplomatic initiatives in the Middle East and the Arabic world.

By C.Winkel

Sep 29, 2018

Very interesting and enlightening course. The instructor is excellent and very well informed and engaging.

By Jason Beckett

Sep 11, 2018

Thank you Dr. Ebrahim Afsah for doing the research and disseminating all the information in a very presentable, and easy to understand fashion. I now have a much deeper understanding of the Arab Spring and the events that lead to the inevitable revolt. Great Course!

By Akanksha Sinha

Jul 27, 2018

I'm not much of a visuo-audio learner, so I mostly learnt through reading the transcripts. I have to say that the insight, the depth, the thorough and thought-provoking analysis offered by the professor is excellent, and truly made me love this course. I have been talking about it non-stop to my friends and family. I can't believe how much I have learnt about the Arab World and the Arab Spring through this one course, and it has been an extremely fulfilling experience. I am so glad I picked it, and I hope I can see more from Dr. Ebrahim Afsah. Thank you so much, it was a phenomenal experience!