The wave of democracy, peaceful or violent, has up till now dispelled many of the illusions prevalent in the West, in Europe especially, including so-called "Arab exceptionalism"—that is the notion that Arabs are not interested in democracy, are indifferent to whether it is present in their lives or not, and are basically not ready for it. A second dismantled illusion is that of the "good dictator" that is based on the claim that dictators loyal to the West are a better bet than the Islamist alternative. A third illusion concerns the idea that the Arab world is itself a construct and that the attractiveness of a supranational Arab identity has gone. The Arab revolutions, however, have proved the above theories wrong. It is not a coincidence that the wave for change broke out in a number of Arab states at the same time and in the same fashion with more or less the same slogans shouted out in the same language, and were able in a very short time to bring down four regimes. The Arab revolutions took academic circles by surprise and made some academics claim that understanding the future of Middle East politics required that academics carry out a serious reassessment of the restored importance of Pan-Arab identity.