External Factors and Arab Revolutions: Four Research Questions

This study adopts a comparative approach to investigate the impact of the reciprocal fears of internal and external parties on the stances of key actors during the 2011 transitions. Apparently, the uncertainty that accompanies any democratic elections has not been a local factor in the Arab cases because regional and international forces have an interest in hindering democracy, being a potential threat to the status quo. The study examines four interrelated problems related to external factors. It concludes that the external factors that have hindered democracy in non-Arab cases were not inevitable because addressing them seems to have been related to changes in the international system and the emergence of domestic democratic blocs that are able to exert pressure on external forces and get them to change their positions.

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Abstract

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This study adopts a comparative approach to investigate the impact of the reciprocal fears of internal and external parties on the stances of key actors during the 2011 transitions. Apparently, the uncertainty that accompanies any democratic elections has not been a local factor in the Arab cases because regional and international forces have an interest in hindering democracy, being a potential threat to the status quo. The study examines four interrelated problems related to external factors. It concludes that the external factors that have hindered democracy in non-Arab cases were not inevitable because addressing them seems to have been related to changes in the international system and the emergence of domestic democratic blocs that are able to exert pressure on external forces and get them to change their positions.

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