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Arab Spring- background, causes, impact, present situation etc
FEBRUARY 7, 2015
The Arab Spring was a series of anti-government and pro-democracy wave of revolutionary protests, uprisings and armed rebellions that spread across the Middle East in early 2011.
Arab Nation, consists of the 22 Arabic-speaking countries of the Arab League
1 Let us look at the condition of these Arab states prior to revolution.
3Impact of the uprising
4 Current situation
4.11. Bahrain
4.22. Egypt
4.33. Iraq
4.44. Iran
4.55. Lebanon
4.67. Libya
4.8 9.Tunisia
5Points to ponder over  
6Please Share & Support Us:
Let us look at the condition of these Arab states prior to revolution.
Authoritarian rule few civil liberties and unaccountability.
Prolonged rules many ruler reigned for more than 20 years each.
Unaccountability and corruption ubiquitous.- high visible nepotism
Rich oil resources were not used for the benefits of people.
No democratic polity.
weak economic status of the peole.
Arab Youth: Demographic dividends
Arab nations experienced the demographic dividends after late 1990’s. The dictators ruling these areas of middle east couldn’t keep up reforms in pace with the population growth=> dissatisfaction.
It is the major cause of protests with widespread unemployment and low standards of living.
Old Dictatorships
Many rulers (many were founding rulers) couldn’t keep pace with the economic growth which was required for the 21st century. Corruption, non-transparency were all visible. A deep anti-incumbency factor developed among the minds of people in general and youth in particular.
Corruption and malpractices.
There was no mechanism to check corruption which was widespread.With low standards of living and mean public services, it was difficult for the citizens to have a decent life
A wave of nationalist sentiments prevailed across the Arab states to take back the lost glory of the middle east during the medieval era. This appealed to masses mainly the youth who have responded to the call to reform their country from tyranny.
Role of social media (This was the question in 2011 mains)
Social networking platforms have played a role as a hosting platform to ventilate views, anger, opinions, mobilize the masses and organise protests. It was due to the social media that the revolutions witnessed widespread reach.
Leaderless Revolt
Protests were largely spontaneous and triggered due to build up of dissatisfaction over many years. There was no visible leadership . Protests were organised locally and communicated over the social media.
Rallying Call of the Mosque
although the protests were secular in outlook and agenda, religious places became centers of gathering and propagation of ideas of revolution.
Repressive State Response
the response of the state towards the revolts were repressive and inhumane. This has further strengthened the cause and popularity of the movement.
Domino effect
Within few months of protests, entire northern Africa and Arabian peninsula countries came under the grip of protests for reforms. It spread to almost 10 countries and shaken up entire Arab world and old Aristocratic countries.
Immediate trigger –  the self-immolation of Tunisian Mohamed Bouazizi.
His death on 4 January 2011, which brought together various groups dissatisfied with the existing system, including many unemployed, political and human rights activists, labor, trade unionists, students, professors, lawyers, and others to begin the Tunisian Revolution.
Uniqueness: The protests have shared some techniques of civil resistance in sustained campaigns involving strikes, demonstrations, marches, and rallies, as well as the effective use of social media to organize, communicate, and raise awareness in the face of state attempts at repression and Internet censorship.
Impact of the uprising
End of Unaccountable Governments
dictators were removed. People now were aware of their political rights and asked for a democratic government. The governments across the Arab region have been forced into reform, aware that corruption, incompetence and police brutality will no longer be unchallenged.
Explosion of Political Activity
The Middle East has witnessed an explosion of political activity, particularly in the countries where the revolts successfully removed the long-serving leaders.
Instability: Islamist-Secular Divide
there emerged deep divisions constitutions and the speed of reform. In Egypt and Tunisia in particular, the society divided into Islamist and secular camps that fought bitterly over the role of Islam in politics and society.
Democracy wins
This protests reflect the fact that, people wont tolerate the brutality of dictatorship, however powerful he/she might be.
Conflict and Civil War – due to  breakdown of the old order, many faction groups with varied loyalties were formed leading to an armed conflict. Events turning up in the middle east countries like Syria, ISIS, Iraq are the consequences of it.
Flared up the religious and sectoral divide between the people.
Sunni-Shiite Tension - the Arab Spring reinforced the tensions in several countries. Faced with the uncertainty of seismic political changes, many people sought refuge in their religious community.Example- protests in Bahrain, syria etc.
Economic Uncertainty – reduced the foreign inflows due to instability. Economic wellbeing was still not taken care of.
Current situation
1. Bahrain
Current Leader: King Hamad bin Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa
Political System: Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy
Further Details: Mass pro-democracy protests erupted in February 2011, prompting a government crackdown aided by troops from Saudi Arabia. But unrest continues, as a restless Shiite majority confronts a state dominated by the Sunni minority. The ruling family has yet to offer any significant political concessions.
2. Egypt
Current Leader: Abdel Fattah el-sisi
Political System: Unitary semi-presidential republic
Current Situation: Democratic elections held 2014
Further Details: Egypt remains locked in a protracted process of political transition after the resignation of the long-serving leader Hosni Mubarak in February 2011, with most of the real political power still in the hands of the military. Mass anti-government protests in July 2013 forced the army to remove Egypt’s first democratically elected president, Mohammed Morsi, amid deep polarization between the Islamists and secular groups.
3. Iraq
Current Leader: President- Fuad Masum , Prime Minister- Haider al-Abadi
Political System: Federal Parliamentary Republic
Current Situation: High risk of political and religious violence
Further Details: Iraq’s Shiite majority dominates the governing coalition, placing growing strain on the power-sharing agreement with Sunnis and Kurds. ISIS is using the Sunni resentment of the government to mobilize support for its escalating campaign of violence and controlling swathes of territory in North and Northeastern Iraq.
4. Iran
Current Leader: Supreme Leader- Ayatollah Ali Khamenei / President- Hassan Rouhani
Political System:Unitary presidential Islamic republic
Current Situation: Regime infighting / Tensions with the West
Further Details: Iran’s oil-dependent economy is under severe strain due to sanctions imposed by the West over the country’s nuclear program. Meanwhile, supporters of former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad vie for power with factions backed by Ayatollah Khamenei, and reformists who are placing their hopes in President Hassan Rouhani.
5. Lebanon
Current Leader: Tammam Salam
Political System: Unitary Parliamentary multi-confessionalist republic
Current Situation: High risk of political and religious violence
Further Details: Lebanon’s governing coalition backed by the Shiite militia Hezbollah has close links to the Syrian regime, while the opposition is sympathetic to Syrian rebels who have established a rear base in northern Lebanon. Clashes erupted between rival Lebanese groups in the north, capital remains calm but tense.
7. Libya
Current Leader: Prime Minister Abdullah Al tani
Political System: unitary provisional parliamentary republic
Current Situation: General national congress since 2012
Further Details: July 2012 parliamentary elections were won by a secular political alliance. However, large parts of Libya are controlled by militias, former rebels that brought down the regime of Col. Muammar al-Qaddafi. Frequent clashes between rival militias threaten to derail the political process. An Islamist minority of the General National Congress, having lost the elections, reconvened in August 2014.
Current Leader: President Bashar al-Assad
Political System: Unitary single-party semi-presidential republic
Current Situation: Sandwiched by IS controlled areas and government controlled areas.
Further Details: Since March 2011, Syria has been embroiled in an uprising against Assad and the Ba’athist government as part of the Arab Spring, a crackdown which contributed to the Syrian Civil War and Syria becoming among the least peaceful countries in the world. The Syrian Interim Government was formed by the opposition umbrella group, the Syrian National Coalition, in March 2012. Representatives of this government were subsequently invited to take up Syria’s seat at the Arab League
Current Leader: President Beji Caid Essebsi
Political System: Unitary semi-presidential republic
Current Situation: Sandwiched by IS controlled areas and government controlled areas.
Further Details : In 2011, a revolution resulted in the overthrow of the autocratic President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali followed by the country’s first free elections. Since then, Tunisia has been consolidating democracy. The country held its first Presidential elections since the 2011 Arab Spring on November 23, 2014.
Current Leader: Head of the Revolutionary Committee Mohammed Ali al-Houthi
Political System: Provisional government 
Current Situation: Sandwiched by IS controlled areas and government controlled areas.
Further Details : In January 2011, a series of street protests began against poverty, unemployment, corruption and president Saleh’s plan to amend Yemen’s constitution and eliminate presidential term limit, in effect making him president for life
A National Dialogue Conference was launched on 18 March 2012 to reach consensus on major issues facing the country’s future. The closing ceremony was held on 25 January 2014. Yemen will become a multi-region federal republic
In August 2014, Yemen experienced unrest which led to Houthi militias taking over Sana’a and the signing of a Peace and National Partnership Agreement (PNPA) which established a new unity government including a variety of Yemeni factions. Hadi, his prime minister and cabinet resigned on 23 January 2015  amid a political impasse against the Houthis.
Points to ponder over  
What is the role of India and other like-minded countries in restoring stability and peace to the middle east.   (12.5 marks)
What are the security and strategic implications for India in the wake of IS becoming a formidable force . Review India’s preparedness in this regard?   (12.5 marks)
Analyse india’s security preparedness in the light of 2nd sunrise of Islamic extremism on Indian soil ?
”Social Media is major medium of attracting youth into IS cadres”. In the light of above fact, Analyse how social media influence youth of India towards extremism. What has government done to stop Indians leaving the country to fight for the ISIS?
What are the ethical issues involved in extremist terrorism. What are the global efforts towards its elimination. Suggest ethical solutions to tackle it ? 
How has Indian polity sustained over the decades inspite of deep fissures in the Indian cultural scene compared to middle east ?
With your knowledge of various types of governments, suggest a suitable and stable government system for the middle east and why ?
Please post your answers below. 
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Tags: arab spring
February 7, 2015 at 6:29 pm

good one sir, covers all the issues associated with arab spring. You made it simple for us. Questions are of very high standard matching UPSC
February 7, 2015 at 11:21 pm

awesome sir..Questions are highly anayltical in nature
February 8, 2015 at 7:56 am

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