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Why Middle East Studies Missed the Arab Spring: The Myth of Authoritarian Stability
F. Gregory Gause III
Foreign Affairs
Vol. 90, No. 4 (JULY/AUGUST 2011), pp. 81-84, 85-90 (10 pages)
Published By: Council on Foreign Relations
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Middle East experts were as surprised as everyone else by the Arab revolts. Focused on explaining the stability of local autocracries in recent decades, they under-estimated the hidden forces driving change. As they wipe the egg off their faces, they need to reconsider long-held assumptions about the Arab world.
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Founded in 1921, the Council on Foreign Relations is an independent, nonpartisan membership organization, think tank, and publisher dedicated to being a resource for its members, government officials, business executives, journalists, educators and students, civic and religious leaders, and other interested citizens in order to help them better understand the world and the foreign policy choices facing the United States and other countries. The Council sponsors several hundred meetings each year, provides up-to-date information and analysis on its website (CFR.org), and publishes Foreign Affairs, the preeminent journal in the field, as well as dozens of other reports and books by noted experts.
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