Building Decent Societies? Economic Situation and Political Cohesion after the Arab Uprisings
Arab Transformations Working Paper No. 17
37 Pages Posted: 11 May 2017 Last revised: 10 Oct 2017
Date Written: May 7, 2017
The focus of this paper is the main drivers of the 2010-11 Arab Uprisings across the Arab and draws on data from the ArabTrans public opinion survey, as well as the Arab Barometer, the Gallup World Poll and World Development Indicators. It asks to what extent people think that things are getting better, whether post-2011 regimes are addressing the concerns of their people and delivering a way of life that people have reason to value. The analysis is illustrated by looking at three cases that are generally taken as epitomising relatively stable post-Uprising countries that have experienced different outcomes: Tunisia, Jordan and Egypt. Tunisia is democratizing, while there has been a counter revolution and the reestablishment of authoritarian rule in Egypt and autocratic consolidation in Egypt. People see the main drivers of the Uprisings as concerns about their economic situation and government corruption and they see these as the main challenges facing their countries. However, in 2011 they are relatively optimistic that things will get better but by 2014 if anything they think that the economic situation has got worse and that levels of corruption are remain high and that governments are not really making a concerted effort to tackle the problem. Only a small majority think that 2011 Uprisings were driven by people wanting political rights or that lack of political rights is one of the major challenges in 2011 or 2014. However, people do not trust their governments and are dissatisfied with their performance in office.
Keywords: Arab Uprisings, Public Opinion, Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, Economic Situation, Political Rights, Democracy, Corruption, Decent Society
JEL Classification: Z13
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation