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Institute of Asian and Oriental Studies

IAOS Lecture: Alive and Kicking: The Revolutionary Process in the Middle East and North Africa


Prof. Dr. Gilbert Achcar (Department of Development Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London)

Date, Time and Location
March 27, 2018, 6pm - 8 pm, University of Zurich, Institute of Asian and Oriental Institute, Room RAA G15, Rämistrasse 59, 8001 Zürich


Less than two years after the first wave of uprisings in 2011, the euphoria of the “Arab Spring” gave way to the gloom of backlash and descent into mayhem and war. The revolution was overwhelmed by clashes between rival counter-revolutionary forces: resilient old regimes on the one hand and Islamic fundamentalist contenders on the other. Understood as an ephemeral bid for democracy, the “Arab Spring” seemed over. However, grasping its deep socio-economic roots informed a different view: that of a long-term revolutionary process that will be going through successive phases of upsurge and backlash in a region that will remain in turmoil as long as its development potential is not freed from its shackles. The new regional wave of social-political protests that marked the beginning of 2018 confirms this perspective.