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The New Middle East: Protest and Revolution in the Arab World

Fawaz Gerges (ed)
Cambridge University Press (21 January 2014) 

When the Arab Spring uprisings first broke out in 2010, their sheer scale was staggering. From Tunisia to Egypt to Libya to Syria, millions of hopeful Arabs defied fear and violence to call for bread, freedom, social justice, and more representative and egalitarian political and economic systems. Now that a few years have passed, such hope remains but the reality is complicated: Political, ideological, and sectarian divisions obstruct progress, and many still live in abject poverty. Although the Arab uprisings of 2010-12 were undoubtedly a watershed event, clearly much work and struggle remain.

The New Middle East, edited by Fawaz A Gerges, is the first comprehensive and interdisciplinary study to examine the causes, drivers, and effects of the events of the Arab Spring on the internal, regional, and international politics of the Middle East and North Africa. Gerges and his team of leading scholars investigate specific conditions, but also highlight broader connections between individual case studies and systemic conditions throughout the Arab world, which include the crisis of political authority, the failure of economic development, and new genres of mobilisation and activism, especially communication technology and youth movements. Last but not least, they also reflect on the prospects for democratic change in individual states and in the region as a whole.

Best known as an expert on Middle East politics and the author of many books including The Far Enemy: why jihad went global, Gerges leads a mix of well-established political scientists, political economists, social anthropologists, and historians. 

"Far from over, this revolutionary moment is still unfolding before our eyes, an open-ended struggle that will play out in the coming years," says Gerges. "If history serves as a guide, revolutionary moments - as opposed to revolutions that swiftly overturn a society’s social, economic and political structure, all within a relative short time frame - will take time and space to produce a revolutionary outcome."

Rigorous and timely, The New Middle East assesses not only why the Arab Spring uprisings spread, but their impact in the years to come.


Fawaz Gerges is a Professor of International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Gerges is the author of several acclaimed books, including Obama and the Middle East: The End of America's Moment?, The Rise and Fall of Al Qaeda and The Far Enemy: Why Jihad Went Global. He has also written extensively on Arab politics and the international relations of the Middle East.


Fawaz A. Gerges, Lisa Anderson, Juan Cole, Ali Kadri, Rami Zurayk, Anne Gough, Charles Tripp, John Chalcraft, Philippe Droz-Vincent, Sami Zubaida, John Sidel, Roger Owen, Sadik Al-Azm, Gabriele Vom Bruck, Atiaf al-Wazir, Benjamin Wiacek, Karim Mezran, Kristian Ulrichsen, Madawi Al-Rasheed, Avi Shlaim, Mohammed Ayoob, William Quandt, Federica Bicchi, Valerie Bunce