The meaning of the Arab Awakening

This week, I attended the last session in my 12-week course on “International Relations And World Conflict” led by lecturer Dr Dale Mineshima-Lowe and held at the City Lit in central London.  The course has coincided with an explosion of dissent in north Africa and the Middle East which has been called the Arab Awakening, so we have had some fascinating discussions about the causes and consequences of these historic and transformative events.

There is a perceptive article in the “Guardian” today by Soumaya Ghannoushi who makes the important point that:

“… people are not only rebelling against an internationally backed political authoritarianism but against the economic model imposed by the IMF, World Bank and, in the case of Tunisia and Egypt, the EU’s structural reform programmes. Millions have been left to fend for themselves as state-owned firms have been sold to foreign investors and a cabal of local partners: corruption flourished as a result.”


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