Authoritarianism And Its Effects On The Arab Spring Essay

1954 Words Dec 11th, 2016 8 Pages
The literature on persistent authoritarianism relies on a variety of hypothesis to explain the exceptionalism of the MENA region to maintain authoritarian regimes. Certain variables or prerequisites of a state to achieve a democratic reform are considered in Bellin’s article. Bellin stresses that these variables are not enough to explain authoritarian resilience in the region nor either the success or failure of states to transition to democracy. This essay will aim to validate proposed hypotheses for authoritarianism persistence seen in class according to the outcomes of the Arab Spring. Of the four proposed hypotheses seen in class: culture, weak civil society, “the rentier state”, and “the coercive state”, the events of the Arab Uprising confirm that rentier states have the capacity to maintain a coercive apparatus with strong military, as well as to lower dissent through patronage, preventing mass uprisings, political change, and therefore hindering democracy. The persistent authoritarian literature presents prerequisite variables that explain persistence authoritarianism. These are: the lack of civil society, a market-driven economy, low income and literacy levels, democratic neighbors and alienated culture to democracy (Bellin 141). Although these variables are present in the region, and play a role in authoritarian regimes, they are not sufficient explanation for the MENA region, given that other regions did manage to make the transition to democracy even though…

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