The political transformations initiated by the so-called Arab Spring in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and Yemen have been marked by strong political contention, continued social mobilization and, albeit to different degrees, weak central state institutions. This book proposes that, rather than agreed roadmaps of institutional change (e.g. elections, drawing up new constitutions) and centrally crafted transition processes, it has been the competition of key political actors for resources of political power and control that has set the pace and influenced the direction and depth of the transformation processes. Hence, the contributions in this volume use an actor-centred approach. Two perspectives are assumed: first key political actors – referring to the "Politically Relevant Elite (PRE)"– are identified and their motivations as well as their strategies and capacities to steer the transformation process. Secondly , the authors investigate the capacity of politically "Mobilized Publics" to exert influence on agenda setting and decision making, ask to what extent popular and social movements have emerged as political actors in their own right, and to what extent such forms of bottom-up participation have constituted a fundamental change to the political culture of these countries. Both avenues of inquiry analyze how the elites are constrained by continued social mobilization, how they engage with mobilized publics to promote their own agendas, and whether the extended scope of popular participation contributes to the legitimacy and stability of the emerging political orders, or causes disruption, fragmentation and conflict. This book was previously published as a special issue of Mediterranean Politics.
1. Introduction: Dynamics of Transformation, Elite Change and New Social Mobilization in the Arab World
Muriel Asseburg and Heiko Wimmen
2. Managing Change: How Egypt's Military Leadership Shaped the Transformation
3. Youth Movements in the Egyptian Transformation: Strategies and Repertoires of Political Participation
4.Libya’s Local Elites and the Politics of Alliance Building
5. Mobilized Publics in Post-Qadhafi Libya: The Emergence of New Modes of Popular Protest in Tripoli and Ubari
6. Islamists, Secularists and Old Regime Elites in Tunisia: Bargained Competition
7. Contested Transformation: Mobilized Publics in Tunisia between Compliance and Protest
8. Political Bargaining and Violent Conflict: Shifting Elite Alliances as the Decisive Factor in Yemen’s Transformation
9. Yemen’s Enduring Resistance: Youth Between Politics and Informal Mobilization
10. Conclusion: Explaining the Arab Uprisings: Transformations in comparative perspective
The Mediterranean Politics series takes an inter-disciplinary approach which, while generally focused on the disciplines of politics and international relations, also encompasses economics, human geography, sociology, and religious studies, in order to shed light on the interconnectedness of polities and societies in the Mediterranean region. The series takes the study of Mediterranean politics as a focal point to examine the global and transnational linkages between the Mediterranean area and the wider world. Showcasing cutting edge new research on regional, transnational and comparative politics, it provides a forum for the discussion of Mediterranean politics with special reference to the interaction between European and Middle Eastern & North African countries.