The Role of the Military in the Arab Uprisings The Cases of Tunisia and Libya
Focused on the 2010-2011 Arab Uprisings, this book examines the role of the military in Tunisia and Libya, arguing that both armies contributed decisively to the outcome and form of the respective uprisings.
The book begins by contextualizing the uprisings, with both countries plagued by anti-democratic politics and unequal social and economic structures in the 2000s. Alongside this, the book explores the key actors and factors leading up to, during, and after the uprisings. Employing a comparative case study methodology and drawing from approaches in rational choice theory and institutionalism, the author argues that the tripartite configuration of energy capacity, military structure, and strength of protest led to dichotomous outcomes in the countries. Tunisia, where the military defected, was marked by a lack of energy wealth, apolitical military structure, and high level of protest, enabling a nonviolent transfer of power. In contrast, in Libya, where parts of the military remained loyal to Gaddafi’s regime, protests evolved into violent civil conflict.
Making use of expert and elite interviews obtained from fieldwork in Tunisia, as well as data from the research field, the book will appeal to specialists and students interested in international politics, military and security studies, and the MENA region.