1st Edition

The Role of the Military in the Arab Uprisings The Cases of Tunisia and Libya

By Ali Sarihan Copyright 2023
    246 Pages 25 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    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.

    Introduction  1. Civil-Military Relations and Uprisings  2. Methodology: Comparative Case Study  Part I: Tunisia  3. The Genesis of the Tunisian Uprisings  4. Actors and Factors in Tunisia 5. Tunisia: Energy Capacity, Military, and Protests: Energy Capacity, Military Structure, and the Strength of Protests  Part II: Libya  6. The Genesis of the Libyan Uprisings  7. Actors and Factors in Libya 8. Libya: Energy Capacity, Military, and Protests: Energy Capacity, Military Structure, and the Strength of Protests  Conclusion


    Ali Sarihan is a research fellow in the Department of Political Sciences at Missouri State University. He has previously studied at Indiana University (Bloomington), Georgetown University (Washington, D.C.), and the University of Nottingham in the UK. His studies focus on Civil-Military Relations, Social Movements, Revolutions, Democracy, and Democratization. His work has been published in Democratization, Alternatives, and Turkish Journal of Politics, among other journals.