Freedom house rating (1 is good) is very bad in the region. Morocco only had a partly free rating
before the arab spring. Large populations. A bit of oil money with Algeria and Libya. Gdp per
capita very low. HDI very low. Libyan number is a bit suspicious. Part of ottoman empire. Local governor had a degree of autonomy. One of those parts of the
ottoman empire that pushed for defensive modernization. Reforms in education and
administration. In 1881 --. Becomes a French proctectorate. This is the period where north
Africa (Tunisia, morocco and Algeria come under French colonial rule). There were protest and
limited violence in the run up to independence after ww2. Neo destour emerged as primary poli
actor. Tunisian gained independence 1956 normally as a monarchy. New destour essentially put
the king under house arrest and eventully a republic emerged. Habib boughiba leader of new
destour who became the 1 pres of Tunisia.
Egypt muhammed ali tried his own defensive modernization mounting debt crises brits and
French (to whom much opf the debts were owed and who owned the suez canal) to put ina kind
of receivership to take over their finances and with finances, the admin of the country urabi
revolt Egypt under fully brits
Resistance to brit colonial rule mostly after ww1 brit granting independence in 1922. Limited
indep. Brit troops remain in the canal zone. Indeed they remained in all of Egypt in ww2. So
although Egypt gained nominal indep in 1922. It was under brit influence and control cos of brits
strategic needs specially through the ww2. Libya another semi autonomus part of the ottoman empire. Conquered by Italy from 1911
onwords. Italians essentially took three parts: 1) western part of Libya(Tripoli), 2) eastern part
(Benghazi) 3) southern part (Sahara) and sort of put them together in modern Libya continued
tensions. Easter part of the country resent the politics in the west. Indep UN managed
transitional process in 1950s. Italians lost control of it during ww2. It wasn’t until 1970s that
middle eastern regimes starting to gain much revenure from oil cos prices were low and they
only got a small percentage.
1969 group of nationalist army officers Monarchy was overthrown. Qaddafi comes in.
The thing about Algeria (unlike most of the other areas) it was the target of overwhelming
colonial rule. For france Algeria was not a colony. Algeria was a part of france for france. The
French dream was to expand france to north Africa. So Algeria was under intense French colonial scene. A million setllers by the early 1950s. most of em French but many Italians and
Spanish. FLN emerged as the leading nationalist movement in the 1950s and launched war of
national liberation (bloody cost: 200 000 algerians. HAZAARON LOG KILLED for French to
hang on to its colonial posessions) ironically in many ways the French won the military struggle.
By the end of the war the FLN controlled less and less of the areas it had. But the war had
broken the will of French people to retain control and had raised the cost of colonial occupation.
So in 1962 with da gaulle now in power in france, indep given. FLN assumes power. (often after
a war of national liberation: one party state emerges, the party which had led the war of national
liberation examples include: Vietnam) this was seen in france.
So we have very diff trajectories to indep. From violant uprisings in Algeria to a kind of indirect
colonial rule with lil bits of power given off to Egyptian monarchy with brits retaining
considerable leverage in Egypt.
Was the kingdom where the current dynasty traces its roots back to the 17 century. It is the
only long standing monarchy in the middle east. Centuries of ruling. In 1912 French
procteroate. The French tried a kind of indirect colonial rule leaving the monarchy intact. Lil bits
of morocco cam under the Spanish rule, indeed there are still some parts under Spanish control.
But the French presence gave rise to opposition both from the monarch and nationalist political
parties: istiqlal party (most imp)
The French faces growing protest (also in Tunisia, Algeria) French tried to crush this nationalist
emergeness in morocco by exiling the king. Which backfired as population united against
French colonialism. Morocco indep 1956 under muhammed V
Then Hassan II key role in consolidation in post colonial monarchy. And then he is succeded
by muhammed VI - Private sector remained quite vibrant certainly COMPARED TO Egypt under nasir or
Algeria under fln
- Most liberal personal status laws in middle east – rights of women, marriage, divorce,
- You always knew who will win: destour
- Western foreign policy and the west dint have any prob with this authoritarian rule
soeacially through the cold war era.
- Replaced by interior ministery general: ben ali Ben ali when came initially offered partial poli reforms. Kind of the trend in the middle east when
a new leader comes in power he offers some reforms which are not really reforms.
Elections he won
Islamist suppressed – partly cos of Algeria (there is a fear amongst authoritarians that islamist
will screw em up)
Tunisia undertook econ liberalization in 90s. went further then most other middle eastern
countries. Had good econ growth comparatively. Better then developing countries. Econ growth
rate through 90s and 2000s were generally above avg in the region and the developing world.
There was however an idea in the public about how ben ali and his family and inlaws were using
state resources for their own benefits. That disproportionate part of state resources are being
used by ben alis family. This is one of the reports leaked by the wiki leaks.
Wins elections with 90 percent plus vote. Wikileak report. Theres another report where they told about their luxurious life.
Many people benefited from the regime. Upper classes, econ elites but the sense that too much
benefit was goin towords the people around ben ali. Even by the people who were doing very
well under ben ali regime felt this.
King faroq king when Egypt took indep overthrown by nationalist army officers (free officers) (
qaddafis coup in 1969 Libya later was based on the coup of Nasser in many ways). The free
officers citied corruption for social inequality. They dint cite arab nationalism much during 50s as
Nasser emerged as a leader he took an increasingly arab nationalist stance. He did many things listed above. Land reform – to take land take from the rich and given to the very poor. Both for
econ, social and poli reasons.
Suez canal was nationalized. Egypt was subject to attack by isreal france and brit in 1956 which
resulted in all those armies and a mjor polit victory (not much of a military victory) but a
diplomatic poli victory for the Egyptian pres which spurred the embrace of panarabism and
increased his influence.
58-62 egyptian and Syria unified united arab republic involved a lot of Egyptian officers to run
Syria and Syrians got pissed off and left the scene.
l\gter in 60s he embraced arab socilasm and expanded the role of the state. Formed arab
socialist union. 67 egypt along with with other arab countries was defeated in the war with
Israel. Which did real damage to appeal of Arabism. There has been a decade of rhetoric
Arabism often with Israel as the focus. And so when the war comes in 67, Arabism is hardly a
success. Gaza strip and west bank taken by the Israel. Large parts of Syrian Golan heights,
Naseer died in 1970 at a point where arab nationalism was declining. He was succeded by
73 arab Israeli war. It results objectively in Egyptian military defeat but it was a political success.
That Egypt and Syria managed to mount one of the biggest strategic surprises by catching
Israel off guards and penetrating defensive lines which were thought to impenetrable. Sadat did
this to convince the isrealis that they need to talk to him cos he is a threat cos aftr 67 israel
thought arabs were hopeless, they cant wina war and so its no use to negotiate with them. But
in 73 israelis were panicked and were prepared to use nuclear weapons. Sadat reorients the
domestic and foregin policy. He engages in infitah (econ openings) which tries to to attract foreign investments. Reduces the restrictions on businesses to some extent. It’s a slow econ
opening. Not like the one in Tunisia in 80s and 90s but quite significant departure from the arab
social scene in late naseer period. Foreign policy towards US instead of Soviet Union (which
had main ally of naseer)
Cos of reorientation of foreign policy and cos of 73 war, 1979 treaty btw Egypt and Israel which
sees the withdrawel of Israeli forces from occupied parts of Egypt.
He also broke up nasers old poli party the arab socialist union. multiparty system established
but the NDP as the dominant party. (national democratic party with just enough competition to
make it kind of look like a multi party system but with a system fixed that you will always know
whose gonna win which is kind of different from the one party system that we saw in nasir
Sadat flirts with islamist for a while in part cos he is moving aaway from nasirsm that the nasirit
aren’t too fond of him and so he uses the islamist as a counter balance to the nasirite left. But
eventually finds him self in a confrontation with them and clamps down in early 80s and is
assassinated during a military prade.
In many ways the Mubarak regime will follow in the foot steps of sadat regime.
NDP governing party giant patronage machine gives out and uses it to win poli support.
Other then that it doesn’t act much like a poli party.
Violant struggle (a980s) and ending in 90s with militant jihadist groups. Harassment of the non
violant muslim brotherhood but eventually it is allowed to enter the poli process. During the
Mubarak period the muslim brotherhood were allowed to run for some seats in parli but if it looked like they were doing too good they had all their middle ranking cadres arrested to make
sure they didn’t do well.
There is civil society there are certain thuings you don’t talk about like the pres or the army but u
can say anything about the pm. But the president, his sons and army were not to be questioned.
Improved econ performance and by being on the side of America and Kuwait in 91 gulf war
where they got large parts of its debt forgiven for being on the side of America. Unemployment
remained high like in morocco and Tunisia. Youth bulges. You decline fertility and mortality rates
large youth bulge more people entering the labour market then jobs created and so youth
unemployment rates were high in north Africa during 1990s.
NDP winning elections. 9/11 greater external and internal pressure for poli reform in the arab world.
2005 first time competitive pres elections. Uptil now there has been a single candidate. now
Multiple candidates. Ayman nour did best of the opposition candidates. Most ppl dint bother dint
vote. Its interesting to think if 100 percent of Egyptians had showed up and voted against
Mubarak. But most ppl dint show up cos they dint think the system will change. The state had all
kinds of benfits. Ayman nour was allowed to participate and after he lost was thrown back in jail.
Parli elections 2005 muslim brother won almost all the seats they contested in. one of muslim
brother hood official says he hopes that they don’t do any better cos if they did they might be
clamped down upon. Those MPs entered parli but the muslim brotherhood continued to be
harassed and the regime wouldn’t allow brotherhood to be a party even though they had done
very good in the elections.
Egyptian elections take place in multiple stages largely cos they have to be overseen by judges
and they don’t have enough judges to go around. So like in Egypt the areas where muslim
brotherhood can win, the state is using forces to protect the voting place from voters to ensure
they don’t cast votes in favor of the muslim brotherhood.
Intl community voiced very lil concern about the fact that the elections results were being eroded
by harassment of the opposition and they expressed very lil discontent when the next elections
in 2010 were marred by vote rigging and boycotted by much of the opposition.
It was apparent in this period of the early 2000s that husni Mubarak was beginning to groom his
son for succession. Gamal Mubarak is in jail right now but at that time this idea of him
succeeding his father was very unpopular and also unpopular within the military. May b one of
the reasons why Mubarak was abandoned by the military in 2011. Highest HDI in Africa even if we doubt the statistics, it was actually highest in Africa. Great deal
of neopatrimonialism: i.e to say great deal of politically motivated patron client relationship.
Where the regime used its oil money to buy support and use force to silent dissent.
Qaddafi was deeply suspicious of instituitons. In poli sci we don’t like great men theories of
politics. The notion that the leaders omehow make things happens cos there are social factors
which either cause these things to happen or oppose these things. There are constraints. But
inlibya qaddafi constructed a cult personality and he was deeply suspicious of any kind of
institution, poli parties and even his own beureucracy. He established a supposed system of
pyramidal system of peoples congress where loca l neighbourhood people voted for represents
and they voted for represents and so on which was all useless cos it all depended on really
what he himself wanted and later what his sons wanted as they emerged on the poli scene of
the country. No ngos other then the one set up by his son saif. No unions. No poli parties. No
civil society in the sense that existed even in the authoritarian regimes. Very personalistic
leadership and increasingly his sons emerging in prominent roles and the belief that his son saif
was being groomed as the new successor to the regime. 9/11 reorientation of foreign policy towards the west worried that they might face the same fate
as Iraqis. They gave up weapons of mass destruction prog including chem weapn prog and
nuclear (purchased from paki scientist but was not being used cos they dint know how to make
it work, actually bits of nuclear prog all packed up with no idea what to do with it.
Algeria after indep was being dominated by the army and its forces. But there were poli splits
which became visible when the pres ben bella lost power in 65. Under houari oil money for
govt. programs for econ growth, social services. But spent more money then it actually had from
oil revenues. heavy debt. (ironic)
Chadli benjedid had to deal with this debt he decided to undertake some reforms he coupled
econ and poli reforms. Opening up of regime in 90 and 92 elections. Open questions: how far was benjedid willing to go with reforms? Was he up for it all the way? Did it get away from him?
What really he wanted and what happened?
Clear in local and parli election in 90 and 92 was that FIS (Islamic salvation front) a militant
Islamic party was doing very well and could have won the parli elections. To win them was big
cos u could then change the constitution. So the army intervened and cancelled the poli process
and opening. Averted FIS victory which civil war btw increasinggly radicalized FIS and the
army/regime(FLN) Algerian civil war Algerian poli development scarred uptil now cos of this.
Benjedid removed from power in comes military council replced by general. Regime began
to witness civil war it began to be in position to negotiate with the islamist truce with FIS
Civil war regime wins amnesty taken by most radical islam opposition takes but some parts
dint. Civil war is just over. We just have some continuing spark of terrorism.
Berber: minority, non arab ethinic minority present in north Africa. Berber politics is quite diff in
Algeria Tunisia Libya and morocco. Algeria: regime policy had emphasized the arab identity of
Algeria. For decades no recognition of their lingo and culture although berbers are a sig minority
in Algeria. emergence of berber identity, berber parties come up and periodic protests in
berber areas. Ironically the regimes attempt to homogenize the Algerian identity results in
actually berber identity being increased.
Tunisia has some berbers but not that much
Berbers in Libya: who again were marginalized and were simply not recognized. Indeed many of
their areas were redeveloped where their villages were finished off and replaced with buildings
etc. in overthrow of qaddafi they berber groups played a very imp role in military declopments just bfre fall of tripoli. New Libyan govt recognized berber lingo. There are however issues over
berber identity and regional autonmy still.
Morocco: for hundreds of years berber population has been integerated in the patron client
relationships with the monarchy as other non berber groups have been result its hard to tell
who is berber in morocco. Cos the patron client networks of berber monarchy have been
inclusionary for centuries. And so hasn’t become an identity for politics.
Shows the ways in which state policy can effect identity.
Under boutefika some econ improve: partly cos price of oil went up. There was some multi
partyism. But largely party linked to regime won elections. Army and old guard remain powerful.
The mysterious people in the army and regime who are known to have quite a bit of power but
no one knows who they are or how they work. Algeria: peculiar case where every one knows
who the pres but no one is entirely sure who the contours of poli power are. Every time theres a
cabinet reshuffle or someone is appointed as an army officer, no one knows who have what kind
of poli power and how much influential the pres is or isn’t. so in contarast to Egypt (Mubarak) or
Tunisia (ben ali) we knew who the pres was and his poli power. We don’t in Algeria who really
has the poli power. Hassan II pres opposition from: leftist, unions and even the military. Irony: although morocco
looks relatively stable later on, Hassan barely survived the 70s. he survived a coup attempt
during his bday party and survived cos he hid in the washroom. Another coup where morocco
rebel pilots tried to shoot down his plane. They shot. Royal plane pilot told them that you killed
him now stop shooting. They stopped shooting. But he was alive and got off the plane and
crushed the coup. Hassan second almost died in 70s and this made his rule very remarkable
cos he managed to consolidate the power. State tressury, elite around the palace are used as
patronage system. Very imp is the patronage system. Very much suppression. Most
consolidates regime in 1975 pres franco (fascist dictator) of spain dying spain has colonial
possession in Africa western sahara. What will happen to western sahara? Will it be
decolonize? Franco is dying? What morocco does is marches into western sahara and annexes
it. First it annexes the top half with maurtinia takes the other half. But then morocco takes all of
it. But how they take it is with civilians marching into western sahara and claiming it a historic
part of morocco. Those Moroccan civilians were backed with Moroccan army. Then they faced
years of gurella warfare with polasaria ( the local population armed sharia nationalist movement)
which the morocco govt finally wins. But this makes Hassan popular. Later half of 1970s where
army is backing him and fighting the insurgency in western sahara. Econ challenges. Some
reform in 90s. the king the palace remained firmly in control. Hassan died. Succession by son.
Again the story if he is a reformist? In some ways yes there were reforms. Release of poli prisonors. Removal of some security
officials involved in worst cases of reppression domestically. Clamp down particularly cos of
Thing about morocco elections: no one ever wins the majority. System is designed to make sure
no one wins the majority. Cos if no one wins the majority thn the palace can tip btw different poli
actors to get outcomes it wants. Graph shows no one wins majority. So everything is based on what relations you have with the
king and the patronage system.
When we look at poli systems, the authoritarian regimes tend to prefer a dominant poli system.
RCD in Tunisia. NDP in Egypt. They want their parties to win. Monarchies prefer fragmented poli
system cos then the power is with the king (who is not a member of a ppoli party) like in
morocco, Jordan, Kuwait many parties and palace claiming that I am above all of em.
Authoritarian republics use parties to mobilize support for themselves vs. the monarchies where
they want the central role amidst a fragmented poli system.
Party fragmentation tends to facilitate regime patronage.
Morocco takes constitutional reforms in arab spring. King gives up his ability to choose pm.
Constitution revised that the pm is always from the party with most seats. If you look at morocoo
politics today, the palace is still the leading poli force. In the sense that things haven’t changed
much. We have a pjd islamist pm but palace still has all kinds of influence. But it may be that
later these constitional reforms might come to bite the king (like we see in britian how small
const reforms resulted in monarchy being limited and limited and limited)
Consolidation of regimes in north Africa so that by 2000s the regimes are ticking more or less
quite smoothly. Very lil changed in tunisa, egypts muabarak system seems ok, moroca and
Libya are doing ok like stable. Algeria exiting civil war with some poli stability. NOW WE GET TO
BAAM BAAM BAAM ARAB SPRING BHENCHOD!
Morocco monarchy which remained under French rule (quite diff from French excercising
indirect rule). Remained after indep. Kind of hard in the first kings period. Hard in till 1975 for
Hassan II. Monarch
y remains. The current king even relaxing a bit now. Less suppression etc
Algeria very diff. a bloody gruiella war against the French for indep. Eventually the French left.
Fln emerged as a single party ruler in Algeria. That continued up till the 1980s when Algeria had
hugh econ issues cos of high deficit and so ben jedid tried to come up with electoral reforms.
But when it looked like the islamist are gonna win, the army stepped in and hence a bloody civil
war in Algeria starts again from which Algeria eventually emerged where the power still around
the old guard but a very complicated scenario where u don’t really know who has the power and
how diff actors in the system excercied their control/power
Libya Italian colony gainin indep after ww2 n power seized by qaddafi in 1969 who in essence
did what the ruler of every other middle east country did. He had a lot of oil money. He didn’t set
up institutuions with strong rule of law like other rulers. Instead he was allergic to institutions and
kept changing his mind about how to govern. Also Libya was made up of three very dif parts put
together(lot of regional politics). And also dint have a history of multi party democracy. Kind of a
monarchy? Qaddafi – king of kings? Being ‘succeded’ by saif? So like a monarchy Egypt brit colonial rule nominal indep btw ww1 n ww2 more indep after ww2 1952 free
officers throwing over the monarchy nasir, sadat, Mubarak all continutation of the same
regime where the military plays a key role in upholding the regime. Real shift in ideology
between nasir (pan Arabism + lose foreign policy tilting to soviet) and sadat (econ reforms +
foregin policy towords west + abandoning of Arabism in peace treaties with isreal)
Tunisia French colony republic shaped by habib bourgiba ben ali takes over and follows the
same path. Econ reforms are more then other countries. Ben ali a lil less charismatic than
habib and a lil more corrupt. Pro western foreign policy. Strong middle class bade of support.
Mohammed bouaziz was protesting against police harassament. Protest in sidi bouzid spread
to other rural and semi rural areas finally to the capital (tunis) in a week and a half/ two weeks, UGTT trade union movement backing protest it in a way it never has backed protests.
Previously ugtt had tried to quiten down protest fearing they will damage the econ. Ben alis try
cabinet shuffle. Tries consessions. Blaming outside forces for trouble. Tries sympathizing with
protestors. Tries putting bouzizi in a better hospital before he dies. Tries all sorts of things. But
protests don’t stop. Protests grow. Army refuses to use fire power to crush the protestors. Ben
ali frees to saudia.
Theoretical concepts to understand why now protests?
Is when people might hold one view but they don’t express it cos of fear of expressing it. You
are falsifying your prefernces. One of the things about authoritarian regimes is that people falsify
there prefernces. You don’t go around saying key we hate the pres. Problem with this is that
people don’t know what others are thinking. You are afraid that others may not share the same view or might be a member of the secret police. They need some signal that other people feel
the same way.
Info cascade – when someone might think something but then see other people doiung
someother thing and think ok may be theres something that they know that I don’t know and so I
start doing the same thing. Its when people take signal from what other people are doing. so I
may think that its dangerous to protest but if I see there a hundered thousand people in tahrir
square then may b they know something that I don’t and start following em.
Related to both of them are the perceptions of opportunity structures. I may think today that its
impossible to overthrow regime. They have money and everything. No one voted against
Mubarak in 2005 cos everyone knows elctions are fixed and they cant do anything
It may be that my perception of opportunity structure changes. Bouzid did for Tunisians.
Tunisians did for Egypt.
The more people protest the lower the risk of protesting to one protestor cos its much harder for
the regime to respond to hundred thousand people then just one person.
Qs in class: muslim brotherhood was not registered as a political party in Egypt even though it
had a poli party there, the FJP (freedom and justice party. For years and years muslim brother
hood either been illegal or only allowed to operate as NGO. After overthrow of morsi, the courts
were asked to review the status of the muslim brother hood and the courts have recently
decided that the muslim brother hood should stop its operations and we might be going towards
a ban on the muslim brotherhood.
Syria giving up chem weapons cos it rmmbrs what happened to saddam cos of his wpds. But
did they cheat? The stuff they provided is more then what was expected they will declare. Very
hard to transport weapons. Weapons in areas with insurgencies. You need incinerating facilities
to destroy them. Russian inspectors on the ground can be used as human shields if America
later decides to strike. Inspectors them self not secured. Mayb make chem weapons less
effective by contaminating them but you don’t really want that. Jordan can not legally have chem
weapons on its soil cos it signed a treaty. Syria has these cos of Israel. Very complicated scene. The aforementioned theoretical basis: info cascade and personal falsification and change in
perception of opertunity structure IS WHY MEDIA IS IMP. Cos media tells you what other ppl
may be thinking. Aljazeera showing protest. You connecting with other people through media
and forming like minded groups. Facebook. Texting.
It is fashionable at times to call the arab spring a twitter revolution. Like a Libyan on tv calling it
a twitter revo. But its imp to note that most Libyans don’t twitter and that revo before these were
not cos of media or twitter. There were obvio other ways to communicate before twitter. Internet
peneteration is diff in diff countries.
Media role in diff countries is diff. fewer ppl watched Aljazeera in Egypt thn in other parts of the
middle east. Facebook was quite imp in Egypt. Twitter is much less used and twitter is mostly
used for connection btw activists and activists or activist n the media then btw ordinary ppl.
The connection is th info cascade facilitated by the media. Media it self is not the cause of the
revolution and we have had revo spread much more quickly in the pre internet age then the one
which spread in Tunisia.
Role of intermediate actors was very imp speacially in Tunisia. Intermediate actors: actors with
some social way and cedibility and actors who have some stake in the status quo and whose
actions people take as a signal of wth things are changing a signal of wthr ppl should participate
in the info cascade. When young people started protesting in Tunisia, middle aged ppl were
thinking what is happening? Is it the real thing or just some unemployed thugs. But when the
trade unions start to come out and when lawyers are protesting in tunis in their lawyer clothes
then it gave credibility to the scene and so the rest of the population followed. Intermediate
actors can b quite imp in sending a signal
Open qs what is the impact of repression on public protest? Is it linear? The more you protest
the lest opposition there is? Is it linear in the other direction? That if u repress too much ppl get angry? Is it curvi linear? That is it goes up and down so that a moderate amount of repression is
efficient from regimes point of u cos too lil doesn’t do much and too much just pisses ppl off. Or
does it go the other way? A lil repression works cos ppl don’t really get angry on it and too much
works cos ppl get scared but moderate isn’t enough to scare ppl and instead it isn’t too lil even
to be ok for the ppl and hence moderate ends up pissing ppl off. All of these relations intuitively
make sense and the data is confusing as to which one it is.
Tunisa 2010? Was it that the police was too tough on the initial protest cos ppl saw the police
firing on crowds and going like woah this doesn’t happen in Tunisia despite it being a repressive
country or we could have the argument that less respressive might have worked out by handling
it like anyother periodic protest Tunisia has suffered or you can make the argument that there
were too light if they had been really brutal from day one then ppl wld have had been scared.
Repression and level of repression does effect people perspective of level of opportunities, of
the situation and their willingness to participate in this info cascade thingy we discussed.
perfect example is Syria. Cos even rex dint think ppl will rise up cos the regime had been
extreaaaamly repressive in past and had flattened in an entire city and he thought ppl will be too
scared (hama massacare 82). But then why did it happen? Cos in dera kids spray painted kids
taken away n roughed up parents go to apologise and beg for kids to be released parents
insulted in quite a conservative part of the country parents angry and burned down party hq of
the country regime being tough compltly backfired and if that hadn’t been the case may b the
scene would have been diff but Syrian saw ppl burning down ba’ath party hq and breaking
statues of hafez al assad n goin like whats goin on here. What happened in dera was really imp
in sparking a change in which poli dynamics occur in Syria. Next domino after Tunisia. Some opposition in Egypt for some time. We had a small parli
opposition the electoral system was always designed to keep make sure NDP won big
victories with small opposition but there were opposition parties which had grown up around the
time of Iraq intervention which had later focused on the kefaya movement. We alrdy talked
about the pres elections with multiple candidates. There was youth activisim including internet
based youth activism. Beating of death of Khalid saed fb campaign in Egypt we are all Khalid
saed. So debate is fb causing revolution or fb acting as a substitute to revolution with ppl going
like oh I liked the page. But point is there had been this activism and net has made it easy for
protestors to communicate and connect which was obvio different from the traditional
networking structure one usually sees through a poli system. So this activist group was prolly
harder to get a hand on if you were the regime but prolly seemed less dangerous too.
So protestors decide to have a protest on the police day in the context of the recent Tunisian
revo and the way they did it they organized a lot of small protests in diff parts of cairo and then
convened in tahrir square. Which turned out to be way bigger thn what they expected. Even a
puzzle for poli scientists.
Cairo is centre of Egypt. Tahrir is center of cairo. It is symbolically a big public space with
residents. A big protests there means something. The most successful protests were in areas
with very visible location like tahrir square or the pearl round about. Where as someother
countries didn’t have this kind of a ‘square’ or geographical location. In cairo everything kind of
diverges into tahrir square and so a protest there it was occupying the very center of the capital
and showed the power of the protest when the govt couldn’t clear it. So there might be a
connection between the poli importance of a city and its symbolism acting as an advantage for
the protests. There is an interesting relationship between urban geography and public protest.
The moment the regime couldn’t contain the protest and the public saw the regime failing in
containing the protest and clearing tahrir square in the first 24 hours, regime has lost part of the
battle. Ppl thinking that regime is not strong enough to stop more and more people gathering at
tahrir square. Regime shown to be much weaker. Tunisian regime looked quite like the gyptian
one. Former security officer was the pres. Nominal electoral system with no meaning.
Corruption. Tunisia is a case which reverberated in Egypt quite well cos of the similarities.
Organized poli parties were slow to join prolly cos they dint know which way the wind was
blowing and were scared of jumpin in and then protest being shut down by the regime and they
would be the ones pay the cost cos they wld be repressed by the regime if the regime gets
control of the situation. Muslim brother hood was imp in mobolozing fairly tough individuals to
stand ground in the so called battle of the camels. Egyptian polic were hated and dint do a
good job in dealing with the protest. Egyptian army was called out but there was a aproblem
with the army from the regimes point of view that it’s a conscript army and there was no diff btw
rank and file in the Egyptian army and the protestors. Most of the protestors who were above 20
year old had served in the military and it was not clear if the army will be ordered to clamp down
on the protestors will do so and the military officers wanted to do was to give orders which will
be disobeyed cos then everything starts to fall off. So the military was not terribly usable for
crowd control. No indication that they will be willing to just open fire on the crowd. So the regime
used kind of thugs of the ruling party and infamously used camels to try suppress the protestors. So this was actually a sign of weakness of the regime that they had to use thugs and dudes on
camels to try get rid off the protestors. Mubarak stood fast and only agreed to a few minor
compromises. Then senior ranks in the army began to recognize that Mubarak was losing bet
cos there was no way to rescue the situation with him still remaining the pres. There was some
sympathy for him being forced out by protests. But he clearly had become a liability rather than
an asset they tried to negotiate with him a smooth transition with omer Suleiman becoming the
vice president it was supposed to be stage managed but when Mubarak gave the speech to
announce this gradual change/transition he kind of messed it up possibly cos of his son gamal
Mubarak and gave a a speech which angered ppl and at that moment scaf decided that they
cant do a smoot transition with Mubarak and have to physically act to remove him and so
Mubarak was remoed and so the supreme council of the armed forces essentially took control of
the transitional process.
Events in Tunisia spurred events in Egypt which in turn spurned events in Libya
Egypt was particularly imp cos Egypt was Egypt. Mubarak was a powerful leader of a powerful
country. So it was inspirational that ben ali could be over thrown but if the Egyptian regime could
be overthrown then who was safe?
So Egypt gave the tunisan scene greater momentum to the point that it affected Libya with an
absolute dictator who ruled very brutally. Protest began around the country particularly imp in
eastern Libya: Benghazi. Fighting erupted btw the regime and the protestors. City was
reinforced with additional troops. Many of those troops defected to the protestors as did one of
their leaders. There was fighting at the main barracks. Ordinary ppl trying to storm the barracks
and the army firing on them and finally barracks were taken when ppl just took cars with gas
cylinders and ran them to the wall and knocked down the walls. The barracks were over run.
Population armed it self. National transition council was formed with rebel leadership formed. Protests spreading in other parts of Libya. Regime decided to crush this in full military style.
Additional troops were sent to Benghazi. They fought their way to the outskirts of the city. And
as that occurred fearing that the regime is on the verge in crushing the revolt and killing
thousands of people. You saw the intl community act arab league goes to UNSC resolution
1973 authorized all necessary means to protect the citizens.
Ppl complaining that the US and the NATO did more then they were allowed but all necessary
means MEANS all necessary means and not something minor.
The French acted first air strikes against govt tank coloumns outside the city. Nato air
campaign supporting rebels. Qataris in particular (but others too like Jordanians) provide military
assistance to the rebels in a civil war for many months in which nato refrains from putting boots
on the ground which ultimately see trippoli captured in august and then final fighting in sirte
(qaddafis home town)
Sirte was the best developed area in Libya cos it was qaddafis area but now its totally wrecked.
In north Africa we have 3 regime changes tunisa, Eg