Gilbert Achcar, "From One Arab Spring to Another: A Regional Revolutionary Process"

Wed, 09/30/2020

ICM Webinar Series

Professor of Development Studies and International Relations, SOAS University of London


Starting from Tunisia in December 2010, a revolutionary shockwave engulfed the Arabic-speaking countries of Africa and the Middle East. The label Arab Spring initially reflected the belief that this was going to be a relatively smooth democratic transition. However, the upsurge eventually gave way to a counter-revolutionary backlash, and the euphoria turned into gloom. However, the 2011 regional upheaval stemmed in fact from a deep structural crisis and was therefore but the initial phase of a long-term revolutionary process with many other phases to follow. The new regional upsurge that started in Sudan in December 2018 and spread to Algeria, Iraq, and Lebanon in 2019 was indeed promptly called Second Arab Spring by the global media. It has been stalled by the Covid-19 pandemic but there are signs of a revival in Sudan, Lebanon and Iraq. This lecture will assess the roots and dynamics of this regional process, the differences between its initial upsurge and the ongoing one, and the main impediments that it faces. A panel discussion with Ziad Fahmy and Samia Henni, moderated by Fouad M. Makki, will follow the lecture.


Gilbert Achcar is Professor of Development Studies and International Relations at SOAS University of London.  He has degrees in Philosophy (ESL, Beirut), Social Sciences (UL, Beirut) and a PhD in Social History/International Relations (University of Paris-VIII). Before joining SOAS in 2007, he taught and/or researched in various universities and research centres in Beirut, Berlin and Paris. His many books, published in a total of 15 languages, include: The Clash of Barbarisms: The Making of the New World Disorder (2002, 2006); Perilous Power: The Middle East and U.S. Foreign Policy, co-authored with Noam Chomsky (2007, 2008); The Arabs and the Holocaust: The Arab-Israeli War of Narratives (2010); Marxism, Orientalism, Cosmopolitanism (2013); The People Want: A Radical Exploration of the Arab Uprising (2013); and Morbid Symptoms: Relapse in the Arab Uprising (2016).

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This event is free and open to our online community.  A recording of the event is available here



Gilbert Achcar, "From One Arab Spring to Another: A Regional Revolutionary Process" September 30, 2020 12pm EDT