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The Arab Spring: Lessons and Developments Ten Years Later

Ten years since the start of the Arab Uprisings in Tunisia, the Middle East and North African region has seen both  upheaval and transformation. While Tunisia's democracy experiment has proven successful, revolutions elsewhere have witnessed counterrevolutions and more entrenched authoritarianism. In Syria, Libya and Yemen, civil wars erupted with no clear end in sight. 

In other parts of the region, a second wave of uprisings broke out in 2019 in Algeria, Sudan, Iraq and Lebanon. Today, as MENA economies battle the impact of COVID-19 lockdowns, rising unemployment, poverty and sluggish economic growth, more dispersed protests are erupting in various cities and towns across the region, signaling a continuation of peoples' demands for both economic and political change. What narrative does this legacy of uprising and revolt reveal about the changing dynamics of the region? The Wilson Center has examined these forces since the tumultuous period began in 2011.