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Issue № 81. August 2020

Arab Spring as an Attempt to Westernly Democratize the Middle East

Guzal Sh. Kadirova

DSc applicant, Department of World Politics and International Relations, Faculty of Economics and Politics of Foreign Countries, Tashkent State University of Oriental studies, Tashkent, Uzbekistan. 
E-mail: guzal.kadirova.1986@mail.ru
ORCID ID: 0000-0001-6551-270X

The article is devoted to the phenomenon of the so-called Arab Spring, which took place in the form of a series of anti-government protests in the countries of the Middle East and Maghreb in the 2010s. It was aimed, as Western politicians saw it, at establishing a more democratic and just society. Mass protests in the states of the region were caused by a whole range of economic, social and political reasons. In some cases, they were provoked by an internal political crisis and odious incidents of confrontation with the authorities. The article describes the beginning of this process in Egypt, which started in the form of isolated protests in the second half of 2010, but subsequently escalated into mass demonstrations in January 2011. Regime change in Egypt took place with the active position of the United States as the main foreign policy actor at that time in the Middle East and North Africa. Despite the achievement of the initial goal of the opposition forces — the resignation of H. Mubarak and support from the West, in Egypt the Arab Spring did not bring the expected democratization and liberal reforms in political and economic life. The author of the article notes that applying the concept of “democratization of society” in Egypt, the opposition reformers demanded at the first stage of the transition from an autocratic or military regime to a democratic government. The protests gradually drew wider and wider circles of the public, which then led to a revolution that in Egypt led to the overthrow of the president, who ruled the country for almost 30 years, and the collapse of the economy. The second stage of Arab Spring in Egypt saw a second change of power as a result of pressure from the military. H. Mubarak was forced to resign. Thus, the author comes to the conclusion that the events in Egypt led to the so-called paradox of democracy, when the strengthening of democratic processes leads to power by undemocratic, in this case, Islamist forces.

Keywords

Arab Spring, Egypt, national protests, “march of millions”, Muslim Brotherhood, Al-Azhar, change of the regime, USA, the third wave of democratization.

DOI: 10.24411/2070-1381-2019-10083

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