Revolutions in the Middle East
Demands for political, social and economic changes and the states’ repressive response
ByAqeel Abood
Pages 12

The revolution in Tunisia soon impacted on the situation in other North African countries, such as Egypt and Libya, and some other countries in the Middle East, especially Bahrain, Syria and Yemen. The chapter argues that the enormous surge of democratic movements in the Middle East region have been influenced by factors, including: political opportunity; new social networks; and the collapse of some religious creeds that rejected any type of resistance to the status quo. It indicates the importance of the new forms of social media and their potential impact on politics. The political opportunity process, or theory, was developed by Charles Tilly in the 1970s. It simply argues that success or failure of collective action is mainly depending on the political opportunity provided at the right moment. The emergence of social networks has fortified the impact of the youth organizations in many countries in the Middle East, and social networks espoused the political opportunities, states have faced significantly unpleasant consequences.