The self-immolation of Mohammed Bouazizi in Tunisia in December 2010 heralded the arrival of the ‘Arab Spring,’ a startling, yet not unprecedented, era of profound social and political upheaval.

The meme of the Arab Spring is characterised by bottom-up change, or the lack thereof, and its effects are still unfurling today. The Routledge Handbook of the Arab Spring seeks to provide a departure point for ongoing discussion of a fluid phenomenon on a plethora of topics, including:

  • Contexts and contests of democratisation
  • The sweep of the Arab Spring
  • Egypt
  • Women and the Arab Spring
  • Agents of change and the technology of protest
  • Impact of the Arab Spring in the wider Middle East and further afield

Collating a wide array of viewpoints, specialisms, biases, and degrees of proximity and distance from events that shook the Arab world to its core, the Handbook is written with the reader in mind, to provide students, practitioners, diplomats, policy-makers and lay readers with contextualization and knowledge, and to set the stage for further discussion of the Arab Spring.

chapter 1|14 pages

Unruliness through Space and Time

Reconstructing 'Peoplehood' in the Arab Spring

part I|48 pages

Introducing the Arab Spring

chapter 3|11 pages

Arab Politics after the Uprisings

Still Searching for Legitimacy

chapter 4|12 pages

Towards a Historical Sociology of the Arab Uprising

Beyond Democratization and Post-Democratization

chapter 5|12 pages

The Arab Spring

Why in Some Arab Countries and Not in Others?

part II|134 pages

The 'Travel' of Revolution

chapter 6|12 pages

Interpreting the Tunisian Revolution

Beyond Bou'azizi

chapter 7|12 pages

The Roots of the Tunisian Revolution

Elements of a Political Sociology

chapter 10|15 pages

Libya's Islamists and the 17 February Revolution

A Battle for a Revolutionary Theology

chapter 11|12 pages

The Uprising in Bahrain

Regional Dimensions and International Consequences

chapter 12|15 pages

The Arab Spring Comes to Syria

Internal Mobilization for Democratic Change, Militarization and Internationalization

chapter 13|13 pages

Yemen's Arab Spring

Outsmarting the Cunning State?

chapter 14|14 pages

A Process of Perpetual 'Uncovering'

The Syrian Thawrah in Its Fourth Year

chapter 15|10 pages

Pro-Regime versus Oppositional Media

During the Revolution, 2011–2013

part III|74 pages

Egypt in the Arab Spring

chapter 16|16 pages

The Egyptian Revolution

Causes and Dynamics

chapter 19|13 pages

Contemporary Islamist Discourses on the State in Egypt

Before and After the Arab Spring

chapter 20|18 pages

Failure of a Revolution

The Military, Secular Intelligentsia and Religion in Egypt's Pseudo-Secular State

part IV|30 pages

Women's Voices in the Arab Spring

chapter 21|12 pages

Syria's 'Arab Spring'

Women and the Struggle to Live in Truth

chapter 22|16 pages

Tunisia's Women

Partners in Revolution

part V|40 pages

Arab Spring

chapter 24|12 pages

The Tunisian Revolution

Narratives of the Tunisian General Labour Union

chapter 25|10 pages

Revolutionary Contagion

Social Movements around the Mediterranean

part VI|92 pages


chapter 26|11 pages

A Public Sphere Revolution?

Social Media versus Authoritarian Regimes

chapter 27|12 pages

The Revolution Never Ends

Music, Protest and Rebirth in the Arab World

chapter 28|10 pages

Al Jazeera and Televised Revolution

The Case of Tunisia

part VII|114 pages

The Arab Spring

chapter 33|16 pages

Evolution not Revolution?

Morocco and the Arab Spring

chapter 34|12 pages


The Limits of Revolution and Democratization

chapter 35|17 pages

The Arab Spring and Democratization

An Iraqi Perspective

chapter 36|11 pages

Protest and Reform

The Arab Spring in Oman

chapter 39|12 pages


A Model for Continuity or Change?

part b VIII|103 pages

The Arab Spring in a Global Context

chapter 42|10 pages

Revolutions in North Africa

A View from the South of the Continent

chapter 43|15 pages

The European Union and Democracy Promotion

Readjusting to the Arab Spring

chapter 44|13 pages

The Nordic Countries and the Arab Spring

From 'Nordic Internationalism' to 'Nordic Interventionism'?

chapter 45|12 pages

From Spain to Egypt

Lessons from An 'Unfinished' Transition

chapter 49|14 pages

The Arab Spring