The Arab Spring is a story still being told. Despite the turmoil in Syria, Libya and elsewhere, the idea that ordinary citizens can rise up en masse to challenge entrenched leaders has fundamentally transformed the Middle East. But how are we to gauge the prospects for democracy there?
In his new book, Understanding Tahrir Square: What Transitions Elsewhere Can Teach Us About the Prospects for Arab Democracy, Nonresident Senior Fellow Stephen Grand places the struggles currently facing the Middle East against the backdrop of previous waves of democratization across the globe. Grand notes that the while the path to democratization is often a slow, difficult process, it is far too early to declare the Arab Spring a failure.
On April 23, the Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World launched Grand’s new book with a discussion of democratization in other parts of the world can teach us about change in the Middle East. The Washington Post Deputy Editorial Page Editor Jackson Diehl moderated the discussion, after which Grand took audience questions.