This post was originally published on the Blog of the Middle East Center at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) on March 18th, 2015.
The uprisings that swept across the Arab World in 2011 where remarkable in many ways. They constituted a serious challenge to the authority of the most coherent bloc of authoritarian regimes. During spring that year, the streets across Arab capitals where filled with people expressing their grievances and demanding change. The protests broke with the orientalist and paternalistic perception of ‘respected’ authoritarian leaders. The Arab uprisings also taught us that demography matters. It was the disenfranchised youth that initiated the protests in most places, a faction of society that never before appeared on the stage as a relevant political actor. Young Arabs assembled and screamed the same slogans towards the parliaments and palaces from Sanaa to Rabat.