Social Movements and Democratization
In times of the Arab Spring that swept away autocratic regimes in Northern Africa, the role of social movements in processes of democratization once again comes to the fore. After decades of heavy-handed rule, citizens took the streets and forced autocrats out of office. While the urge for freedom was vibrant in the whole region, the differences between countries are remarkable. The different dynamics pose questions that partly resemble the discussion after the fall of the Iron Curtain and during the electoral Revolutions in Central and Eastern Europe: What are the preconditions for a successful overthrow of autocratic regimes? What made people unite despite repression? How do ideas and strategies travel from one country to another? Which role do transnational interventions play?