Democracy and Democratic Transition: Lessons from Egypt and Tunisia
Founder and Director of the The Peace by Piece Initiative, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to dialogue on sensitive issues of local and global scope. Scholar at the Trudeau Foundation and a PhD Student in the University of Toronto’s Department of Political Science.
e-mail: email@example.com / web: www.thepeacebypieceinitiative.com
Abstract: In this article I examine the successes that led to the toppling of both the Tunisian and Egyptian authoritarian regimes through non-violent protest, as well as some of the failures of the leaderless youth movements to accede to political power following the “downfall of the regime.” Drawing from social movement theory, I examine master frames as both rallying cries for social cohesion during the uprisings as well as sources of division in their aftermath. I identify the day after factor in explaining why old guard Islamist parties, rather than the secular and liberal youth movement actors, took to positions of political leadership at the polls. Finally, I suggest that agency-related approaches can highlight how social movements, individuals, and communities can and do take significant steps to assist the substantive debates and procedural avenues to democracy in authoritarian and post-authoritarian settings.
Keywords: Egypt, Tunisia, Middle East, North Africa, Democracy, Democratic Transition, Ennahda, Muslim Brotherhood, Social Movement, Protest, Revolt, Uprising, Revolution.
The “Arab Spring” was carried out with the hope of bringing freedom, dignity, and justice to those people in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) who sought to hold their leaders accountable for decades of authoritarian rule. Though by no means over, the immediate outcomes are varied. In some cases, leaderships were replaced. In others, the regimes themselves were toppled. In still others, little change is apparent. For the majority of “Arab Spring” states, prospects for democracy remain grim. With that said, this unprecedented wave of demonstrations and uprisings inaugurated a new era for the MENA, one in which government, military, and most importantly, civilian bodies, realize new and alternative potentialities for social and political transformation and empowerment.
Three years on, however, the “Arab Spring” is known by a multitude of other monikers: an “Islamist hijacking” and “secular winter” among them. It is worth mentioning from the outset that the divides between Islamists, on the one hand, and secular and liberal groups, on the other, are by no means clear and distinct. The term “Islamist” is neither clearly defined in the literature, and nor is “political Islam” particularly helpful in orienting discussions about religion and politics. What is more, secular and liberal camps are far from homogenous. The so-called liberal youth who are frequently credited with leading the protests and uprisings are a far cry from the old guard secular parties and movements many of which are by no reasonable definition liberal, let alone democratic. Finally, religious liberal individuals and groups are extensive, though underrepresented in the media and among popular debates. And yet, recognizing these differences, it is also the case that agreement, disagreement, and compromise within and between secular and Islamist contingents remains a major factor in regime transformation and possibilities for democratic transition across the MENA.
Of all the states to experience mass protests and uprisings, only in Egypt and Tunisia did some modicum of hope remain that democracy would, in the end, take root. And recent events in both states portend the worst for political stability, let alone democracy. In Egypt, the ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi and the country’s first democratically elected government followed from an effective military coup. The social movement Tamarod took to the weeks months ago, and garnering an unconfirmed 22 million signatures, they demanded the removal of Morsi from power. The military leveraged the opportunity and now holds power under emergency laws that bespeak the Mubarak, Sadat, and Nasser eras. Had the people, the courts, or the government initiated or carried out these demands, democratic legitimacy might have been preserved. Yet the military’s direct takeover and its brutal assaults on Muslim Brotherhood protesters threatens future democratic legitimacy in a number of ways: first, if the military refuses to relinquish political power (as they did following the revolution), second, by denying the Egyptian revolution its democratic legitimacy, and third, by suppressing, sidelining, and vilifying a considerable percentage of any future Muslim Brotherhood, or Islamist, opposition.
In Tunisia, though a military takeover is unlikely, two political assassinations attributed to militant Islamists, a long overdue deadline for the writing of the constitution, and the unfulfilled promise of new elections spurned a Tunisian chapter of Tamarod, a Salvation Front made up of opposition groups, and the powerful UGTT union, to demand the dissolution of the constitutional assembly and a replacement of the Islamist-led government.
The crisis of democracy in both countries is in large part the result of a crisis of democrats. Democracy and democratic institutions take considerable time to cultivate—years, if not decades. Theorizing about the contours of democracy, defining party platforms, and transforming social movements into political parties that represent the wide ideological spectrums home to Egyptians and Tunisians is no easy task. A lack of political will to play the democratic game, by which I mean trusting that a loss of elections in the short term will yield another opportunity to accede to power through the democratic process later on, is apparent. In this sense, loyal opposition is as important as democratic leadership. As a result, maintaining momentum in the writing of constitutions has proven problematic, and maintaining focus on the national cause as primary and above that of the movement, organization, or party, has significantly retarded political stability, and thence the economies, in both Tunisia and Egypt.
Between these two cases, the crises of democracy and democrats are evidenced through a number of mentionable ironies. For one, Turkey, often touted as an appropriate ‘model’ for the region for its admixture of Islam and democracy, appears to be the case in the Egyptian context for reasons hitherto overlooked by both analysts and Islamist parties alike. Leading up to their successful elections, Ennahda (in Tunisia) and the Muslim Brotherhood (in Egypt) both referenced the Turkish model as exemplary without considering the military protectionism that accompanied Turkey’s history of democratic rule. And in a move seemingly out of the Turkish playbook, the Egyptian military now claims that it is “protecting” the revolution—and democracy—having “reset” the democratic revolution by undertaking a coup against it.
Second, whereas it was Tunisia’s Mohammed Bouazizi whose act of self-immolation is credited with inspiring the Arab world to rise up, Egypt takes on the role of prime mover, influencer, and, potentially, spoiler. Tamarod is now an active player on the Tunisian scene that, along with the UGTT union and Salvation Front demand the replacement of the current government for a technocratic one to “oversee” the revolution, threatening also to overturn the constituent assembly’s significant progress to date. How Tunisian opposition groups interpret the events underway in Egypt may go a long way to influence the turns that Tunisian democracy takes (or does not take). Either opposition parties will heed the calls of the Ennahda-led troika for dialogue, or else the dissolution of the government and possible spates of violence will ensue.
Third, many of the secular and liberal groups in Egypt who, following the revolution, upbraided the military’s brutal abuses of human rights during and after Mubarak’s overthrow now wholeheartedly support military takeover. In the least, these avowedly liberal and secular groups stand idly by while the military cracks down on otherwise democratic rights of fellow (Muslim Brotherhood) citizens to protests the ouster of Egypt’s former democratically elected president. Boycotting many of the legal and political proceedings following from Mubarak’s ouster, and then sometimes boycotting, too, the formation and proceedings of the constituent assembly, secular, liberal, and old guard contingents have failed to live up to basic tenets of democratic participation following Egypt’s first ever democratic elections. In short, they simply did not give the Islamist-led democracy a fair chance. To be sure, for his part, Morsi was unable to garner the legitimacy of his people, institutions, and government, and declaring wide and sweeping powers in November 2012, Morsi is likewise responsible for his nearsightedness and intransigence in the face of overwhelming political opposition. Yet liberal Egyptians now stand firmly beside the army and their former old guard enemies against the Islamists—a hypocritical if enigmatic set of partnerships.
With all of this said, the prospects for Tunisian democracy are much more promising than those for Egypt, and they always have been. Requisites and prerequisites oft cited in scholarly literature on democratic transition weigh in Tunisia’s favor. Some of these factors include: differences in the roles of the military and security apparatuses; colonial and post-colonial histories; rates of education and political involvement; political culture and secularity; state-society relations; economic (in)equality, demographics and ethnic homogeneity, and domestic, regional, and international relations. Less studied, however, are the democrats-in-waiting: the agreements, disagreements, and compromises within and between social movements, parties, and protestors striving for democratic transition: how communication between different social movements and political parties are forged, how fruitful dialogue is inhibited, and in what ways does dialogue break down; how social movements transit to political parties; and how different political, social, and religious organizations and movements are represented in the nascent democracy-building agenda of a post-revolt, or post-revolutionary, state.
In what follows, then, I hope to scratch the surface of some of these questions by noting a few of the obstacles, successes, and particularities that brought political change to Egypt and Tunisia this far. I do so hoping that the Tunisian and Egyptian cases can in some ways prove exemplary for others readying for democratic revolution, those seeking to become more involved in the political process, and in particular those seeking to instantiate democratic principles and processes, however that might manifest between and across cultures and communities worldwide. My primary aim is to demonstrate that democracy building is not only a matter of striking social unity in the face of authoritarian repression, but it is also a matter of managing political differences the day after the fall of the regime. The focus of this article is therefore on the early stages of the Arab Spring protests and revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia.
In the first place, I examine the successes that social unity brought in toppling both the Tunisian and then Egyptian authoritarian regimes through non-violent protest, and the tactics and frames2 that brought people out unto the streets (Benford and Snow, 2000). Master frames were, undoubtedly, on the one hand, rallying cries for social cohesion during the uprisings, and on the other, sources of division following the revolts. Second, and tied to the first, I examine what I will call the day after factor, namely, the agreements, disagreements, and compromises that ensured that old guard Islamist parties, rather than the secular and liberal youth movement actors, took to positions of political leadership following the elections. I highlight the failure of the secular and liberal contingents to transit from protestors to institutionalized political parties, from social movement actors to bona fide politicians, and from revolutionaries to formal democrats.
I also highlight the marked divergences between the Egyptian and Tunisian cases. Namely, Tunisia’s stability can, in part, be attributed to early forms of democratic dialogue: Ennahda had long forged ties between secular and liberal opposition groups, while in Egypt the Muslim Brotherhood and the secular and liberal opposition groups were much less inclined towards political compromise and democratic dialogue. For Tunisians, early democratic dialogue meant the early formation of a broad-coalition of secular, liberal, and Islamist parties, and therefore also early forms of democratic trust between the old guard opposition groups. For Egyptians, as is evident today, no such democratic trust was forged, leaving Islamist, secular, and liberal parties open to continued military interference.
Social Unity: “The People Want the Downfall of the Regime,” But What Do They Intend by the ‘Democracy,’ ‘Freedom,’ and ‘Social Justice’ that Comes Afterwards?
Doubtless the role of the military is a variable that cannot go overlooked when discussing the Egyptian and Tunisian cases insofar as the military’s support for the people is a necessary condition for successful nonviolent democratic revolution. And it must be stated that Egypt’s military is far more involved and has drastically higher stakes in Egypt’s economy and politics than do their Tunisian counterparts. But to call attention to the military as a pivotal institution during nonviolent, grass roots-initiated regime change in the first place is also to acknowledge the people who delegitimize the regime to such an extent that the military comes into play whatever. With this note of caution in mind, in the following section I outline the frames that were instrumental to bring about regime change and transformation in Egypt and Tunisia. My argument is that the Tunisian and Egyptian people successfully summarized their demands in the master frame: “the people want the downfall of the regime,” a specific and targeted demand that unified society around revolution. Yet insofar as secondary frames like “democracy” and “freedom” lingered and went unattended by nascent non-Islamist parties, the established Islamists—The Muslim Brotherhood and Ennahda—expeditiously filled the power vacuum created by the “downfall of the regime.” The fact that the old guard parties were so easily able to fill this vacuum calls attention to both the fragility and also the power of words, slogans, and frames, their multifarious usages, and their potentially variegated meanings.
Following the ouster of Mubarak and Ben Ali, the revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia were quickly termed an “Islamist hijacking.” It is important to note, however, that the successes of the Tunisian, and all the more so the Egyptian, Arab Springs, were very much indebted to Islamist participation prior to and during the revolts. For decades, the primacy of Islamists’ sustained yet diverse repertoires of contention to authoritarian oppression provided significant openings in the political opportunity structure for non-Islamist forms of opposition and resistance. Secular and liberal groups were a separate and distinct threat to the regime than were the Islamists. More specifically, in juxtaposition to Islamist resistance, which relied heavily on religious frames and slogans, non-Islamist resistance came to the fore of Egyptian and Tunisian activism through alternative and increasingly legitimacy-garnering secular, rights-based discourses. Doing so enabled non-Islamist movements—student groups, professional syndicates, labor unions, etc.—to couch their grievances in terms that the international community recognized and supported, terms that semi-authoritarians also sometimes partly endorsed in order to appease their Western backers.
There is no doubt about the fact that leaderless secular, liberal, tech-savvy youth were responsible for orchestrating the 25 January protests in Egypt. In this, the Egyptians drew heavily from the Tunisian experience. In strategies and slogans, the Egyptian and Tunisian revolutions display a number of similarities. Bridging the concerns of laborers and liberals by linking political rights and economic justice, the Egyptian protestors borrowed popular slogans from their Tunisian counterparts in rallying diverse groups together: “The people want the fall of the regime” primarily. By employing this master frame, organizers appealed to cross-sections of society and social movements all of whom felt the pervasiveness, duration, and intensity of authoritarian repression in one way or another.
Insofar as a social movement is “an organized, sustained, self-conscious challenge to existing authorities” (Tilly, 1984), the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions included a multiplicity of informal and formal institutions and alliances: students, unions, professionals, religious groups, etc.And while the master frames calling for the ouster of Mubarak and Ben Ali were no doubt unifying discursive devices that were readily supported by most if not all of the protestors, secondary frames—calls for democracy, social justice, freedom, and dignity—presented significant points of divergence not only in and between Islamist and non-Islamist groups, but between the secular-liberal youth who are credited with initiating the mass protests in the first place. That is, many of the particular demands—the installation of civilian government, constitutional reform, and an end to the security state (mukhabarat)—were widely expected to follow from the downfall of the regime. And yet, the secondary frames that accompanied the protests and revolutions remained largely unarticulated and in some cases unexplored until the day after.
It is important in this regard to acknowledge that, in the context of the Egyptian uprising, the frames that united Egyptians against the regime were purposively “civil” rather than “Islamist.” In fact, there were explicit agreements forged within a coalition3 of social movements that “no slogans, flags, or party lines would be raised except those patriotic ones,” though “immediately abandoned by the Islamists after the ousting of Mubarak as they prepared for the battle of the ballot boxes” (Tadros, 2012).
The Brotherhood ensured that its involvement was registered as little as possible. For example, the leaders of its groups in Tahrir Square, one of the main gathering points of protestors, prohibited any member from raising any sectarian or religious slogan. When an enthusiastic member flashed his Koran before media cameras, a group of the Brotherhoods’ own protestors pushed him down and held up the Egyptian flag. The Brotherhood realized it was crucial to avoid the perception that the organization, or political Islam more generally, was playing a major role in stirring or directing the events; the country did not want the revolt to be dominated by one particular ideology, and any such perception would have allowed the Mubarak administration to paint the entire uprising as inspired by the Brotherhood. (Osman, 2010)
Indeed, days after the 2 February Battle of the Camel, in response to charges that Egypt, under the Islamists’ control, would end up like Iran, the Brotherhood came out defiant, stating unequivocally that this was an Egyptian, not an Islamic, revolution. (Green, 2011) Historical experience dictated that Islamist activity was unable to garner support from regional or international reference publics who feared an Islamist takeover. Sticking to the master frame enabled the protests to continue with mitigated risk of brutal crackdown, and with a greater opportunity to gain the attention of key reference publics like the media (and Aljazeera especially) and Western audiences.
As such, there were calls for democracy as such, but little by way of overt references to secular, liberal democracy. So, too, “social justice” was a hallmark of the revolution, but nowhere were calls for particular “Islamic” or “secular” tenets of social justice promoted. Therefore, while democracy, social justice, freedom, and dignity were overlapping and shared goals among the spectrum of secular, liberal, and Islamist groups (Alexander, 20120), scant discussion of the content or form of such wide-ranging frames were made available to the spectrum of protestors who participated in the revolts. This quickly became a problem upon the successful ouster of the dictators. The lack of specific demands, proposals, and platforms, let alone leaders, made it difficult if well nigh impossible for the youth of Egypt and Tunisia to differentiate between one secular or liberal ideology and platform from another.
This lack of forethought was an abominable failure on the part of the non-Islamist contingents in particular: a failure of consensus over the specific content of democracy is one of the major reasons for the splintering and subsequent loss of power for non-Islamist parties in the first elections following regime transformation. And while the Islamists had few concrete plans and proposals of their own, Islamist supporters knew all too well that Islamist parties would abide by “Islam is the solution.” Indeed, Ennahda and the Muslim Brotherhood were well supported if only because they promised to be a well organized force that could and would ensure that sharia played a part in the new political processes underway.
Following the ousters of Ben Ali and Mubarak, then, the secular-liberal youth whose leaderless masses played an instrumental role in organizing and toppling their former dictators were left with little recourse for formal and institutionalized political action. Had they duly considered the process of transition, struck dialogue, and forged alliances leading up to the uprisings about the content of ‘democracy’ and ‘social justice’ it is likely that they might have fared better at the polls. And yet, leaving the day after the uprisings in question, the Islamists were in an opportune position to form the newly democratic governments in Tunisia and Egypt.
The Day After Factor: In With the Old Guard, But What Of the New?
Although a rich history of organized protest, opposition, and resistance by labor unions, professional syndicates, student groups, and Islamist organizations is prominent in both Egyptian and Tunisian modern histories, formulating policy and garnering political support were especially difficult for secular and liberal parties under the newly toppled dictatorships. Under previous regimes, Islamists were considered most threatening to regime stability, rendering them also the most persecuted. So, from prison and from exile, supporting professional syndicates and operating as charitable organizations within and between the sinews of society, the Muslim Brotherhood and Ennahda were well prepared organizationally for the moment wherein they could exercise the broad and deep reaches of their established networks.
And while in both states Islamist parties were successful at election time, the politics of Egyptian and Tunisian post-revolutionary cases present differently. The Brotherhood maintained a vague yet avowedly Islamist ideology of state and society. By contrast, Ennahda postured itself as a civic organization that catered to an Islamist base. In the words of Columbia Professor Alfred Stepan, Ennahda abided by the “twin tolerations.” Namely, Ennahda took steps to ensure that its secular and leftist co-revolutionists were assured that it was prepared to respect an arrangement whereby the institutions of state guaranteed freedoms and autonomy for religious institutions, and wherein religious institutions would be required to allow the state due freedom and autonomy of its own. Ennahda entered into a number of agreements and compromises with the Congress for the Republic (CPR), the Progressive Democratic Party (PDP), and Ettakatol to secure an understanding about what Tunisian political culture and civil society might look like in a post-authoritarian setting. As such, Tunisia’s transition to democratic consolidation was, for a time, well underway. As Stepan argued early on, this was because:
a) There was sufficient agreement on the protocols and procedures to implement an elected government;
b) The Government came to power as the direct result of free and fair popular vote;
c) The Government now has the autonomy and authority to generate policies, amend, and reconstruct old ones at will; and finally,
d) The three branches of Government (executive, legislative, and judicial) do not have to share power with the military or religious leadership as they formulate and implement democratic rule. (Stepan, 2012)
The Ben Achour Commission—an umbrella organization comprised of 150 members responsible for the National Constituent Assembly election (NCA)—established a number of agreements between major political parties, including: a “process first” view that addressed only those matters necessary to return order and stability to Tunisia; a constituent assembly vote that took place prior to a vote for the president so that incentives were present to build consensuses and party platforms that were prioritized over electing a leader who might otherwise wield too much power; ensuring that women are given ample representation in writing the constitution; and the creation of an electoral commission to ensure that all parties were confident in the legitimacy of the elections.
These agreements and compromises are manifest in the then preamble to Tunisia’s constitution, a document that called for an “Arab-Muslim” state that aspired towards a “participatory, democratic republic” to be based on civil institutions through which “the desires of the people are guaranteed” and calling upon “wise government” with “respect for human rights” to support “the people’s right to determine their destiny” for the causes of “the oppressed everywhere.” Sharia, it was agreed upon, would not explicitly be mentioned in the preamble. To be sure, many of these principles were called into question, and others breached, once the constituent assembly was underway. Yet, as Adeed Dawisha observed: “the Tunisian case seems rather different [than the Egyptian case]. There, dialogue and a spirit of compromise among the various revolutionary groups are happily in evidence. (Dawisha, 2012) Though the same cannot be said today, there is no doubt that the Tunisian process of democratic transition was helped along significantly by these backdoor confidence building measures.
The Egyptian case demonstrates limited, if any, agreement and compromise between the Brotherhood and its co-revolutionists beyond the confines of the revolution itself. For Egypt a slow, distrustful start paved a poor and bumpy road. Smoke and mirrors, political theatrics, and widespread distrust fogged decisive, transparent, and expedient transfer of powers from the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) to the people. A lack of political will by most, if not all, parties, stymied democratic dialogue and the formation, let alone the work of, a constituent assembly. Prior to the post-revolutionary elections, nothing resembling the consensus- and confidence- building measures between Ennahda and its leftist and secular opposition partners was extant in Egypt in preparation for post-authoritarian rule.
Perhaps the closest the Brotherhood came to allying itself with other political parties occurred during the 2005 Egyptian elections wherein the Brotherhood entertained limited coordination with a broad coalition of parties banning together on one ticket: the United National Front for Change (UNFC). Despite these limited efforts, however, the Brotherhood ran its candidates as nominal independents, and the UNFC was overall poorly organized and under-represented across Egypt’s 222 electoral districts; the latter ultimately failing to shore up a unified front.4 Furthermore, the Muslim Brotherhood, unlike Ennahda, would not entertain compromise on the character of the state. For the Brotherhood, democracy in Egypt meant Islamic democracy.5 In Egypt, exclusive focus on electoral politics following the revolution had a negative impact on democratic transition, leaving Egyptians with elections, but little democracy to speak of.
There is no set path from authoritarian rule to democratic governance. It is neither an expected outcome nor a straight line. Uprisings, rebellions, revolts, and revolutions bring, by and large, a great amount of uncertainty and instability. Historically, democracy is in fact the exception. The majority of acts of contentious politics fail to bring immediate policy, let alone regime, change, and most that do not peter out or meet brutal repression amount in the end to some shade of grey in between, on the one hand, the over-determined category of liberal democratic and, on the other, the many varietals of authoritarian, governance. For onlookers of democratic politics, rather than assuming a trajectory in which democracy (by which too many onlookers assume Western liberal democracy) prevails, it is prudent to heed the contested nature of this concept and note that among populations that are deeply divided on the separation of religion and state, if some form of democracy does arise once the dust settles it will by virtue of the democratic process likely take place in between the essentialized and polarizing categories—those “secular” and “Islamist” conceptions—that are so prevalently and popularly discussed in popular discourse and the media. Therein lay myriad possibilities.
What I hoped to demonstrate in this brief comparison is that social movements, individuals and communities can and do take significant steps to help along the substantive debates and procedural avenues to democracy in authoritarian settings. Agency-related studies are often sidelined for structural or historical institutionalist accounts. And while these accounts are no doubt seminally important to understanding politics and history, the few basic observations here point to some steps that individuals and communities can take to better the likelihood of smooth democratic transition. What activists, educators, democrats and humanists can learn from Egypt and Tunisia is not only the power of leaderless movements to topple well-established dictators, but the need to consider the day after, too.
In this sense, democratic revolution requires social unity in the face of authoritarian repression. Democratic politics requires the managing of political differences once that first momentous task is accomplished. In the absence of well-organized, broad, and shared political will following the downfall of the regime, it can only be expected that the established old guard parties will step in to claim positions of political leadership once the social unity of post-revolutionary action fades to the background. Democratic dialogue works out agreements, disagreements, and compromises. It builds a foundation for democratic trust, and it helps to identify the crucial policy issues that will no doubt be hotly contested in post-revolutionary settings. Perhaps most importantly, though, democratic dialogue need not take place under democratic regimes. Indeed, it is better off practiced beforehand, thereby giving democracy a head start.
1 Matthew J. Gordner is the Founder and Director of the The Peace by Piece Initiative, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to dialogue on sensitive issues of local and global scope. Mr. Gordner is also a Scholar at the Trudeau Foundation and a PhD Student in the University of Toronto’s Department of Political Science.
2 In social movement theory, a “frame” is a broad-based slogan used to garner support among cross-sections of society for political and social action.
3 The coalition involved youth organizations who called for the protest on 25 January, including Coalition for the Youth of the Revolution, Justice and Freedom, a leftist party, the liberal April 6 Movement, el Baradie supporters, and Democratic Front Party, and the Muslim Brotherhood.
4 Arafat, A., 2009. Hosni Mubarak and the Future of Democracy in Egypt. Palgrave Macmillan: New York.
5 See, for example, the interview with Essam El-Erian, MB spokesman and political strategist in The Cairo Review of Global Affairs, “The Rise of the Brothers,” Vol. 1, Spring, 2011, pp. 94-100.
Alexander, J. (2012). Performative Revolution in Egypt. Bloomsbury Press: New York, pp. 6-37.
Benford, R. and Snow, D. (2000). “Framing Processes and Social Movements: An Overview and Assessment, Annual Review of Sociology, vol. 26, pp. 677-701.
Dawisha, A. (2012) “Has the Arab Spring Lived up to Expectations?” Viewpoints, no. 12. Last accessed on August 8, 2013 at: www.wilsoncenter.org/sites/default/files/has_arab_spring_lived_up_to_expectations_0.pdf
Green Voice of Freedom. (2011). “Muslim Brotherhood Rejects Khameini Calls for Iran-Style Islamic State,” Last accessed on 7 August, 2013 at: http://www.eurasiareview.com/05022011-muslim-brotherhood-rejects-khamenei-calls-for-iran-style-islamic-state/.
Osman, T. (2010). Egypt on the Brink: From the Rise of Nasser to the Fall of Mubarak. Yale University Press: New Haven and London, p.5. Italics inserted.
Stepan, A. (2012). “Tunisia’s Transition and the Twin Tolerations”. Journal of Democracy, vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 89-103.
Tadros, M. (2012). “Introduction: The Pulse of the Arab Revolt,” IDS Bulletin, vol. 43, no. 1: http://www.cosv.org/download/centrodocumentazione/RivoltaEgitto.pdf
Tilly, C. (1984). “Social movements and national politics,” In C. Bright & S. Harding (eds.), State-making and social movements: Essays in history and theory. University of Michigan Press: Ann Arbour, pp. 297-317.
This article was published on September 15th: International Day of Democracy, in Global Education Magazine.