Thousands flooded streets and squares in the Arab Spring of 2011, and dictators fell. But true revolution never came, or has been thwarted since.
University of Illinois sociology professor Asef Bayat, in a new book, argues that activists never thought out or planned for true revolution – at least not the 20th-century kind, as in Russia 100 years ago or Iran and Nicaragua six decades later. Not the kind that brings radical change to the government and often society as well.
“Revolution without Revolutionaries: Making Sense of the Arab Spring”focuses on Tunisia, where the uprisings began; Egypt, where they captured world attention, and Yemen, where they devolved into civil war. Bayat draws on extensive research in those countries and with the people involved there, also taking in the broader movement.