Nathan Brown

Five Years after the Arab Uprisings: Are Autocracy or Anarchy the Only Options?

Dr. Nathan Brown, George Washington University
September 30, 2016

In 2011, a wave of uprisings against longstanding rulers swept through the Arab world.  Five years later, those uprisings have not appeared to result in more democratic or accountable political systems. Instead, countries like Syria and Yemen have fallen into violent anarchy and countries like Egypt have seen renewed authoritarianism.  Did the uprisings fail? Is there any hope for healthier and more democratic political systems in the Arab world?

Dr. Nathan Brown is Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at George Washington University in Washington, DC.  He is a specialist on the comparative politics of the Middle East. He is the author of six books and editor of two on Middle East politics; his most recent book, When Victory is Not an Option: Islamist Parties and Semi-Authoritarian Politics in the Arab World (Cornell University Press), is on Islamist movements and electoral politics in the Arab world. He has worked on Egyptian, Palestinian and Gulf politics. Professor Brown received his Ph.D. from Princeton University. His doctoral dissertation was awarded the Malcolm Kerr Prize by the Middle East Studies Association.  He taught for one year at Ben-Gurion University in Israel as a Fulbright fellow and received previous Fulbright grants to conduct research in Egypt and the Gulf. He has also conducted research funded by the United States Institute of Peace and served as a member of the international advisory committees for drafting the Iraqi and Palestinian constitutions. In 2009, he was named a Carnegie Scholar by the Carnegie Corporation of New York for his work on Islamist political movements.

Supported by New Mexico Humanities Council, Sandia National Labs and Haverland Carter Lifestyle Group