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Prelims Capsule

International Relations

Arab Spring after 10 Years – Successes and Failures of the uprising explained

Arab Spring after 10 Years – Successes and Failures of the uprising explained


  • GS 2 || International Relations || India & Rest of the World || West Asia

Why in the news?

Arab Spring after 10 Years


  • The Arab Spring was a loosely connected sequence of protests that resulted in political changes in nations including Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya. Despite widespread support, not all of them were deemed a success.
  • Because the final objective was to promote democracy and freedom, the era after the Arab Spring was defined by greater instability and tyranny.
  • Despite the fact that the Arab Spring protests were split by geography and had different goals, they all began with a similar act of disobedience.

Origins of the Arab Spring:

  • Jasmine Revolution: Mohammed Bouazizi, a Tunisian street seller, burned himself on fire in December 2010 to protest the police’s arbitrary seizure of his veggies. They did so because Mohammed had been denied permission. This incident was a trigger for Tunisia’s now-famous Jasmine Revolution.
  • Intense protest: It sparked public protests in Tunisia’s capital, which rapidly swept across the country. After governing Tunisia for 20 years, President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was forced to resign and escape to Saudi Arabia due to the magnitude of the protests.
  • Activists in other countries drew inspiration from Tunisia’s events. Inspired by Tunisia’s first democratic parliamentary elections in October 2011, they launched their own demonstrations.
  • Political engagement: Those who took part in these grassroots movements yearned for more social liberties and more political engagement. This covers the revolutions in Cairo, Egypt’s Tahrir Square, and similar events in Bahrain.
  • More countries in protest: Countries participating in the demonstration included Morocco, Iraq, Algeria, Iran’s Khuzestan, Lebanon, Jordan, Oman, Sudan, and Kuwait. Djibouti, the Palestinian National Authority, Saudi Arabia, Mauritania, and the Moroccan-occupied Western Sahara also saw minor protests.
  • First wave of revolutions: By mid-2012, the first wave of revolutions and protests had receded, as authorities, as well as pro-government militias, counter-demonstrators, and armies, retaliated violently against numerous Arab Spring rallies.

What was the Arab Spring?

  • The Arab Spring of 2010 was a wave of anti-government demonstrations, upheavals, and armed rebellions that swept the Middle East.
  • The spark was oppressive governments and a low quality of life, which began with protests in Tunisia.
  • As fresh demonstrations emerge in reaction to success stories shared from those taking place in other nations across the world, social media has played a key part in the rapid spread of revolution throughout the world.
  • The effects of the ‘Tunisian Revolution’ spread like fire to five other countries: Libya, Yemen, Egypt, Bahrain and Syria, where either the regime was toppled or major uprisings or social violence occurred, including riots, civil wars, mass murdering or insurgencies.

What is Arab Spring 2.0?

  • Uprisings in Sudan and Algeria: The anti-regime uprisings in Sudan and Algeria are the latest iteration of an ‘Arab Spring,’ which erupted in 2011 and was eventually repressed by Arab autocrats and their security forces.
  • Algeria’s economy, which is highly reliant on hydrocarbons, suffered a knock during the commodities crash of 2014.
  • Economy and employment: While GDP growth dropped from 4% in 2014 to 1.6 percent in 2017, young unemployment reached a record high of 29% in 2017.
  • Condition in Sudan: The situation in Sudan is no different. In addition, the country in northeast Africa is experiencing a severe economic downturn. The junta’s back was broken when South Sudan separated in 2011, with three-quarters of the undivided country’s oil riches. Sudan’s situation worsened after 2014, prompting it to seek help from wealthier Arab nations like Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and even Qatar, the Saudi bloc’s regional competitor. Inflation in the country stands at 73 percent. Sudan is also suffering from a lack of fuel and currency.

Arab Spring and India

  • West Asia an important part: India and the West Asian area have long-standing historical and cultural ties. West Asia, in particular, is a crucial area for India.
  • Close bonding with Palestinian: For millennia, people-to-people connections have occurred between India and West Asia. India has always been a supporter of Palestinian rights and has called for a full engagement with the Palestinian state and people.
  • Geopolitical shift: Any change in the area has immediate consequences for India. In the West Asian area, there are about 6.5 million Indians living and working.
  • According to a World Bank estimate, India received over US $ 80 billion in remittances in 2018, with the bulk coming from the area.
  • Investment made by India: In addition, India’s overall trade with West Asia exceeded US$ 210 billion in 2017-18. India’s energy security is also dependent on the region. This area accounts for about two-thirds of our hydrocarbon imports.
  • India has two options: be inactive and reactive as the area evolves, or be proactive and assist shape the region in its own interests.
  • Increasing global stature: India’s considerable interests in the area force it to be proactive rather than a bystander, and most nations in the region want India to take a more aggressive role in keeping with its increasing global stature.
  • Enhance US-India ties: The Arab world’s governance problem also provides a chance for the United States and India to enhance their ties.
  • Complementary capabilities: Whether working together or separately toward comparable goals, the world’s two greatest democracies contribute complementary capabilities to the difficult challenge of fostering a democratic culture throughout the Arab world.

International Reaction on Arab Spring 2.0

  • Analysis of condition: From the outside, important international players are closely studying and monitoring the changes and developments brought about by the demise of the administrations of Bouteflika and al-Bashir.
  • France and Italy: They were afraid that Bouteflika’s departure may cause instability in the whole North African area. One of the main sources of their concern is the worry that prolonged political unrest in Algeria would result in an increase in “cross-Mediterranean” migration to Europe.
  • Horn of Africa: The removal of al-Bashir might cause instability in the “Horn of Africa.” This is accurate in the sense that Sudan is a part of a region that is vital to Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iran, and Israel.
  • Russia: Russia is also keeping a careful eye on events in Algeria and Sudan, as they may have geopolitical ramifications for Moscow, which is eager to strengthen military and political connections with both nations.
  • Arms agreement between nations: During Putin’s visit, Russia and Algeria inked a significant arms agreement. The Russian ambassador to Algeria said in July 2018 that Algeria acquires over half of Russia’s total armament shipments to Africa.
  • Destabilize the country’s political stability: On March 19, 2019, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov highlighted Russia’s worry over Algeria’s large demonstrations, describing the scenario as an attempt to destabilize the country’s political stability.

Success and failure of Arab spring:

  • The Arab Spring was anger regarding the corruption of the regime headed by Zine El Abindine Ben Ali.There have been no significant changes in the indices of the rule of law or control of corruption. The failure to bring corruption under control is one of the most contentious issues in Tunisia.
  • The World Bank’s world governance indicators show that although Tunisia’s government has become much more accountable, its effectiveness has declined since 2010.
  • The index of political stability, namely, the security situation in the face of ongoing violence/terrorism, has deteriorated along with that of the quality of state regulation.
  • The weak performance of the economy has been a major cause of tension.
  • Slow economic growth was the main reason for high unemployment levels.
  • Reforming public institutions and modernizing the public administration to improve efficiency and effectiveness and support inclusive growth remains a priority.
  • Reforming civil service to improve public service delivery and help contain the government’s wage bill, progressing with energy subsidy reform while strengthening the social safety net, fostering the monitoring and performance of the state-owned enterprises boosting equity-friendly revenue mobilization, and strengthening public financial management and transparency efforts, including through enhanced anti-corruption initiatives.
  • Tunisia has avoided much of the violence and repression that occurred after the Arab Spring occurred in Egypt. This was due to the moderation of key political forces, but their maneuverings in and out of government and the deals done with business groups have hampered the development of better administration and the achievement of faster economic growth.

Consequences of the Arab Spring:

  • Violence and instability: The Arab Spring’s aftermath in many countries resulted in waves of violence and instability known as the Arab Winter. It was marked by widespread civil conflicts, regional instability, and the Arab League’s demographic collapse.
  • Long-term repercussions: While the Arab Spring’s long-term repercussions have yet to be seen, its immediate implications differed considerably across the Middle East and North Africa. The revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt, where previous administrations were overthrown and replaced through a process of free and fair elections, were seen as short-term triumphs.
  • Middle East and North Africa: While the Arab Spring’s long-term repercussions have yet to be seen, its immediate implications differed considerably across the Middle East and North Africa. The revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt, where previous administrations were overthrown and replaced through a process of free and fair elections, were seen as short-term triumphs.


Without a doubt, the Arab Spring was an attempt by Arab countries to break free from the grips of authoritarianism. In reality, several tyrants, such as Muammar Qadhafi and Saddam Hussein, died in the early years of the movement, generating a lot of optimism. However, as time passed, the truth of human misery, total ruin, and anarchy dawned on the general public, as well as the worldwide community. The development of ISIS and the worldwide threat presented by terrorism were unintended consequences of a movement that was founded on the principles of democracy, individual independence, and liberty.

Mains oriented question:

What is the Arab Spring, what are the motives behind the Arab spring? What are its consequences? (150 words)