Examining the Interventionist Logic in the Arab Uprisings

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  • July 2014

    At first glance, there was no coherent regional and international response to the transitions triggered in the Arab world since December 2010 as external players, both regional and international, had to confront with unceasing alarm the rapidity of change threatening to unravel in critical Arab states. However, as events in the region progressed, a pattern emerged to the external responses, one that was as predictive as it was differentiated. This was exemplified by the counter-revolutionary forces that were assembled against the transition in Bahrain on one hand, and the aggressively interventionist posture adopted towards Libya and Syria on the other. This inconsistency between activism and support for the supposedly democratic spirit of armed resistance groups, but inaction and silence towards the crushed non-violent public opposition elsewhere, clearly betrayed the interest-driven motivations of the external actors involved.