The Arab Transformations Project


The Arab Transformations Project

In this podcast, Professor Andrea Teti discusses the findings of the Arab Transformations Project. Led by Aberdeen University, the project carried out public surveys in seven Arab countries in late 2014 and compiled a longitudinal database. According to the survey data, Professor Andrea Teti examines the economic, social and political transformations in the region. The survey observations indicate challenging popular perceptions in relation to a broad range of topics such as: corruption, youth, democracy, migration, gender, religion, security and stability, and Eu-MENA relations. 

The analysis of the surveys data shows that, contrary to popular belief, the 2011 Uprisings weren’t “youth revolution” but were rather carried out by protesters from all age groups and all sorts of social backgrounds. Data also reveals that people in the Arab world, have a holistic conception of democracy which extends its perception beyond narrow definitions based on free and fair elections to include both civil-political and socio-economic rights. Of all the factors associated with democracy, corruption is one of the most important variables that people are concerned with. In addition, the 2011 Uprisings provided a framework for examining issues that have been long linked to the Orientalist stereotypes about how the region is not suited to democracy, shifting attention to how effective the ongoing mass mobilization can be putting governments under pressure. The survey concludes that claims for both socio-economic and political inclusion are at the heart of the Arab Uprisings.

Andrea Teti is Associate Professor of International Relations at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. He is author of The Arab Uprisings in Egypt, Tunisia and Jordan: Social, Political and Economic Transformations (2018) with Pamela Abbott and Francesco Cavatorta, and his book Democratization Against Democracy: How the EU failed to learn from the Arab Uprisings with Pamela Abbott, Valeria Talbot and Paolo Maggiolini is forthcoming in 2020 by Palgrave.

CEMAT Director, Dr. Laryssa Chomiak, led this interview, which was recorded on June 20, 2019, at the Centre d'Études Maghrébines à Tunis (CEMAT).

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Posted by Hayet Lansari, Librarian, Outreach Coordinator, Content Curator (CEMA).

Suggested Bibliography

Teti, A., et al. 2020. Democratization Against Democracy: How EU Foreign Policy Fails the Middle East. London: Palgrave Macmillan. 

Teti, A., Abbott, P., Cavatorta, F. 2019. "Conceptions of Democracy in the Arab Middle East : Evidence from Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia and Morocco"Democratization, 26 (4): 645-665.

Teti, A. 2012. "The EU’s First Response to the ‘Arab Spring’: A Critical Discourse Analysis of the Partnership for Democracy and Shared Prosperity"Mediterranean Politics, 17(3): 266-284.