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Introduction: Where do we stand? New hopes, frustration and open wounds in Arab cities

Lipietz, B; de Souza, ML; (2012) Introduction: Where do we stand? New hopes, frustration and open wounds in Arab cities. City , 16 (3) 355 - 359. 10.1080/13604813.2012.687877.

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Abstract

The popular uprisings that erupted in December 2010 in Tunisia and spread like wildfire in the Maghreb and Middle East demand an honest appraisal, after a year of protests and conflicts. Undoubtedly, the 'Arab Spring' has brought about major change: dictators have been ousted (Ben Ali, Mubarak, Saleh), killed (Gaddafi), while others have seen their conception of absolutist power irrevocably shaken (Assad). Even in the relatively 'calm' context of Morocco, King Mohammed VI has been forced to make concessions. However, the ousting of Mubarak in Egypt has not equated with the fall of the old regime, and the army has remained central to the 'transition'; Libya's situation following on the death of Gaddafi is by no means clear; and repression in Syria continues, unabated. Meanwhile, the one example of smooth 'regime change', Tunisia, has also witnessed the recent electoral victory of the moderate Islamist party Al-Nahda, seemingly quashing in the process the hopes of an emergent secular democracy; this, in one of the region's most educated countries with a sizeable middle class and professional female population, ostensibly eager to protect its 'progressive' gender status by regional standards. Time to rethink hopes and prospects; time to attempt some form of balance sheet. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

Type:Article
Title:Introduction: Where do we stand? New hopes, frustration and open wounds in Arab cities
DOI:10.1080/13604813.2012.687877
UCL classification:UCL > School of BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Development Planning Unit

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