Foreign Policy Research Institute

“A nation must think before it acts.” —Robert Strausz-Hupé
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Is the New Middle East Stuck in Its Sectarian Past? The Unspoken Dimension of the “Arab Spring”

Yoel Guzansky, Benedetta Berti

Abstract

This article focuses on the impact of the Arab Spring on pre-existing societal cleavages, specifically analyzing its impact on Sunni-Shiite relations. How have Sunni-Shiite relationships been reshaped by the ongoing social protests? Is there a rise in the inter-religious tensions among Sunni and Shiite communities across the region? And, if that is the case, what are the implications of this trend on both the region's potential for democratization, as well as on its overall stability and security?