Book Talk: False Dawn: Protest, Democracy, and Violence in the New Middle East
Half a decade after Arabs across the Middle East poured into the streets to demand change, hopes for democracy have disappeared in a maelstrom of violence and renewed state repression. Egypt remains an authoritarian state; Syria and Yemen are in the midst of devastating civil wars; Libya has descended into anarchy; and the self-declared Islamic State rules a large swathe of territory. Even Turkey, which also experienced large-scale protests, has abandoned its earlier shift towards openness and democracy and now more closely resembles an autocracy. How did things go so wrong so quickly across a wide range of regimes? In his new book, noted Middle East expert Steven A. Cook looks at the trajectory of events across the region, from the initial uprising in Tunisia to the failed coup in Turkey, to explain why the Middle Eastern uprisings did not succeed.