Socioeconomic Drivers of Protests in the MENA Region
The Middle East and North Africa Programme at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs hosted a webinar analysing socio-economic drivers of protests in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region focusing on the contexts of Tunisia, Algeria and Lebanon.
Ten years after the Arab uprisings, that toppled dictators and briefly reshuffled the established status quo in several Arab countries, the region is still experiencing protests and popular demonstrations.
Long standing issues related to entrenched social inequalities, deep-seated corruption, recurring economic crises and the disintegration of the social contract are further weakening the already fragile state-society relationship in states across the region. With citizens' growing mistrust in political institutions, protests is viewed by many as the main avenue to express discontent and demand structural changes.
With these dynamics in mind, this seminar focused on a comparative analysis of socioeconomic drivers of protests in Tunisia, Lebanon, and Algeria, examining different repertoires of contention and state responses to popular demonstrations.
What socioeconomic grievances drive contemporary protest movements in the Middle East and North Africa region? How are they different from what brought people to the streets to protest during the Arab Spring? Are there any similarities between the movements in different countries in the region?
Lina Khatib, Director, Middle East and North Africa Programme, Chatham House
Youssef Cherif, Director, Columbia Global Centers, Tunis
Linda El-Naggar, Analyst, Middle East and North Africa Programme, UI
Lucia Ardovini, Research Fellow, Middle East and North Africa Programme, UI