From Democratization to Securitization: Post‐Arab Spring Political Order in the Middle East

This article examines the question: why and how the wave of democratization in the Middle East has receded, giving way to the prioritization of security in the post‐Arab Spring by conducting analyses at three levels: societal, state, and international. By applying the main concepts and theories found in the literature on democratization and securitization and by analyzing the Bertelsmann Stiftung’s Democracy Status Index, the Arab Barometers Survey, and the Arab Opinion Survey, the article concludes that: at the societal level, the tragic unfolding of events after the Arab Spring prohibits the public from pushing a reform agenda; at the state level, the post‐Arab political environment raises doubts among the ruling elite about how far political reforms should be extended; and at the international level, with the rise of new security threats, international pressure on Middle East countries to democratize has been restrained, giving way to security cooperation as the top priority.

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