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Learner Reviews & Feedback for After the Arab Spring – Democratic Aspirations and State Failure by University of Copenhagen

425 ratings
120 reviews

About the Course

Learn why the hope and excitement of the Arab Spring is gone, why so many Arab states are falling apart, why the youth are so frustrated, why there are so many refugees, and what can be done about it. The so-called Arab Spring appeared to end decades of exceptionalism and bring the Arab world back into the mainstream of global developments. The rebellions promised the return of politics and the reassertion of popular sovereignty against their corrupt and geriatric leaders. Much hope and flowery language greeted the young men and women who deposed their leaders and tried to build new, better societies. Today, the Arab world is in deep crisis. Of the 22 member states of the Arab League, at least five have essentially collapsed: Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Syria exist only in name today, as their territories have fallen to competing, murderous armed groups. In the remaining countries, the old autocracies have reasserted themselves. The repression at home is now worsened by regional conflict on an unprecedented scale, and the resulting frustration has led to the biggest refugee flows in recent memory. What went wrong? This course offers an overview of the structural shortcomings of Arab states and societies, which help us understand why the democratic awakening did not happen but instead “has given way to civil wars, ethnic, sectarian and regional divisions and the reassertion of absolutism.” This raises the obvious and renewed question whether there is something inherent in the Arab, and by analogy Muslim, condition that makes them special. Does this condition make this part of the world impervious to generally observable trends towards greater accountability, popular participation in political decision-making, greater generation and fairer division of economic wealth? Join this course to find out!...

Top reviews

Apr 14, 2020

Provides a fascinating and important approach to studying this topic. The professor's framework and intellectual depth enriched my understanding of this important and enduring problem.

Oct 12, 2018

An eye opening experience. I really hope this becomes a mandated course among anyone participating in any diplomatic initiatives in the Middle East and the Arabic world.

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26 - 50 of 120 Reviews for After the Arab Spring – Democratic Aspirations and State Failure

By Ganapati K

Aug 31, 2017

Amazing course, extraordinary lectures by Professor Afsah. This was more gripping than the earlier course on " Constitutional Struggles in the Muslim World ", because it is more contemporary, with events related from this century across the Gulf and North Africa, which we are all aware, analysed by the Professor in perspective, with observations from various experts bringing it all in focus.

By Veronika M

Mar 19, 2021

The course has been amazing. I got immersed in the informative content and even though it was quite complex, the instructor used a lot of relevant examples and quotations, that made it easier to follow and remember. Now I feel much more confident when it comes to a discussion about Arab world problems, because I understand the hidden patterns that lead to the current reality. Thank you!

By Nada H E

Sep 22, 2017

It was a very challenging yet interesting course, i never thought it would be that much intense with full range of readings and different perceptions were argued, and looking at the situation in the Middle East differently and not neglecting any views Western and Eastern.

I highly recommend anyone to join this course, especially with the list of the books that were used in the course.

By Eduardo I

Aug 7, 2017

Following the outstanding course Constitutional Struggles in the Muslim World (at Coursera?, Dr. Ebrahim Afsah once again did a terrific work bringing a complex subject - the Arab Spring - into a online course accessible to non-Muslims and non-Arabs. I appreciate the course and hope he comes back with more courses on the subject. Well done!

By Gayatri V

Feb 22, 2018

Thank you very much for this course. I was always curious about the middle east and had a lot of pre-conceived notions. This course helped satiate my curiosity and correct a few assumptions I had. I like the way the course is structured. It is easy to understand and apply in real life. I liked the practical aspects of this course as well. Thanks, again, for teaching me, sir.

By Rami E

Jan 30, 2021

I am happy and grateful to join and participate in this meaningful course, the course open a holistic view made by many prospectives ( Social, political, legal, economical and psychological , i am so grateful to Dr. Ebrahim Afsah for his effort for us ( one of people who live in a country still keep the lies and illusions among their life )

By Malak H

Jun 25, 2020

It was very informative and extremely interesting. The course truly expanded my vision of the Middle East. I truly recommend this course to anyone who is mildly interested in the Arab Spring, and I especially recommend this to any Arab, because we need to stay informed.

By Ebbe S

Aug 6, 2017

Insightful, explanatory, interesting and thoughtful account of contexts and a sharp analysis of and commentary on the background for and the developments that have taken place in the Arab world following the Arab Spring and the impact it is likely to have in the future.

By Jason B

Sep 11, 2018

Thank you Dr. Ebrahim Afsah for doing the research and disseminating all the information in a very presentable, and easy to understand fashion. I now have a much deeper understanding of the Arab Spring and the events that lead to the inevitable revolt. Great Course!

By Teodora S

Nov 16, 2020

It was an honor and a real challenge for me to be in this course.

Professor Ebrahim Afsah gives each of the lectures in a unique way. I learned a lot, especially humaneness, sincerity, precision, critical thinking, perfect legal expression.

Teodora Savova Savova

By Theresa A

Dec 5, 2017

Great course even if you have a background in MENA studies. The course format makes it easy to follow and the video presentations along with the supplemental readings add a great dimension to online learning! I cannot wait until Dr. Afsah's next course.

By Andreas M

Feb 26, 2020

I enjoyed this course very much. The material is presented in a well thought out manner, the videos are impeccable. The course and instructor gives a much needed intellectual input about a situation that seems very unclear from the outside!

By Shyam C

Aug 23, 2020

The instructor is very scholarly and experienced. This course has given me the necessary insights to understand the current situations in the Arab world that were difficult for me to understand dispassionately before taking this course.

By Tofail A

Sep 27, 2019

Religious extremism and dogmatism are seems to a threat to humankind since WW I, this is an excellent way to learn the reality what exactly going on in the middle east After the Arab Spring – Democratic Aspirations and State Failure.

By Ahmed D

Sep 30, 2019

Dr. Afsah delivered a fascinating course about the Arab Spring and he states his reasoning for the tragic failure of Arab states rationally and clearly. This course is a huge contribution to any students understanding of the region.

By Rick a D N V

May 19, 2019

An useful overview of the Arab Spring events, its causes, consequences, and outlooks. A course which gives opportunity for rethinking the Arab world in a more profound perspective, without clichés and easy answers. A great course!

By Ihtisham u H

Jul 25, 2020

it was wonderful experience with Professor Ebrahim Afsah. I am looking forward for further studies from amazing professor. it has developed my interest further and soon I will apply for Master Program In University of Copenhagen.

By Tracy B V

Jun 21, 2020

Working for government and being focused on the Middle East, I found it validating and articulating thoughts and observations much more clearly than I ever could. Even with 16 years of experience!

I recommend this course to all.

By Amani E A

Aug 29, 2017

This is one of the most informative, authentic and analytical courses. The examples given by the amazing Dr. Ibrahim are true and to the point. All my respect to the sincere Professor and to the wonderful crew of Coursera.

By Mohammed A R B

Mar 21, 2020

For any one want to study politics, law etc. Or want to know why Arab countries have collapsed and the reasons that led to Arab Spring. This great course will give you the knowledge and the information that you need.

By Afaque R A

Feb 24, 2018

An absolute masterpiece. Too many lessons, learnings and reasons for dysfunctional muslim and Arab societies mentioned and nicely explained in this course are directly applicable to the Pakistani case as well.

By Kees S

Mar 1, 2018

Although I liked the course I found the quizes to be easy and it took me hardly any effort to pass. I would love to see the topics discussed in a far more indepth manner and reflecting course.

Thank you.

By Jim W

Aug 10, 2017

After taking the earlier course and learning so much I didn't expect this to be as informative and thought provoking I was wrong it was possibly the best MOOC I have taken of many.

It was excellent.

By May d p

May 18, 2020

very insightful course for me. Learning the facts of the failure and significance of the Arab world is so fascinating and new subject for me. Thank you very much.