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

389 ratings
108 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 15, 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 13, 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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51 - 75 of 109 Reviews for After the Arab Spring – Democratic Aspirations and State Failure

By David H

Jun 18, 2020

A very enjoyable course - tightly focused, insightful and linked to both historical and contemporary sources. Highly recommended.

By Dina R

Mar 26, 2020

This was an excellent sequel to the previous course by the same lecturer on Constitutional problems in the Muslim world.

By John L

Apr 01, 2020

A much simpler and shorter course than the Constitutional struggles course from the same stable, but well worth whole.

By Vedrana G

Jun 29, 2020

Another excellent, analytical and in-depth course from one of the best lecturers on Middle East. Highly recommended.

By Ms. A L

Aug 05, 2020

I have learned an in depth knowledge of the theoretical perspectives of Arab Spring and the informal outcomes.

By Ekaterina G

Jul 20, 2020

Very interesting and well paced course! I will definitely consider taking another course by this instructor.

By shivam g

May 13, 2020

A detailed and very interesting insight into the polity of the Middle East and intricacies of it's society.

By C.Winkel

Sep 29, 2018

Very interesting and enlightening course. The instructor is excellent and very well informed and engaging.

By Elizabeth B

Sep 20, 2017

Excellent and very informative course, makes you think critically about the situation in the Middle East.

By Zeeshan I

Jul 29, 2017

quite unique in features and highly informative to those who have an interest in this part of the world.

By Khalaf M I

May 25, 2020

one of the best ever courses I have done so far. deep knowledge especially for Middle East students.

By Samah A J

Aug 20, 2020

Deep and productive course. Although the language is difficult, the information deserves the time.

By Wendy M

Sep 22, 2017

Superb course that gave me lots to think about. Very grateful to the Professor and all concerned.

By Joanna S

Aug 21, 2017

Very interesting and follows on nicely from Constitutional Struggles in the Muslim World.

By Bruno V E

Aug 04, 2020

A complete course, that made me want to study the middle east conflicts in my masters!

By Ilaria C

Dec 20, 2017

I've liked this course because it has been displayed in a very scientific way. Thanks!

By Radha M P

May 23, 2020

This course gives valuable insights into complex problems in society. I enjoyed it.

By Manuel F G

Dec 08, 2017

Excellent course, full of information,

Academic reflections and useful bibliography.

By Manole M

Apr 27, 2020

knowledgeable, comprehensive, gave me a new perspective on the matter discussed.

By Andrés R

Aug 07, 2020

It is a great course, which answers many questions about the Arab Middle East.

By allexandraach

Jun 22, 2020

Excellent; as a minus I'd say the long, complex and information-rich sentences

By Ingmar S

Nov 11, 2018

pacing of this course was manageable with the tests coming after each video.

By Richard M

Aug 07, 2017

Another excellent and insightful course, very well delivered by Dr Afsah.

By Jan S

Nov 27, 2017

Gives a great insight into the problems of the failing muslim states

By Aline A A G

Aug 07, 2020

Nice course and great information. I really liked this course