Fawaz Gerges believes that Arabs are on the brink of a democratic wave similar to the ones that swept through Eastern Europe and Latin America. The recent massive political and social upheaval in the Middle East has stunned the world, and many now wonder if the age of oppressive regimes has come to an end. The monarchies—Bahrain, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan—have been shaken by the social unrest, yet seem less vulnerable than the faltering republics of Syria and Yemen. Will the influences of pluralism and democracy prevail over the powerful legacy of authoritarianism and populism? Is this the Arab world’s Berlin Wall moment? Gerges is professor of international relations of the Middle East and director of the Middle East Centre, London School of Economics and Political Science. Join him for the final part of the fall 2011 Chicago and the World Forum series as he examines the present and future political landscapes of the Middle East.
Recorded Wednesday, December 14, 2011 at The Chicago Club.