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Political Change in North Africa and the Arab Middle East: Constitutional Reforms and Electoral Processes

Inmaculada Szmolka
Arab Studies Quarterly
Vol. 36, No. 2 (Spring 2014), pp. 128-148
Published by: Pluto Journals
DOI: 10.13169/arabstudquar.36.2.0128
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.13169/arabstudquar.36.2.0128
Page Count: 21
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Political Change in North Africa and the Arab Middle East: Constitutional Reforms and Electoral Processes
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Abstract

The aim of this study is to examine, from a comparative focus, the processes of political change, which have come about as a result of the revolutions and upheavals in North Africa and the Arab Middle East countries since December 2010. Previous experiences have shown that democracies tend to emerge in waves. Nevertheless, our hypothesis is that we cannot generalize by referring to a new wave of democratization in this region, but rather, we need to focus on processes of change of a different political nature (the establishment of democracy, political liberalization, and in some cases, the immobility of authoritarian regimes). In this research, we describe the constitutional and legal reforms, and the elections held to date. Finally, we evaluate the scope of these processes and assess their impact on the nature of political regimes in the Arab world.

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