Since the first wave of uprisings in 2011, the euphoria of the "Arab Spring" has given way to the gloom of backlash and a descent into mayhem and war. The revolution has been overwhelmed by clashes between rival counter-revolutionary forces: resilient old regimes on the one hand and Islamic fundamentalist contenders on the other.In this eagerly awaited book, foremost Middle East and international affairs specialist Gilbert Achcar analyzes the factors of the regional relapse. Focusing on Syria and Egypt, Achcar assesses the present stage of the uprising and the main obstacles, both regional and international, that prevent any resolution. In Syria, the regime's brutality has fostered the rise of jihadist forces, among which the so-called Islamic State emerged as the most ruthless and powerful. In Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood's year in power was ultimately terminated by the contradictory conjunction of a second revolutionary wave and a bloody reactionary coup. Events in Syria and Egypt offer salient examples of a pattern of events happening across the Middle East.Morbid Symptoms offers a timely analysis of the ongoing Arab uprising that will engage experts and general readers alike.
Drawing on a unique combination of scholarly and political knowledge of the Arab region, Achcar argues that, short of radical social change, the region will not reach stability any time soon.