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Political Change in the Middle East and North AfricaAfter the Arab Spring$
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Inmaculada Szmolka

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781474415286

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474415286.001.0001

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Public rights and liberties

Public rights and liberties

(p.210) Chapter 9 Public rights and liberties
Political Change in the Middle East and North Africa

Luis Melián

Edinburgh University Press

A key issue in the study of political change is the situation and development of rights and freedoms. Specifically, this chapter studies the impact that the eruption of the Arab Spring has had on these liberties. In order to meet this objective it analyses primary sources, legal reforms and frameworks, and databases and research reports. The question this chapter addresses is whether political changes in the MENA region reflect deepening liberalisation processes through de iure modifications of the civil liberties legislative framework; and the extent to which these changes have had a de facto impact on regimes. In sum, it assesses whether these changes have been sufficient to represent an advance or regression in the democratic character of the region's political regimes. After the analysis, it can be concluded that the situation of civil liberties in the region is either precarious or alarming in the majority of the MENA countries. Furthermore, with the exception of Tunisia, the Arab Spring has not led to a substantive improvement despite the reformist ambition of some countries, and has even led to a significant deterioration in various cases.

Keywords:   Political change, MENA countries, Public rights and liberties, Arab Spring and Post-Arab Spring, Democracy, Authoritarianism

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