The Arab Spring: The Economic Conditions that Bred a Political Uprising
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The Arab Spring has been misidentified as purely a struggle for democracy and political freedoms; however, economic factors might carry more weight in a country’s population deciding to rise up against its government. In identifying the causes of the political and social turmoil in these countries affected by the Arab Spring in the Middle East and North Africa, it is imperative to understand the real underlying issues in order to solve these problems in the long term. By analyzing the economics of the Arab Spring, it becomes clear that certain economic indicators do play a decisive role in shaping the potential for a country’s populace to revolt. Economic factors point toward why some countries have experienced uprisings during the Arab Spring and why others have not, when their political and social structures imply that they should. The three components of the Theory of Economic Happiness- unemployment rate, gross national income per capita, and inflation rate - are all contributors to a nation’s level of economic contentment. When controlled for political corruption, university education, prevalence of a private sector, and varying levels of democracy, regression analysis shows that the effects of these elements of economic unhappiness along with corruption within Middle East and North Africa countries are the most significant factors in increasing the propensity to experience uprisings within their borders.
SubjectArab Spring, Economics
Johnson, Kimberly Ann (2015). The Arab Spring: The Economic Conditions that Bred a Political Uprising. Honors and Undergraduate Research. Available electronically from