Introduction: The actors and dynamics of change in North Africa and the Middle East

Publication date:
Inmaculada Szmolka


First of all, this paper frames the research into political change - one of the main study areas in comparative politics - and focusses on the regions of North Africa and the Middle East, which the ranks of comparativists had barely analysed until the so-called Arab Spring. There is, consequently, a dearth of theoretical frameworks with which to approach the experiences of political change that began in 2011 with the Arab protests and revolutions. Secondly, it analyses the democratising scope of the processes of rupture and reform brought about in the political systems of the region, observing that the expectations raised by the Arab Spring have not been fulfilled, except in the case of Tunisia. Lastly, it presents and systematises the eight articles assembled in this monograph, of which the actors and dynamics of change in the region are the cornerstone.


Key words: political regimes, reforms, democratisation, Arab Spring, North Africa, Middle East

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