FP Virtual Dialogue: Locking Down or Rising Up?
May 13, 2020
Can the Middle East’s Protest Movements Survive and Adapt to COVID-19?
Does COVID-19 spell victory for counterrevolutionary forces across the region? Or can popular movements adapt and even thrive in this new reality?
Over the past few years, the streets of capitals across the Middle East have been filled with some of the most significant people-powered protest movements seen since the Arab Spring. From Algeria to Lebanon to Iraq, these movements have been cross-sectarian, demanding accountable and transparent government and rejecting entrenched elites. But the COVID-19 pandemic threatens to extinguish this bright light on the democratic horizon. Restrictions on gatherings are straining the cohesion of protest movements, and ruling elites are using the crisis to stifle and erase these movements’ gains and reestablish their own popular support.
Drawing on original research in the region and the experiences of IRI program partners on the ground, this event explored how COVID-19 has created an opening for the political establishment and threatened the call for democratic rights.
For more information, contact Diana Marrero, Senior Vice President of Strategic Development.