It is now more than four years since the Arab Spring erupted in Tunisia. The results have been rather disappointing, but the events remain potentially among the grand turns of history. The fruition of the Arab Spring has been impeded by a variety of factors cultural, institutional, political, and historical. And in this mix, there are external and internal factors specific to certain countries. In all the countries involved there were lacunae of institutional infrastructure at the public and civil society levels to govern and participate in governance. The cultural traditions of the Arab world in the wake of the spread of fundamentalist Salafist thinking in recent years, created popular perceptibility for the Islamists, who turned out to be either without programmes and experience or extremists with anti-democratic beliefs and a penchant for terror and violence. In addition, there were beneficiary classes tied to the ancient regimes and soldiers accustomed to domination and privileges, who presented structural impediments to change. Despite the great humanitarian disasters in countries like Syria and Libya, the international community proved incapable of decision and indifferent to the suffering of the populace. Still, the Arab Spring needs time to bring about its aspired transformation and modernization and this might carry with it the type of virtual dynamics we have seen in human history.

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