This paper draws on the economic and political sciences literature to examine the possibility that the Arab Spring could bring the region out of the past vicious circle by which regional integration is stalled by political tensions and the latter are exacerbated by the lack of integration. This analysis suggests that the outcome depends on a number of factors, among which democracy plays a major role. Arguments based on the relationship between human capital and the development of democracy are put forward to support the likelihood of a virtuous circle developing.

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