The Arab Awakening: New Challenges, New Players October 2012

Twenty months after the outbreak of the Arab Spring, the MENA Region is still in turmoil. The Arab Awakening has triggered deep changes and long term transformations, while big challenges persist. On one side, political transitions in countries where old regimes have been overthrown - like Egypt, Tunisia and Libya - have proved to be very difficult and are still a work in progress. On the other side, new and old regional and international actors have been playing a more active and assertive role in order to influence developments in the MENA region. Starting from an assessment of the Egyptian transition under Muslim Brotherhood rule, looking at both domestic developments and foreign policy orientation, this study offers an analysis of the role of the Gulf monarchies, China and Russia in dealing with the Arab Awakening. Following their specific geopolitical, diplomatic and economic interests - which in some cases contrast with those of the Arab people - these players are trying to affect and shape regional dynamics so as to increase their own leverage and bargaining power in the region. Sally Khalifa Isaac will deal with the Egyptian transition, while Valeria Talbot's contribution will be based on the Gulf Monarchies' point of view. China's attitde towards Arab Spring will be at the center of Shaun Breslin's analysis, while the special relationship between Russia and Syria will be dealt with in Talal Nizameddin's contribution.

Valeria Talbot, ISPI Research Fellow, presents the study.



Egypt's Transition:
How is it Under Brotherhood Rule?

Sally Khalifa Isaac

The election of the Muslim Brotherhood candidate, Mohammed Morsi, as Egypt's first civilian elected President in June 2012, does not seem to bring Egypt's transition to an end. Morsi is challenged for two main reasons... read all

The Gulf Monarchies in a Changing
MENA Region

Valeria Talbot

The emergence of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) monarchies as a major player in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is one of the most interesting outcomes of the Arab Spring. The Arab awakening and the deep regional transformations that it has engendered have pushed the Gulf monarchies... read all

China and the Arab Awakening

Shaun Breslin

China's veto power as a permanent member of the UN Security Council means that it is a key actor when it comes to considering external powers' responses to the Arab Awakening. Add to this significant and growing economic interests - most notably, but not only, as an oil importer - and China's desire to play a role in the region becomes clearer... read all

Russia's Political Winter
Leaves Syria's Spring on Ice

Talal Nizameddin

Vladimir Putin's third term as president is being marked by tightening authoritarianism and a combative posture on the international stage. This stance in not new and has been steadly evolving for over a decade... read all

ISSN 2281-3152


Valeria Talbot (Head of Research), Shaun Breslin, Sally Khalifa Isaac, Talal Nizameddin