Are the upheavals in the Arab world revolutions? Uprisings? Perhaps all such terms are misnomers, in that they imply an end point to processes that may not have a terminus. Regimes may fall or stand; movements may sputter or succeed in establishing a more democratic system. It often seems as if there are two parallel universes, one of revolution and one of retrenchment, which periodically collide with varying degrees of violence. The key, as argued in Middle East Report 262, is that the status quo ante cannot be restored.
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