The Second Arab Awakening


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And the Battle for Pluralism

Marwan Muasher

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A knowledgeable insider provides the first clear view of what has happened in the Arab world and why

This important book is not about immediate events or policies or responses to the Arab Spring. Instead, it takes a long, judicious view of political change in the Arab world, beginning with the first Awakening in the nineteenth century and extending into future decades when—if the dream is realized—a new Arab world defined by pluralism and tolerance will emerge.
Marwan Muasher, former foreign minister of Jordan, asserts that all sides—the United States, Europe, Israel, and Arab governments alike—were deeply misguided in their thinking about Arab politics and society when the turmoil of the Arab Spring erupted. He explains the causes of the unrest, tracing them back to the first Arab Awakening, and warns of the forces today that threaten the success of the Second Arab Awakening, ignited in December 2010. Hope rests with the new generation and its commitment to tolerance, diversity, the peaceful rotation of power, and inclusive economic growth, Muasher maintains. He calls on the West to rethink political Islam and the Arab-Israeli conflict, and he discusses steps all parties can take to encourage positive state-building in the freshly unsettled Arab world.

Marwan Muasher is vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment, overseeing research in Washington and Beirut on the Middle East. He has served as Jordan’s ambassador to the United States, foreign minister, and deputy prime minister. He lives in Amman, Jordan.

Praise for The Arab Center:

“This book is a must read to understand how to address the challenges facing the Middle East today.”—President Bill Clinton

"Muasher's book raises what may be the most damning criticism of the Bush administration's Middle East policy — that it has unwittingly undercut the very people the United States wanted most to help."—David Ignatius, Washington Post

"This powerful book is a manifesto for political pluralism in the Arab world—a liberating concept that that has unfortunately been missing in much of the thus far disappointing “Arab Spring.” Marwan Muasher shows how badly the Arabs need a political culture that accepts diversity, tolerates dissent and embraces different sectarian strains. If Muasher’s ideas about a pluralistic “third force” can take hold, we’ll see The Second Arab Awakening that this book describes--and Muasher will be one of its wisest chroniclers."--David Ignatius, Washington Post Columnist and author of Bloodmoney
"For the Arab awakening to have any future, the ideology that is most needed now is the one being promoted least: Pluralism. Until that changes, argues Marwan Muasher, in his extremely relevant new book . . . none of the Arab uprisings will succeed."—Thomas L. Friedman, New York Times
ISBN: 9780300212631
Publication Date: March 31, 2015
232 pages, 5 3/16 x 8
1 b/w illus.
The Arab Center

The Promise of Moderation

Marwan Muasher

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