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Part III Post-Authoritarian Reform: Ruptures, Conflict, and Managed Transitions, 9 The Arab Spring Region in a Constitutional Era: A Few Instances of Short-lived SSR

Philippe Droz-Vincent

From: Security Sector Reform in Constitutional Transitions

Edited By: Zoltan Barany, Sumit Bisarya, Sujit Choudhry, Richard Stacey

From: Oxford Constitutions (http://oxcon.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2015. All Rights Reserved.date: 07 August 2020

This chapter explores security sector reform (SSR) in the Arab Spring region. Transitions in the Arab World began by the sudden surge of massive societal mobilizations against authoritarian rule in public spaces that exerted a strong ‘stress test’ on security institutions, first of all on the Ministry of the Interior's forces that were at the forefront of regime maintenance. However, when regimes asked their militaries for ‘upgraded’ or ‘enhanced’ repression, the latter’s reaction was an essential determinant of the trajectories of transition. Much more than in any previous experiments in transition in Latin America or Asia, the centrality of the military question, either its pressing weight or conversely its complete absence in transitional processes or at least in bargains to re-institutionalize the different polities, was strongly felt.

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