Finding the right term to describe political and social upheaval sweeping across a whole region is a daunting challenge. For the Middle East, since the end of the first decade of the 21st century, that term has been “Arab Spring.”

In this occasional paper, Professor Ibrahim N. Abusharif takes readers on a journey traversing Western and Middle Eastern thought, theoretical debates, and practical results. Grounded in deep knowledge of the region and respect for its vast differences, he explains and analyzes why the moniker "Arab Spring" matters and helps us grapple with continuity in the midst of change across several Arab nations, including Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Syria, and others.