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For years the authoritarian regimes of the Arab world displayed remarkable persistence. Then, beginning in December 2010, much of the region underwent rapid and remarkable political change. This volume explores the precursors, nature, and trajectory of the dynamics unleashed by the Arab Spring. The authors focus on the complex forces that have sustained authoritarianism in the region, as well as the roots of popular mobilization and regime overthrow. They also examine the possibilities for democratic reform┐and, where it has occurred, relapse. Their work offers a comprehensive assessment, at once sophisticated and accessible, of current developments and trends in the countries of the Arab Middle East and North Africa.