Five years after the 2011 uprisings, authoritarianism remains a deeply embedded feature of the Arab state system. Countries in the region are caught between the competing impulses of fragmentation and two equally unstainable authoritarian visions—that of the self-proclaimed Islamic State, or classic autocratic regimes. Robert Worth and Joseph Sassoon discussed these dynamics, sharing from their recent books. Carnegie’s Frederic Wehrey moderated.

Following the discussion, copies of the book were available for sale with signing by the authors.

Joseph Sassoon

Joseph Sassoon is an associate professor at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and is the author of Anatomy of Authoritarianism in the Arab Republics.

Robert Worth

Robert Worth writes for the New York Times Magazine and is the author of A Rage for Order: The Middle East in Turmoil from Tahrir Square to ISIS.

Frederic Wehrey

Frederic Wehrey is a senior associate in the Middle East Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace