Recent events in Tunisia and Egypt have shown that protests driven by a range of socio-economic and political demands have a greater chance of achieving change than uprisings that are motivated by religious and political ideologies.
The uprising that started in Tunisia in late 2010 was not a completely new development, but rather a more dramatic example of the unrest common across the region, particularly in Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, and Jordan.
As a new national unity government in Tunisia struggles to gain support, political parties, civil society, and the military will play a critical role in determining whether the country can transition to a more democratic state or will fall back into its old political structure.
The EU, which has worked for decades on North Africa’s development, must step up its efforts to bolster the region’s private sector and dismantle its own agricultural protectionism.
In the wake of the upheaval in Tunisia, Arab leaders need to recognize that no country is invulnerable and take steps to open political systems to improve the democratic and political rights of the population.
With no precedent for regime transition and democratization in the Arab states, reformers in Tunisia are likely to encounter significant complications on the road to democracy.
The recent revolution in Tunisia demonstrates the strong potential for citizens to rise up against authoritarianism and should serve as encouragement for Arab leaders to implement democratic change in their own nations.
The recent revolution in Tunisia demonstrates that the complete stifling of political opposition does not guarantee longevity for authoritarian regimes.
The Tunisian revolution has fulfilled longstanding expectations that the youth bulge in Arab countries would eventually lead to political instability; it also showed that the weakness of opposition movements might be less significant than many observers believe.
If members of former Tunisian President Ben Ali’s regime attempt to use provisions in the country's constitution to retain power, dissatisfaction among opposition members and the Tunisian people could lead to further unrest.