Nasr for The New York Times Opinion: If the Arab Spring Turns Ugly

August 27th, 2011

New York Times Opinion

If the Arab Spring Turns Ugly

By VALI NASR
Published: August 27, 2011

Vali Nasr is professor at Tufts University, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and the author of “The Shia Revival: How Conflicts Within Islam Will Shape the Future.”

THE Arab Spring is a hopeful chapter in Middle Eastern politics, but the region’s history points to darker outcomes. There are no recent examples of extended power-sharing or peaceful transitions to democracy in the Arab world. When dictatorships crack, budding democracies are more than likely to be greeted by violence and paralysis. Sectarian divisions — the bane of many Middle Eastern societies — will then emerge, as competing groups settle old scores and vie for power.  Read More…