Asher Susser Ph.D., The Stein Family Professor of Modern Israel Studies, The University of Arizona, The Arizona Center for Judaic Studies
Beginning with the Arab Spring this talk will offer an alternative explanation to the democracy/ autocracy paradigm, arguing that the Arab Spring was actually a clash between the forces of modernity and tradition and an outgrowth of the profound socio-economic crisis that faces much of the Arab world today. Against the background of a modernization process that has had rather limited success the younger generation across the region has been overcome by an increasing sense of hopelessness as it looks toward the future. The pervasive sense of crisis has driven very many into the embrace of traditionalist or neo-traditionalist forces that have come to the fore in recent years. These neo-traditionalist forces are mainly three: political Islam, sectarianism, and tribalism and it is they that have dominated the political scene in the countries of the Arab Spring. The resurgence of these more traditional identities poses unprecedented challenges to the cohesion of numerous Arab states, while the emergence of radical Islamic forces like ISIS openly call for the undoing the Arab state system that has been in existence for a century.
When: December 8, 2014
Location: Tucson Jewish Community Center, 3800 E. River Rd.
This event is free and open to the public.