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Guest Thinkers

Shifting Sands in the Middle East

In the space of a month, the centre of gravity in the world has shifted back to the Middle—to Egypt and other young societies across the Middle East and North Africa, says history professor Mark Levine.

U.C. Irvine history professor Mark LeVine analyzes the recent, and seemingly secular, uprisings across the Arab world: “Egyptians, Tunisians and other peoples of the region fighting for revolutionary political and economic change have, without warning, leapfrogged over the U.S. and China and grabbed history’s reins. Suddenly, it is the young activists of Tahrir who are the example for the world, while the great powers seem mired in old thinking and outdated systems. From the perspective of ‘independence’ squares across the region, the U.S. looks ideologically stagnant and even backwards, filled with irrational people and political and economic elites incapable of conceiving of changes that are so obvious to the rest of the world.”


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