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Corresponding Author:
Oluwole Owoye, Department of Social Sciences, Western Connecticut State University, Danbury, Connecticut, USA

Olugbenga A. Onafowora, Department of Economics, Susquehanna University, Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania, USA

Assessing the Socio-Economic and Political Outcomes of the Arab Spring in Arab League Countries

Volume 75 - Issue 3, August 2022
(pp. 363-390)
JEL classification: F50; F55; P47; P51; P52; R58
Keywords: Arab Spring; Arab League; Uprisings and Protests; Worldwide Governance Indicators


This paper uses the difference-in-means statistical approach to assess the socio-economic and political outcomes of the Arab Spring uprisings in 16 countries in the Arab League that experienced the region-wide protests. The main research question is: Did the Arab Spring uprisings and protests achieve the desired socio-economic and political outcomes? To answer this question, we use six Worldwide Governance Indicators: voice and accountability, political stability and absence of violence, government effectiveness, regulatory quality, rule of law, and control of corruption to assess whether positive or negative changes occurred in 16 countries in the Arab League after the uprisings and protests. Our empirical results revealed that statistically significant minor improvements in governance indicators occurred in 11 cases: five in Iraq, three in Algeria, one each in Djibouti, Sudan, and Tunisia. In contrast, we found that statistically significant negative changes occurred in 58 cases in which the governance indicators worsened: six each in Kuwait, Libya, and Syria; five each in Bahrain and Yemen; four each in Egypt, Lebanon, Mauritania, Oman, Sudan, and Tunisia; three in Jordan; two in Djibouti; and one in Algeria. In addition, the governance indicators remained unchanged in 27 cases: six in Morocco; three each in Djibouti, and Jordan; two each in Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Mauritania, and Oman; and one each in Bahrain, Iraq, Sudan, Tunisia, and Yemen. Interpretatively, the Arab Spring uprisings and protests worsened the governance indicators in almost all countries in the sample, especially in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, and Yemen where the protests led to the ouster of their autocratic leaders. Intuitively, one can attribute the negative changes and outcomes to the ongoing governance structures in Arab League countries where uprisings and protests tend to produce leadership changes from the same pool of inept mediocre leaders. 

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Institute for International Economics
of the Genoa Chamber of Commerce

Istituto di Economia Internazionale
Camera di Commercio di Genova
Via Garibaldi, 4 (III piano) - 16124 Genova (Italy)