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University of Baltimore Law Review

Abstract

More than six years have passed since the tumultuous weeks that comprised the key moments of the Arab Spring. Although initially greeted with great optimism, most results of these remarkable events ultimately have been discouraging. In Egypt, a “democratic coup d’état” paved the way for the resignation of longtime authoritarian leader Hosni Mubarak and, eventually, democratic elections. However, this moment of hope and reform proved to be short-lived. The elected president and Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Morsi proved to be so divisive and consolidated executive authority to such an alarming extent that General Abdel Sisi replaced him in a military, if arguably popularly supported, coup. Egypt is now perhaps even more authoritarian and less free than it was under President Mubarak, and as President Sisi’s popularity continues to wane, many commentators argue that Egypt’s “deep state” remains in control of the country despite the 2011 revolution or 2013 coup. Likewise, little has changed in Morocco, where after widespread protests and a promising youth-led grassroots initiative (the February 20th Movement), the majority of Moroccans eventually stood pat when King Mohammed VI made largely superficial democratic reforms.

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