The Arab Spring stands within the historical panorama as a watershed between how the revolts before and after the spread of social media were organized and carried out. It is precisely this, therefore, the princeps element that places young people in a position relevant to the organization of revolutions and the legacy they left behind. What should not be overshadowed, in fact, is not simply the use of social media as a means to reach a large number of people, but the absence of any form of hierarchy within the same media. This element, unknown or secondary in the revolutions that occurred before 2010, has led to a drastic expansion of popular participation and, above all, of young people from the countries concerned. At first glance, the absence of a hierarchy and the expansion of popular participation could be sufficient conditions for a democratic opening. However, it is essential not to forget the substantial difference between democracy and oclocracy; the first, indicating a government of the demos, the second, representing a deteriorated stage of government in which power is in the hands of the masses. It is still difficult to establish whether the Arab Spring marked a starting point for democracy in the countries that have been involved. Perhaps this was the case, or perhaps it is not possible to generalize and it is necessary to analyze the progress and regressions that occurred in each Arab state in those years.
Maurizio Melani, Ambassador, Professor of International Relations at Link Campus University Sarah Yerkes, fellow, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (online)
Sarah Yerkes, fellow, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (online)
Andrea Nicastro, journalist of Corriere della Sera, autore “Gli altri siamo noi”
Ginella Vocca, Director of the Festival del Cinema Mediterraneo
Nicola Pedde, ISG- Institute for Global Studies
Karim Mezran, Atlantic Council (on line)