commentary

(CNN)

February 1, 2011

The Domino Effect of Arab Unrest

by Julie E. Taylor

Bowing to the massive pressure of demonstrators, Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak said Tuesday he will step down in September after 30 years in power. King Abdullah II dismissed his government in Jordan as calls for reform swept across North Africa and the Middle East. Analysts offer their views on what this wave of unrest means for the region and the world.

There is no clear political party or leader ready to step in if the regime in Egypt falls. However, this protest is not without leadership; it is spearheaded by a large network of Egyptian human rights groups and other citizens.

They have long challenged the Mubarak regime on humanitarian issues as greater independence of the judiciary, protections for minorities, and maintenance of stated protections found in the Egyptian constitution.

Activists in these groups have been trained in nonviolent civic protest tactics. They have networked with democratic activists in other countries for four years or more. The Bush and Obama administrations have followed their activities. Although the protesters make up a disembodied movement, many of their coordinators are known to the U.S. administration....

The remainder of this op-ed can be found at cnn.com.


Julie Taylor, a Middle East specialist who lived in Egypt for five years, is a political scientist at the RAND Corp.

This commentary originally appeared on CNN on February 1, 2011. Commentary gives RAND researchers a platform to convey insights based on their professional expertise and often on their peer-reviewed research and analysis.