Chaos and Counterrevolution

After the Arab Spring

Richard Falk


A unique insight into the momentous events of the Arab Spring, examining how the uprisings came to lose their way and how Western interventionism exacerbated the problem.

The Arab Spring has consistently confounded expectations. While many in the West believed that the uprisings would usher in a new age of liberal, secular democracy in the Middle East, in reality their outcomes have proven to be both complex and contradictory. Most ominously, many countries have already experienced a dramatic counterrevolution, in the form of renewed dictatorship, while others have simply descended into chaos and internal conflict.

Richard Falk, a distinguished scholar of international law and former UN Rapporteur on Palestine, has been writing on the Arab Spring since its inception in 2011. Chaos and Counterrevolution brings together his collected writings on the uprisings and their aftermath across the region, and offers a unique perspective on these momentous events.

Through essays whose subjects range from the Syrian civil war and the emergence of ISIS to the coup in Egypt and the Gezi Park protests in Turkey, Falk explores how and why the Arab Spring has drifted so far from its original goals, and demonstrates how the West has exacerbated the problem through inept and counterproductive interventionism. Chaos and Counterrevolution provides invaluable insight into what has already become one of the defining episodes of our age.

Author Bio

Richard Falk is professor emeritus of international law at Princeton University, the author of over twenty books and a specialist on the role of international law in global politics. The United Nations Human Rights Council appointed Falk as a United Nations special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Palestine in 2008.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • 1. Regional Perspectives
  • 2. Egypt
  • 3. Libya
  • 4. Syria
  • 5. Turkey
  • 6. Iran
  • 7. Iraq
  • Appendix


'A masterly survey and critical analysis by an expert with knowledge and wisdom. Chaos and Counterrevolution is a subtle and sophisticated assessment of what is going on in the region After the Arab Spring.'
Fuat Keyman, director of the Istanbul Policy Center

'His deep knowledge of the region gives extraordinary depth and texture to his compelling insights, and the power of his narrative'
Laleh Khalili, author of Time in the Shadows: Confinement in Counterinsurgencies

'Chaos and Counterrevolution provides crucial analysis, helping readers worldwide to understand what has been happening in many Arab countries, and in Turkey and Iran.'
Marwan Muasher, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

'Chaos and Counterrevolution presents candid and lucid analyses of interconnected complexities ranging from a lurking colonial past and hegemonic policies, to rising expectations and dashed hopes following the Arab spring.'
Emad El-Din Shahin, editor-in-chief, The Oxford Encyclopedia of Islam and Politics


Publication Date: 15 August 2015
256 pages

Not available in: Argentina, Australia, Barbados, Bolivia, Plurinational State of, Brazil, Bahamas, Belize, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Falkland Islands (Malvinas), French Guiana, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Haiti, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Paraguay, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of

Product ISBNs: Paperback: 9781783606696
Hardback: 9781783606702

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