Exploiting dissent: foreign military interventions in the Arab uprisings

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In the wake of the Arab uprisings, Bahrain, Libya, Syria and Yemen experienced military interventions following popular protests absent civil strife where citizens coalesced around common grievances. Why did external actors pursue military interventions during the Arab uprisings? What prompted such interventions? This article explicates the structural conditions underpinning external interventions during the MENA region’s largest pro-democracy wave. I posit the simultaneity of the protests within a given temporal setting produced a permissive strategic environment that created a window of opportunity for external actors to alter the balance of power to maintain competing spheres of influence. The cross-national comparison contributes novel case studies to the extant literature on foreign military interventions to illustrate how and why regional shocks structure interest and opportunity for states seeking to leverage geostrategic interests through military interventions.




Mako, S. (2022). Exploiting dissent: foreign military interventions in the Arab uprisings. International Politics, 59(6), 1139–1166. https://doi.org/10.1057/s41311-021-00352-x

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