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From Dissent to Disillusionment?

Syria, Egypt, Tunesia - A Critical Assessment of the Media Landscape After the Arab Spring

Disillusionment is spreading now that more than a year has passed since the start of the uprising in Egypt. A military council still rules the country, and conservative forces threaten to crush the fragile bloom of democracy. Tunisian activists face similar problems as Salafist groups use violence in an effort to halt reforms. Secular and left-leaning organizations are trying to resist the Salafists: “Wake up, Tunisia, before it’s too late” reads an appeal on one of their websites. The outcome of developments in Syria, with ongoing bloody conflicts, is fully open.

The French scholar and Islam expert Jean-Pierre Filiu offered a sober analysis of the revolution: “Nothing is over yet.” Filiu views the Arab populations who organized with the help of social media platforms as playing a decisive role in the region’s revolutionary dynamic. One year after the celebrated Facebook-Revolutions questions remain: What role did internet activists play in the post-revolution and government building phase? How are activists from different countries networked and supporting each other? How have the media landscapes changed and what freedoms are still being fought for?

This panel is presented in cooperation with Deutsche Welle.