Adria Lawrence

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Algerian anti-riot police stand guard during a March 5 demonstration in the northern coastal city of Oran, against the ailing president's bid for a fifth term. (-/AFP/Getty Images)

Last Friday, tens of thousands of demonstrators marched in Algeria, calling for an end to the 20-year presidency of 81-year-old Abdelaziz Bouteflika. In Sudan on the same day, President Omar al-Bashir stepped down as ruling party leader following months of protest against his almost 30-year rule. These events, alongside protests in the past few years in Morocco, Iraq, Jordan, Iran and Tunisia, raise the question of whether the Middle East is undergoing a new wave of anti-regime protest.

Mass protests, uprisings against authoritarian rule, and even democratization often come in waves, spreading within countries and across borders. The 2011 uprisings left few Arab countries untouched and toppled four autocratic rulers in the most visible wave of mass protest since the anti-colonial movements of the mid-20th century.…  Seguir leyendo »