Nearly a decade after the Arab uprisings gripped the region, large-scale protests have broken out in Iraq and Egypt. In Iraq, arguably one of the most open political systems in the Arab world, authorities struck the protesters with surprising levels of violence. In Egypt, the surprise was that protests took place at all, given the historic levels of authoritarian repression.

What do the protests reveal about state failure—and what kind of pressure do they exert on governments to change? Iraq and Egypt, like many governments in the region, have rigid systems that appear incapable of serious changes in policy or governance. What can we learn from the latest round of revolts?

Participants include:

  • Maria Fantappie, Iraq senior adviser, International Crisis Group
  • Michael Wahid Hanna, senior fellow, The Century Foundation
  • Thanassis Cambanis, senior fellow, The Century Foundation