First Advisor

David Kinsella

Term of Graduation

Winter 2024

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Political Science


Political Science




Arab Spring, civil war, revolution



Physical Description

1 online resource (iv, 132 pages)


The question of why revolts, civil wars, and social unrest occur is central in the field of political science. This paper asks that question in the specific context of the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings as a revolutionary wave. Many theories of revolution and social unrest locate their causes in the internal characteristics of the country where they take place, such as the country's demographics or level of economic development. This paper examines the external situation of a country: its relationships with other states and the international community. This paper examines eighteen Arab countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and compares the severity of the unrest in 2011 in each country with the general international attitude toward each country's government. Compared with various internal characteristics of each country, this paper finds a fairly strong statistical correlation between the severity of unrest in a country and the negativity of the international attitude toward that country, suggesting that the foreign attitude and indirect foreign influence are significant causes of revolutionary upheaval in many countries.


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