Ten years after the onset of the Arab Spring, the Middle East and North Africa are torn between two visions of progress: a democratic one that seeks to replace the leaders who dominate the region, and an ostensibly modernizing one that seeks to replace the people who inhabit it. Though the latter project is currently ascendant, it is likely to founder on its own internal contradictions. Arab publics may be ambivalent about democracy, but the region retains considerable democratic potential.
Masoud, Tarek. "The Arab Spring at 10: Kings or People?" Journal of Democracy 32.1 (January 2021): 139-154.