This is a follow-up article (mark II) to “The Sociology of the Arab Spring: A Revolt or a Revolution?”, which took a sociological approach in explaining the Arab uprisings, that spread throughout the Middle East since the end of the last year, and reached a conclusion on whether the Arab Spring consists of revolts or revolutions. Although at the time the first article was published many uprisings in different countries were still in progress, as they are right now, in retrospect, it seems that our analysis and conclusions did not fall far from reality. Thus, given the importance of these developments for the region and the world as well as the great interest shown for the first article, we considered the analysis of the currently unfolding events in the Middle East to be expedient. Hence, the purpose of this article is twofold: 1) the analysis of the new developments in Libya, Syria and Egypt, based on the theoretical framework that was set in the first article; and 2) the comparison of the conclusions of the two articles, thus evaluating our initial findings regarding the nature of the Arab Spring.
For the sake of coherence a few basic elements of the theoretical framework are repeated. Firstly, this article accepts that a “revolution” is a social movement that: a) is massive, b) leads to fundamental and systemic changes or reforms, and c) requires the use of violence.[i] Furthermore, revolutions are of larger scale, they last longer and have more extensive outcomes than revolts.