No Spring in Africa: How Sub-Saharan Africa Has Avoided the Arab Spring Phenomenon

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1 Citation (Scopus)


This article explores in detail the conditions underpinning why Sub-Saharan Africa has avoided the Arab Spring phenomenon-despite the existence of extremely fertile grounds for political revolutions. Using a historical comparative method, the study draws chiefly from three Arab Spring countries (Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya), and identifies the key factors that aided the domino-effect of political revolutions in the Middle East and North African (MENA) region. It then contrasts these with the domino-inhibiting factors drawn from an examination of four Sub-Saharan African countries: Chad, Sudan, Cameroon, and Angola. The central argument emphasizes contextual regional uniqueness. While a set of factors unique to the MENA region aided a revolution domino effect, a combination of structural, domestic, and external factors equally unique to Sub-Saharan Africa have enabled the latter to evade the domino effect of the Arab Spring.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)754-784
Number of pages31
JournalPolitics and Policy
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2015


  • Angola
  • Arab Spring
  • Cameroon
  • Cameroun
  • Chad
  • Comparative International Politics
  • Democracy and Democratization
  • Domino Effect
  • Egypt
  • Libya
  • MENA Region
  • Maghreb
  • Political Revolutions
  • Protest Cascades
  • Social Movements
  • Spread
  • Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Sudan
  • Tunisia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


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