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The Arab Spring and Europe’s Chance

ROME – The term “spring” may suggest a gentle awakening, but what is happening in North Africa and the Middle East is a true revolution, fomented by a new, digitally-savvy generation. The Arab upheavals are a by-product of the inexorable process of globalization in the twenty-first century, with almost instantaneous communications and increasing contact with the West transforming social and economic expectations.

Only by fully understanding the demands and grievances of these Arab revolutionaries will the West be able to give the region appropriate support – and this support is critical. The Arab revolts have not been directed against the West – on the contrary, they have been fed by Western democratic principles and values – but they could yet produce a reactionary backlash.