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Full Access Middle East Turmoil and Human Rights: How will the ‘New’ Regimes Expand Civil Liberties

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Middle East Turmoil and Human Rights: How will the ‘New’ Regimes Expand Civil Liberties

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AbstractDuring the spring of 2011, there were a number of significant developments in North Africa and the Middle East. Specifically, Egypt, Libya, Syria, Tunisia, and Yemen all experienced levels of civil unrest not seen in more than a generation. Clearly there are cries for democracy and freedom, but what will this mean to groups that have historically been discriminated against or disenfranchised regardless of the type of regime in power? For example, will women fare any better as a result of a new government in Tunisia? Will gays in Cairo find a more tolerant government? Can ethnic or religious minorities in Tripoli endure or flourish? The answers to these questions get to the heart of meaningful transformations in governance structures in MENA states.

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