What Does the Arab Spring Mean for Russia, Central Asia, and the Caucasus?
The demonstrations that were sparked by Mohamed Bouazizi’s self-immolation in protest of police corruption in Tunisia in December 2010 spread a contagion of revolutions across North Africa and the Middle East. The revolutionary spirit that spread to the neighboring countries of Egypt, Libya, Syria, Bahrain, Yemen, Morocco, and Jordan, has raised the question of a possible spillover in other regions of the world. The long-term instability in Eurasia as a whole, in Central Asia and the Caucasus in particular, has caused serious concerns about the possibility of rising radical Islamic threats in these regions, as well as the possibility of similar revolutions against the existing regimes. Perceptions and responses to these events in Russia and the United States also bear impact on the “reset” policy between the two nations.