on Sydney Ideas – University of Sydney – 17 Mar 2016
Recent protest movements in Europe and the Middle East have called for a greater political voice, a more equitable economy, and greater social justice. Yet five years after the mass mobilisation of the ‘Arab Uprisings’ and of Europe’s anti-austerity movements, the message of these protests seem to have fallen on deaf ears. The Middle East has seen a powerful wave of counter-revolution sweep the region. In Europe political elites have attempted to prevent new leftist movements from achieving power while the political landscape has drifted slowly but surely to the xenophobic right. This panel considers the response of Europe and the Middle East to the opportunities for democratic transformation afforded by the 2010-15 wave of protests, why those opportunities were missed, and what can be done to address the underlying tensions in these societies.