The second decade of the 21st century began with a string of explosive protests in the Middle East and North Africa, which have destabilized not only the countries that saw violent regime change but the entire region. A way out of the profound systemic crisis is yet to be found. Most countries (Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Jordan, Saudi Arabia) have launched the needed socioeconomic reforms, albeit belatedly, but outcomes are difficult to predict. In other parts of the Arab world (Syria, Libya, Yemen), civil war has been the means of resolving questions of power. In these countries there is an inextricable tangle of ‘legitimate’ and ‘illegitimate’ governments, numerous militias, terrorist groups, and foreign military contingents, which constitute the covert and overt tools of a new kind of geopolitical rivalry.
As a result, the region remains a source of violence and terrorism, dramatic national upheavals, humanitarian catastrophes on a global scale, and waves of migration. The price of revolutions, the resultant devastation and foreign interference proved too high and relapses cannot be ruled out.