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Middle East and Africa

Demography, Family and Politics: The Three Stages of Arab transition

Illustration [Makkuro GL / Shutterstock]

A profound transformation of Arab society preceded the uprisings of 2011. In particular, a decline in fertility rates, followed by increased literacy rates, resulted in a certain number of changes also at the political level. In recent years, these indicators have signalled a possible change of course. At the same time, the devastating effects of the coronavirus pandemic loom on the horizon

This article was published in Oasis 31. Read the table of contents

Last update: 2021-08-29 21:36:35

A profound transformation of Arab society preceded the uprisings of 2011. In particular, a decline in fertility rates, followed by increased literacy rates, resulted in a certain number of changes also at the political level. In recent years, these indicators have signalled a possible change of course. At the same time, the devastating effects of the coronavirus pandemic loom on the horizon. 

 

Due to the unpredictable upheavals of recent months, this text may quickly become obsolete. The coronavirus pandemic that is raging throughout the globe has not spared the Arab world, even if its epidemiological severity (incidence of infection, mortality rates, etc...) has not reached the peaks that it has hit elsewhere, particularly in the United States and Europe. Moreover, Arab countries are very diverse, and not all have suffered the same degree of harm, with some being spared more than others for reasons that are only very partially known. But while both the pandemic and mortality have been relatively moderate, their economic, social, and political consequences have been devastating. Without a doubt more so in these latitudes than in developed countries. It would therefore be appropriate, once we have sufficient hindsight, to study the demographic effects on Arab society in three phases rather than two: that of a demographic transition, then that of a counter-transition, and finally that of a return to transition, but this time a poverty-led transition.

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