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Journal

Focus

Of all the definitions that have been tried to describe the events that have taken place in North Africa and the Middle East since the beginning of 2011, the most fitting seems to be ‘fugitive spring’, a tandem that expresses at one and the same time the hope for change and the fragility that the Arab revolts involve. To enter this fleeting dimension means to explore the real protagonists, who at times have remained in the shadows of the movements of the streets, to explore who now intends to gather the fruits of the audacious action of the demonstrators and to govern these states and how this will be done. These states have to address within them – in the context of the international economic crisis – an explosive demand for freedom. It is also means to explore what slogans have been shouted in those streets and how the key words of political and electoral debates such as democracy, participation, rights and, above all, secularity, strike the ear. Secularity is a category as determining as it is variously interpreted and misunderstood in societies which have to deal with a pluralism that came into being with revolutions and govern it. Without forgetting that what is happening along the southern shores of the Mediterranean sea also influences the countries of the whole of the Euro-Atlantic area.

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