The Impact of Arab Revolutions on Asia: A Study of Diffusion Theory

Gamal M. Selim, The British University in Egypt
Mohammad El-Sayed Selim, Kuwait University


This article addresses four main research questions; (i) do political phenomenon diffuse from one region to another?, (ii) what are the main factors which determine its spatial and temporal diffusion?, (iii) what are the main consequences of such diffusion?; and (iv) why do revolutionary phenomenon diffuse into democracies? To answer these questions, the article reviewed the diffusion theory, presented its theoretical framework , and deduced from it eight hypotheses that evolve around the determinants of diffusion. The hypotheses where tested in the case of the diffusion of the Arab revolutions in Asia since 2011. Asia was chosen as the universe of analysis because most of its regions experienced a "democratic deficit," reminiscent of the Arab countries in which the Arab revolutions occurred. The article identified the various forms of the diffusion of the Arab revolutions into Asian nations, and found that the these revolutions diffused into some of these nations, albeit in different forms from those in the Arab countries. However, the devolution of the Arab revolutions into violence has limited their diffusion.