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Brainstorming HAF, Florence, May 7-8, 2022

The Arab Spring crisis is part of a general crisis of democratic models and
of a  rise of populisms in the world. The democratic model based on
elections, political parties and the rule of law has lost its appeal because it appears
either as an illusion or as an instrument of other forms of dependency and
control of society (hence the rise of conspiracy theories). Yet, populism as such does not work.

The populist discourse from above (Tunisia) finds its limits: none of the leaders
be them authoritarian or coming from the Arab Spring cannot be credible when appealing to the
people. On the other hand, the Islamists have not managed to take the lead of populist-type movements.
The distrust expressed from below also makes it difficult for demagogues to emerge (in this
regard the people are showing great political maturity).

The brainstorming questioned the different forms that protest can take, as well as the
the impact of recent changes in the geo-strategic context (Abraham Accords and Russian aggression
in Ukraine).