Arab states

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Foreign Policy Essay

The Unintended Consequences of Media Crackdowns in the Middle East and North Africa

Editor’s Note: The hopes for democracy in the Middle East that flourished after the Arab Spring are now gone. Hope for positive change, however, rests on many of democracy's building blocks, such as the rule of law, civil society, and a free press. These too remain under siege in many countries. Sarah Yerkes, a visiting fellow with us in the Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings, details the troubling increase in media censorship in the Middle East and argues that such pressure is likely to backfire.

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