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The revolts that have been sweeping the Arab world during 2011 have already had a dramatic impact on global perceptions of the fortunes of democracy. These uprisings broke out at a moment when democracy seemed to be mired in a period of decline. Have the events in the Arab world been a “game-changer,” reversing what had merely been a short-lived downturn in the fortunes of democracy and prefiguring a new period of global democratic progress? Or did the growing strength of authoritarian regimes prior to 2011 reveal the real underlying trend, from which we have been momentarily distracted by the exciting and dramatic developments we have been watching unfold in the Middle East?