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After RepressionHow Polarization Derails Democratic Transition$
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Elizabeth R. Nugent

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780691203058

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691203058.001.0001

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(p.248) 9 Conclusion
After Repression

Elizabeth R. Nugent

Princeton University Press

This concluding chapter outlines the book's key findings and considers their broader implications for the literatures on polarization, repression, and elite behavior during democratic transitions. Without oversimplifying the culmination of many complex events and historical precedents, elite polarization is central to any explanation of the divergence between Egypt and Tunisia after the Arab Spring uprisings. Egyptian and Tunisian political parties emerged from the authoritarian period differently polarized in 2011, both in terms of affect towards competing groups as well as in political preferences. In Egypt, high levels of polarization prevented the cooperation and compromise necessary to successfully navigate the complexities of a democratic transition, while lower levels of polarization facilitated forward movement on political issues of central importance in Tunisia. The chapter then extends the book's argument in three different directions. First, it looks at transitions in Algeria and Indonesia. Second, it explores the relationship between elite and mass polarization. Finally, the chapter highlights the importance of identity and polarization as conditioned by repressive experiences in political developments across different political regime types.

Keywords:   polarization, repression, elite behavior, democratic transitions, Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Indonesia, elite polarization, mass polarization

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