Publication Date

January 2019


This study examines change in willingness to engage in political action in five Middle Eastern countries (Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Morocco, and Turkey) using data from the 2005-2009 and 2010-2014 World Values Survey. Despite the high levels of political action observed in the Middle East during the Arab Spring, individuals in the region report greater reluctance to sign a petition, boycott, or demonstrate than individuals in all other world regions. We examine the effect of biographical availability, cultural attitudes and behaviors, and geopolitical beliefs on willingness to engage in political action at two time-points: before and after/concurrent with the Arab Spring. At both points in time, education, civic engagement, interest in politics, and confidence in national and global governance are key in explaining willingness to participate (words=125).