The onset of mass revolts in large parts of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) in early 2011 raised global hopes that the Arab world was finally on the verge of an historic democratic transformation - a positive "Arab Spring". Yet it also generated grave fears that the "old" Arab dictatorships would quickly be replaced by a "new" brand of religious authoritarianism - an "Islamic Winter" inimical to liberalism and modernity.
Two years on, reality is no less dramatic but it is a far more complex. The MENA region is clearly in the midst of a profound crisis of governance; one that involves not only new dynamics of democratization and authoritarianism, but also state failure, the rise of Non-State Actors, and deep security, economic, legal and social change. These require Israel, Europe, and the United States to rethink core principles of policy.